Ok so I thought i would introduce a range of posts I will call testing testing. Why??? Well because they're posts about me testing different gear...
The first of these posts comes from my experience with the higher winds at one of my last LRF sessions where the lighter jig heads and plastics couldn't really cut it. I introduce.. the metal lure.
After some consideration I chose three different lures from three different companies and will test one exclusively for a session each over the coming weeks. These lures were the Ecogear VX35 3.5g , the Fish League Tiebo 4g in pink and silver and the ILLEX Shobu 5g in pink and silver.
Fish League Tiebo
Last night I went out for a session with Art of Fishing's Matt Newcombe and decided to exclusively use the ILLEX Shobu on this session.
Awesome little lure, this thing casts well and although there is an exposed single hook I found it did not snag very much on the weed and structure at our first of two marks that night. Fishing the first mark of the night we had little in the way of knocks until I felt a nibble on the lure whilst bumping it along the bottom. Then the rod bent over in a hard take. I have had some strong hits on my MC Zaltz but this was stronger than any take I have had on this rod. Now I would be able to tell you what it was if I hadnt had to learn a big lesson for the night. Having tightened my drag for a weeded area on the previous cast and not loosened it again... ahh!! The fight with my first hook up was vicious and I lost the fight as the lure sprung out of the water. Damn it!! Now any number of fish come out of the water at this mark so I cursed the loss as it would have probably been a new first in regard to species landed on my LRF. I then looked at the lure to see the hook had straightened out.. further disappointment as both Matt and I agreed that was a good fish, whatever it was :(
Still the lure performed well and attracted the only solid take of the session for this mark. Moving to a new area Matt and I continued with the metals. Now the next mark looked promising. Ah my I can see swirls :) First cast out and bumped too many time than I would like. Next cast and the rod bends with a screaming drag as line peels away... oh yes its definitely Fish On!! As I played the fish closer to the shore I could see the unmistakable markings of mackerel and this one was not happy. Playing a mackerel on this light gear gives me a similar buzz to playing a Bass on heavier gear. Drag screaming, pause for a retrieve to have the drag scream again. Loving every minute of it I land the Mackie and quick photo before release back to the deep. My god that was awesome fun!! The session progressed with four Herring landed for myself and Matt having Mackie and Herring as well.
So to the lure. Retrieves well and didnt snag a great deal even through the weed of both marks. The fish were obviously happy to take it and when hooked the lure didnt let go. One downside was the hook up rate. With the single hook a good percentage of takes did not result in hook ups. A little infuriating at times. I would imagine very if the number of takes were low. Thankfully there were a good number of fish after the lure so it wasn't too bad. Finally the hook strength. Survived the fiesty fight with the Mackie but straightened out on the "one that got away". Hook wasnt a strong as it could be and I would have doubt on it surviving a good fight with a bigger sized fish specimen.
In summary, it was a good lure that the fish had a liking to. Of those that hooked up the lure held well and landed fish. Some issues around converting bites to hook ups and the hook strength let it down but I will definitely use it again as I think the fish loved it!!