I think that fiddling with different lures and baits is just something in the basic DNA of most anglers. It may be because most of us are continually wondering if some small tweak or change just might be the “magic bullet”to set the fishing world on fire! I know I’ve spent more time and money going down this road than I care to admit. But now I can see what’s motivated me and countless other anglers going down this path.
Let’s just begin with the fact that I think we all have experienced having some special lure or bait that’s been “The One!” The secret weapon! It may not look much different than lures of the same model, color, etc., but for some reason it’s been the sure thing every time you’ve pulled it out! You may have suspicions about what makes it produce better than others, but if you could just capture the intangible quality this lure has you would be set! Happy with the standard model till now, your quest of discovery begins.
Now you get to thinking (very hard) that maybe all you need to do is to make some minor modifications that you’re certain would mimic this special lure’s fish-catching ability! ”This has got to work!” is usually the first irrational thought taking you down this road, fueled by the alluring and tempting perfume of possibility! This is when anglers (me, too) get into doing things such as special paint jobs, adding a trailer to the lure, changing the hooks or engaging in a multitude of other tweaks. Some tinkerers swear that the simple changes they made transformed the lure’s performance and that confidence inspired me to try to do the same. Options were endless, as were my failures.
Whenever I rummage through my old tackle boxes, I find a graveyard of these “experiments.” Back then, I had quickly decided that these efforts weren’t really going where I had envisioned. Yes, I’ve got boxes and boxes of them, but they did have some entertainment value as I think back. I was the mad scientist and they were my secret creations – or so it seemed! It was frustrating, but I was learning what didn’t work and paying for it, too.
The next step for most guys caught up in the race to create “a new lure” was making major changes to its performance with things such as a bigger or different lip, changing its swimming characteristics. Some good anglers even try to get tied into someone who’s a lure maker, and the secret collaboration begins!
I was in the lure business for two years and can tell you that at times developing a good lure is like pulling hens’ teeth. I bet that just about any idea you have had about a fishing lure has been tried at some time, somewhere! I got a lesson on that by going to Icast (the largest tackle show in the world). There I saw just how many different types of lures and new ideas were out there! Tons of great lures are DOA, since selling a known moneymaker can override the risk of investing in a new unknown model. Your idea is probably on the floor of some company’s lure-development shop.
I believe that most of us feel that we have unique ideas, or suspect that a certain lure would be incredible if they just had it in other colors and sizes. Darn! There are more than a few great lures that have been discontinued, and I’m still looking all over eBay for some of them!
After all these years, I still see “new” lures that in fact are resurrected, renamed and repainted versions of very successful old models. That old saying – if you just wait long enough for something that worked in the past, it will come back into vogue – seems to be true.
Yes, I’m still looking for the edge, just like you, but I’m just more cautious about getting too hyped now about the results! Hope springs eternal, so the quest goes on. By the way, I have a huge inventory of slightly used older name lures for sale – you just gotta have … LOL! Never give up!
Roger George is The Bee’s fishing expert. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org,