I thought long and hard about the title for this blog entry and accompanying short film, lure fishing for beginners seemed to be the most appropriate way to describe a look at my lure fishing tackle and the gear I use, after all, if you’re reading this and watching the film then you’re probably looking to get into lure fishing yourself or you’re looking for ideas on lures to add to your own lure boxes. As someone who takes a camera fishing with them, this look at my gear is long overdue. One thing you will notice is that my gear is basic starter stuff that a lure fishing beginner would use, I don’t believe in spending any more than necessary when it comes to kitting yourself out and I’m not waving round a £300 plus rod and reel combination whilst telling you to ‘buy cheap’, I do actually use the cheap stuff myself as you are about to see.
HTO Rockfish L LRF Lure Rod
This is the lure rod I use, it’s an 'LRF' or 'light rock fishing' rod that's actually meant for bass fishing off the rocks but being so light it lends itself perfectly to light lure fishing for perch. The rod has a nice white tip for spotting bites and is weight rated for lures in the 3-12g weight range. The rod in general is well made and light, just what you need for a day on the canal and at a cost of around £35 it won’t break the bank. The rod itself was recommended to me by an angling coach friend of mine and I have to say he was spot on (thanks kev), it’s a quality rod but without the ‘lure fishing’ price tag of some makes.
Shimano Catana 2500FC Reel
This is the reel I’ve paired with my rockfish rod, it’s one of the smallest reels in the shimano range but it still has a lovely clutch, being only a ‘1000’ size reel its nice and light and at under or around £30 it’s a great starter reel for lure fishing.
Savage Gear Bushwhacker Lure Rod 20-60g
My second lure rod is an out and out pike rod, this is one of the bigger savage gear lure rods at 8ft 6ins and its weight rated for lures weighing 20-60g so it will easily cope with lures over 2oz in weight, this is a lovely rod, very well made and powerful enough to cope with the biggest of pike. This one cost me £60 at the time but I’d spotted a bargain on ebay so expect to pay a bit more today.
Abu Ambassadeur 5601 Baitcaster Reel
My Abu baitcaster is a lovely reel, its light and balances very well with the savage gear bushwhacker rod, Abu have a really good name when it comes to baitcaster reels, they are far from cheap and vary in price from £60 up to £200 plus, fortunately I was given mine (thankyou Garry) but expect to pay around £80 for one of these.
Power Pro Braid
Both of my reels are loaded with power pro braid, 30lb for the pike setup and 18lb for the ultralite setup, 18lb was the lowest breaking strain I could find at the time but I’d be happy to drop it down to 10lb braid and I will in future. Braid is an absolute must for lure fishing, no stretch means you can feel every little pluck and pull and it shows up bites really well. Power pro is one of the market leaders in braided line, I’d been using it for years in my carp fishing so it was an obvious choice when it came to my lure fishing tackle.
Savage Gear Lure Net
I carry the larger of the two savage gear lure nets, this net is made with rubber mesh so it’s very lure friendly which is just what you want when you have a lively pike and treble hooks on show, extracting your lure from one of these nets is so easy, they fold up well and I can’t recommend them highly enough. The large net is quite a size and will easily take a big pike, I also use mine for my Barbel Fishing so it’s a duel purpose landing net for me. If you just want one for lure fishing I’d recommend the smaller of the two savage gear nets, it will cope with everything and it’s a tenner cheaper than the large one I have.
You never know when you’re going to need an unhooking mat or landing net when you’re lure fishing, I’ve used a mat from my carp fishing so I’ve yet to go shopping for one exclusively for lure fishing, if I did I’d want a smaller and lighter mat, the small ones that roll up look ideal, remember you’ll be on your feet walking and casting a lot so keep it small and light.
Nash H-Gun Rucksack
My Nash H-Gun rucksack isn’t strictly lure fishing kit, I’ve borrowed it from my carp fishing and made do. I don’t see the point in shelling out for stuff you might not need, if you have a spare fishing bag, use that instead. The rucksack itself is well made and has loads of room, as you can see in the film, I’ve made good use of the spare pockets and it takes more than enough tackle for a days fishing.
Lure boxes come in all different shapes and sizes, I’ve long held the view that these type of plastic boxes cost less if they are for DIY rather than fishing, the storage boxes for screws and rawl plugs are the same thing but put fishing in front of the box and the price goes through the roof!, any flat DIY storage container that looks not unlike a tackle box will do and that’s what I use.
Knot 2 Kinky Trace Wire
My chosen trace wire is the new nickel titanium wire known as knot 2 kinky, you can tie knots in it and I like to use the clinch knot that’s demonstrated on the back of the packet. It’s a very good trace wire but not the only one I carry, I also use Fox Easy Twist and Drennan 7 Strand but the k2k is my current favourite.
Relax Kopyto Shad
One of my lure boxes is dedicated to these relax kopyto shads, they are tremendous lures and I’ve caught a lot of pike and perch on them, the characteristic paddle tail on these lures really makes them work well, straight retrieve or work them erratically they will do the business. I have them in various colors, white and chartreuse are particularly good in coloured water. Every lure angler should have some of these shads in their lure box.
Savage Gear Real Eel
I’m a big fan of the savage gear real eel, work them with a straight retrieve and the tail waves nicely behind the lure, hungry pike find this lure hard to resist, they literally do look like a real eel in the water and they will produce pike when all else fails. I like to rig mine on the jig head that’s provided in the pack but I also add a Stinger to increase hook-ups. A word of warning about these lures and rubber lures in general, always have a tube of superglue in your box for repairs, a pikes teeth will easily slice through the rubber but you can glue the lure and carry on fishing with it.
Savage Gear 4 Play Lures
Another favourite in my lure box is the savage gear 4 play rubber lures. Like the real eel they are very life like and you can fish them on a straight or erratic retrieve. I’ve got them in small and medium sizes for pike and perch and they rig nicely on a savage gear jig head or with a savage gear lip skull.
Rapala Shad Rap Lures
I have quite a few rapala shad rap lures and they are undoubtedly one of my very favourite lures. I like the firetiger version for coloured water and a blue coloured one for clearer venues. I also have a few rapala x-rap lures in my box too. Again they are all different sizes, some small enough for perch, others big enough for pike, rapala lures really are superb fish catchers and every angler should have a few in their lure box.
Mepps Comet Spinners
Some anglers overlook spinners these days but again I think every angler should have a few of these lures in their tackle box. The mepps comet has long been one of the very best, in larger sizes they are great pike lures and in the smaller sizes they produce lots of perch. I like to have size 2’s in my box for perch and size 5’s for pike, fish them with a slow and steady retrieve and see what bites. Also, I prefer my mepps comet with red dots rather than blue, the red version has always caught me more fish.
Curly Tail Grubs
Another fantastic lure that should be in everyone’s lure box. Curly tails grubs work really well, they are fished on a jig head and again you can do a straight retrieve or work them erratically, the curly tail on the grubs waves enticingly in the water and these grubs are irresistible to perch and pike, I carry these lures in various colours and in sizes from 1 to 3 inches along with the corresponding size jig heads. If you haven’t already, get some of these, you won’t be disappointed.
Abu Toby Spoon
Another lure you don’t see used very much these days, spoons seem to have fallen out of fashion but it’s worth having one or two in your lure box. I’ve had an Abu Toby Spoon in my box for many years, it’s done well for me in clear water on the River Dee, the spoon flutters in the current as you retrieve it and the pike seem to like this, if I didn’t have a roach imitation I’d have a plain copper spoon instead, both work really well.
I have several tools for removing hooks from pike, standard Forceps, long nosed forceps, Wire Cutters, Long Nosed Pliers and a device called a Hook Out, they all help in the right circumstances, all I will say is make sure you’ve got the longer tools if nothing else, you need to be able to get deep into a pikes throat without risk of your fingers getting cut on those razor sharp teeth and you should have the option of being able to cut through a hook itself if necessary.
I have a wide selection of jig heads, I carry different hook size and weight combinations so I can cover whatever situation I’m presented with, I try to use the lightest jig head I can get away with and the jigs I use most are under 5g which is well within the weight rating of my HTO Rockfish Rod.
So that’s it for my lure fishing tackle, its good lure fishing kit for beginners and it does me. I’ve pinched some items from my carp kit to keep costs down and I’m firmly of the opinion that what I’ve got is good enough to do the job. Lure fishing can get very expensive but it doesn’t have to be, the fish don't know the price of your rod and reel, putting your lure in the right place and working it enticingly enough to provoke a strike is what counts and you don’t need to spend loads of money to do that.
Until next time