Lure fishing can be an expensive business, so to help you guys out we have trolled around the lure fishing cyberspace to find you our top five lure bargains of the week. We refuse to include cheap tat in this list, so instead all you will get is top quality lure fishing tackle at amazing low prices ! We would also like to point out that this is an entirely independently produced list…this is our choice…not the retailers !

  1. Plano Lumber Fishing Pack 3500 – Harris Sportsmail

plano hipbag

This Plano Hipbag is one that we can thoroughly recommend as we have used it extensively over the last 2 years. The zips are good the bag is a really nice size (not too big or too small) and generally we have found it too be really excellent quality. It could do with a couple of extra D-rings on either side…but that’s just being picky. It even comes with two  3500 ProLatch™ StowAway® boxes.

Usual price £34.99….Sale Price £18.99

Click Here to see it on the Harris website

2. Drifter tackle 8″ Believer  – Lure Lounge

believer-lure

When it comes to proper old-skool pike lures, the Believer is a legend. Built to last and capable of catching pike just about anywhere the Believer is a fantastic lure for slow trolling or casting on reservoirs, gravel pits and big rivers. Normally these American imports cost an arm and a leg, but the Lure Lounge are selling them at less than a tenner !

Usual price £16.49….Sale price £9.99

Click here to see it on the Lure lounge website 

3. Bomber Model 4A Crankbait – AGM Tackle

bmr-4A-moltingcraw

If you are one of those anglers who only ever use soft plastic lures for catching perch then you are missing out big time ! In the right conditions crank baits can be a devastatingly effective way of catching perch, zander, pike and chub and Bomber have been making top quality cranks for donkey’s years. At just less than 6cm the Model 4a is a perfect size for perch and the crayfish pattern will be deadly anywhere that the perch and chub like to get fat eating the signals that seem to infest our rivers and gravel pits these days.

Usual price £3.99….Sale price £2.99

Click here to see it on the AGM website

4. Nories Spoontail shads 5″ and 6″

spoon-tail-shad

The spoon tail shad is one of the sexiest shads ever devised and was the brainchild of uber cool Japanese lure dude, Norio Tanabe. With it’s slimline shape, realistic insert and super-soft construction it attracts the biggest perch and zander and folds beautifully on impact, meaning you end up with more hooked fish and less bump-offs. Normally you get virtually no change out of a tenner for a pack of these beauties, but Glasgow Angling Centre and doing a big range of colours in both 5″ and 6″ sizes for a much nicer price.

Usual price £9.99….Sale price £7.99

Click here to see them on the GAC / Fishing megastore site

5. Savage Gear Soft 4 Play 13cm

Soft-4Play-Fungus-Roach

The Soft 4Play has been one of the most used lures of the last few years. There are lots of ways to rig them and lots of ways to fish them and nearly all of those catch fish ! The 13cm is our favourite size, so when we saw that the Lure Box was doing them super cheap..we just had to include them in the list.

Usual price £6.99….Sale price £3.99

 

Click here to see them on the Lure Box website

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LACC logo

Now that the British Lure Angling Championship is no longer running, the Lure Anglers Canal Club Pairs League is one of the few annual league events that lure anglers in the UK can enter. Last years event ran over 6 rounds on the various Midlands canal waters that the club leases and was highly competitive with over 20 teams competing during the year. The first round of the new season is due to take place on Saturday 30th April on the Grand Union Canal near Knowle and it looks set to be a cracker.

Last years LACC Pairs League Winners John Cheyne and Steve Wilson

Last years LACC Pairs League Winners John Cheyne and Steve Wilson

Although last years winners John Cheyne and Steve Wilson ended up comfortable winners, this years competition is liable to be far more competitive, with a number of very good teams keen to lift the trophy including last years runners up Vidar Thomassen and Alan Brown.

Vidar with a nice chub caught from LACC waters.

Vidar with a nice chub caught from LACC waters.

Alan Brown will be keen to get back amongst the zander and ensure that he and Vidar win the league.

Alan Brown will be keen to get back amongst the zander and ensure that he and Vidar win the league.

Entry to this years Pairs League is open to all LACC members and membership costs just £20 per year which gives access to over 20 miles of canal filled with quality Perch, Zander and occasional big pike. For full details take a look at the LACC website as www.lureanglerscanalclub.co.uk

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Plenty to Boast About

Posted: 21st September 2015 by admin in Interviews
Tags: , , , , ,

One of the great things about the lure fishing competition scene in the UK and Europe is that if you get involved, you get to meet and fish with so many great anglers and make so many new friends. Back at the British Lure Angling Championships Final at Chew Valley last year, I was paired up with Matt Boast and so had the pleasure of fishing with him at close quarters. We had a great day and I learned a lot from Matt and while neither of us threatened the podium ( I think we were 11th and 12th from memory) we have been friends ever since. Not long after that final Matt was signed up by Rapala/Shimano as a sponsored angler and has fished a number of big European events culminating in a third place finish at the prestigious Hobie Kayak Fishing Euro’s at Lake Lacanau in France. We thought it was a perfect time to catch up with Matt and grab an exclusive interview for Luretour.

Boasty picking up his prizes for a fantastic 3rd place finish at the Hobie Euros

Boasty picking up his prizes for a fantastic 3rd place finish at the Hobie Euros

JC: I know you are a bit of an all rounder Matt, but is lure fishing still your first love ?

MB: I love all fishing but Lure fishing is my main passion.

JC: You are now a Rapala/ Shimano sponsored angler…does that mean you can only use Rapala/Storm lures? And if so how does that effect your fishing ?

MB: I concentrate on my sponsors products however always look at those of others.

JC: I’ve used quite a few of the Rapala Trigger X softbaits and there are some great lures in the range..I particularly like the Slop Hoppers for weedless work. However they are pretty hard to get hold of here in the UK, are there any plans to distribute trigger X baits more widely in this country?

MB: Storm have recently invested in new premises and we should see more presence in the soft plastic market.

The Rapala Trigger X Slop Hopper, fantastic when rigged on a big swimsuit hook but not generally available in the UK.

JC: Perch fishing on canals has become the new rock and roll of fishing..take us through your favourite canal perch set up..rid, reel, braid, lures, method the lot !

MB: For perch fishing on a canal I love the shimano diaflash rods paired with a stella or a Stradic 1000 series loaded with bite motion braid usually to 2.74lb aspire fluro on a dropshot rig using VMC Spark Point Hooks

Matt’s fave perch canal lure rod..The Shimano Diaflash

JC: If you could only fish with one Rapala lure and one Storm lure for the rest of your life..what do you choose and why ?

MB: Wow that’s difficult for pike it has to be RIP Shad 8″ in ‘pike’ for Perch it has to be DT6 yellow perch and zander storm pro minnow.

Storm RIP Shad in 'natural pike'

Storm RIP Shad in ‘natural pike’

JC: Ok five quick fire questions that just need one word answers…

JC:  Pike, perch or zander ?…choose your fave.

MB: Perch.

Matt's favourite target species..big perch !

Matt’s favourite target species..big perch !

JC: Drop shot or jigheads for perch ?

MB: Drop shot all the way!

JC: Fave softbait colour ?

MB:  Chartreuse

JC: Fave crank bait colour ?

MB: Easy..Fire Tiger !

JC: Favourite Big Pike Lure ?

MB: Storm giant wide eye curly tail shad

The Storm Wildeye Curl tail..Matt's choice for big pike.

The Storm Wildeye Curl tail..Matt’s choice for big pike.

JC: OK Finally, what would your one piece of advice be to new guys getting into the competition scene ?

MB: Practice, Practice, Practice !

Matt with Team Friendly Fisherman Buddies Andy Mytton and Greg Baffia at the Gunki tournament.

Matt with Team Friendly Fisherman Buddies Andy Mytton and Greg Baffia at the Gunki tournament.

Interview by John Cheyne

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There are few things in life as exciting as a proper “away for a few days” fishing trip. Especially if it involves fishing new places and hopefully catching new species. So I’m up to excitement level 8 at the moment as the days tick down to the start of the Cornish Lure Festival which begins on Friday July 3rd.

Blue skies and blue waters...I can't wait.

Blue skies and blue waters…I can’t wait.

This will be my first time at the Festival which is run by Ben Field at the Art of Fishing and is sponsored by SPRO, so it will be interesting to see how things pan out. This isn’t your usual fishing competition as the main focus is a species hunt and the competitors are spread right across Cornwall ! For full details of how it all works and how you can get involved, take a look at the Festival website.

So to illustrate my excitement, here is my top ten list of things I’m looking forward to.

1) Fishing Buddies. Fishing wouldn’t be fishing if you couldn’t share it with your fishing buddies and my partner in crime for the Festival is John Greenwood, who lives right down near Helston. There’s going to be a whole load of guys I’m hoping we will bump in to along the way though including Adam Kirby, Dan Sissons, Mark Taylor, Danny Parkins, Trev Gunning, Phil Medhurst, Andy Mytton, Ade Walker, John Wheeler and a whole bunch more.

My Fishing Partner for the Festival, John Greenwood, is a confirmed mental caee and regularly catches these things in his crabs pots off the Cornish Coast...that would be fine, except that John doesn't have a boat, so swims out half a mile to empty them and swims back holding a massive crab in each hand !!

My Fishing Partner for the Festival, John Greenwood, is a confirmed mental case and regularly catches these things in his crabs pots off the Cornish Coast…that would be fine, except that John doesn’t have a boat, so swims out half a mile to empty them and swims back holding a massive crab in each hand !!

2) The chance to buy lure fishing stuff ! Ben at The Art of Fishing is offering 20% off all products in the shop for Festival entrants, so it would be rude not to buy some more shiny things.

As a freshwater angler I don’t have any of these cute little metal jigs, so they will be first on my shopping list at Ben’s shop. The above is a 7g Spro Castaway.

3) Pasties…Need I say more.

If just looking at that picture doesn't make you insanely hungry then you are either dead or French (or both).

If just looking at that picture doesn’t make you insanely hungry then you are either dead or French (or both).

4) Ballan Wrasse. My PB lure caught Ballan is a pathetic half pounder, so I’m determined to try to catch a decent big Ballan during the festival. There is a prize for the biggest Wrasse, so who knows I might get lucky !

Lots of celebrities are obsessed by catching Wrasse including TV Gardener Ballan Titmarsh, and Ex England Cricketer Dominic Corkwing.

Lots of celebrities are obsessed by catching Wrasse including TV Gardener Ballan Titmarsh, and Ex England Cricketer Dominic Corkwing.

5) Sleeping in a car. If there is one thing that sums up being on a trip with the lads rather than your wife it is waking up at dawn in the back of a car filled with fishing tackle. Terrible and wonderful all at the same time.

Photo 28-06-2015 19 09 44

6) Catching new weird species

I would absolutely love to catch a Dragonet or a cuckoo wrasse or a Garfish or any of the other cool things that swim about in the ocean and don't look like the perch, pike and zander that I usually catch. (the photo is shamelessly nicked from Adam Kirby's Blog because I haven't caught one so don't have a picture !)

I would absolutely love to catch a Dragonet or any of the other cool things that swim about in the ocean that I haven’t caught before and don’t look like the perch, pike and zander that I usually catch. (the photo is shamelessly nicked from Adam Kirby’s Blog because I haven’t caught one so don’t have a picture !)

7) Celebrating the capture of new weird species. It would be very rude not to toast each new species we catch in a local hostelry, thankfully Cornwall is pretty well stocked with Hostelrys.

The very first Cornish pub I ever drank in. Recognise it ?

8) Fishing from the pier for mini-species just like I did when I was a kid. The thing that really got me into fishing in the first place was fishing off the end of the pier for little “Puddlies” (coalfish), “Hornheads” (Scorpionfish) and “Gobbers” (Gobies) in Aberdour in Fife, while on holiday with my family as a kid. We weren’t stupid enough to try to catch them on lures back then, but it will be just like being about 9 years old..can’t wait !

Here is a holiday pic from when I was 10. If you look carefully there is no spool on the reel and I look like I have no idea how to hold a rod. That’s because my dad made me pose for the picture while I was trying to get the line out from behind the non skirted spool on my “Winfield Young Angler” and my dad made me hold the rod that way, because he said it made the picture look better. I got my own back by introducing live limpets to the back of his beige mark II Cortina.

9) Garfish, Cuckoo wrasse and Gurnards. There hasn’t been nearly enough pictures of fish in this top ten so these three count as my favourite sea fish that I actually have caught on a lure.

Caught from the Kayak last year in Cornwall..it will be a bit harder to get one from the shore !!

Caught from the Kayak last year in Cornwall..it will be a bit harder to get one from the shore !!

10) The prize giving. Getting together with everyone who fished the Festival and swapping stories and jokes on the last day should be awesome. Also it will give me a chance to thank Ben for doing the organising. Having organised a few events myself and know how much hard work goes in, so big thanks go to him and Spro the sponsors for making the whole event happen.

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The Exo PT30

The Exo PT30

For lure anglers at least, the world of medium to high end reels is dominated by two Japanese brands..Shimano and Daiwa. Sure there are some popular and well made reels being produced by Okuma, Spro, Mitchell and Fox to name just a few, but in reality the quality reel market is pretty much dominated by the “Big Two”.

So for another manufacturer to design a product that will persuade UK anglers to think outside the box, leave aside their brand loyalty and spend their hard earned cash on something different, is a big ask. It is however a question that US Company quantum have asked themselves..and there answer is the Exo PT.

Reel Name ExoPT
Manufacturer Quantum
Reel type Fixed spool
Ratio 5.2:1
Weight 210g
Price expect to pay around £200

The Exo isn’t new, which in some ways is an advantage. It was first shown to the US tackle trade back in 2012 so if there were any glaring issues, they would be well known by now. Searching google for problems being raised on forums doesn’t seem to yield much, so that would indicate that this is a pretty dependable reel with no big issues.

When you first feast your eyes on the Exo, the first thing that strikes you is that this is a fairly radical looking reel. Design wise it’s stunning..or at the very least it’s quite different, almost everyone I’ve spoken to thinks it looks pretty cool, a little futuristic and certainly a head turner.

With stunning looks the EXO is a reel we wanted to be good.

With stunning looks the EXO is a reel we wanted to be good.

So what’s the thinking behind the reel from the designers point of view ? Well the official Zebco blurb suggests that the design is all about minimum weight and maximum rigidity and strength..

“Metal Where it Matters”. That’s the thinking behind our exoskeletal hybrid construction. It
combines a special, ultra-rigid aluminum alloy in load bearing areas with a lightweight composite
that reduces weight in non-critical locations by 50%. This allows us to build the lightest possible
frame with absolutely no sacrifice in strength. In fact, it’s 38% stronger than magnesium and 6
times stronger than a graphite composite frame.”

Unfortunatley Luretour is not blessed with a state of the art science lab, so we can’t test out Quantum’s claims of being 38% stronger than magnesium or 600% stronger than Graphite composite, but what we can do it actually go fishing with it. So that’s what we did.

TESTING TIME

Well before you go fishing, you have to spool up some line and the ExoPT 30 certainly holds plenty of line. The reel ate up 150m of 15lb braid and about the same of mono backing with no problem at all. In fact I must admit I would have quite liked the option of a shallow spool, but certainly the reel loads nice and evenly and we got a nice consistent fill straight out of the box without having to mess with adding or removing washers. I tend to prefer to under fill my fixed spool reels, especially if they are going to be used mainly for canal and small river work as getting maximum distance from casts isn’t really necessary, but easy line management on freezing cold and windy days is.

Loaded with braid and ready to go.

Loaded with braid and ready to go.

The Exo features 11 bearings, so you would expect it to be smooth and it is. Not quite up there with a Stella or a Certate, but then it’s a good way cheaper than those reels, but certainly as smooth as a Shimano Stradic or Technium. The reel has a nice feel to it and line lay is very consistent. Drag wise the reel features a mixture of carbon fibre, ceramic and stainless steel and the drag seemed very smooth and easy to set. Unfortunatley during the couple of weeks we had to test the reel we never hit anything really big enough to test the drag to it’s max, but the fish that did take line, took it without jerkiness or issues. Seemingly the use of some ceramic washers in the drag system is to dissipate the heat generated by long, fast runs from hooked fish..well we would have loved to have tested this out on some pacific GT’s but all we really had available were canal perch and well…screaming runs that induce overheat in your drag system isn’t something that perch are really very good at.

The front drag control, like the rest of the reel is nicely designed and easy to use.

The front drag control, like the rest of the reel is nicely designed and easy to use.

Weight wise the 30 size reel definitely feels lighter in use than some of my other similarly sized reels, however somehow the smaller 15 size version (which a friend of mine has) feels much more suited to light lure work. The 20 size feels much more comfortable when used for lures of 10g and up. One thing that might come as a surprise is that there is no anti-reverse off switch on the reel, so you can’t backwind. Now many anglers virtually never backwind anyway, but I know some guys who are very good at vertical jigging, for whom back-winding is an essential part of the way they fish, so the Exo will not be the reel for them.

The Aluminium frame does give the reel a lovely solid feel.

The Aluminium frame does give the reel a lovely solid feel.

So what about the benefits of the much hyped aluminium frame ? well it certainly does give the reel a lovely solid core and in fact the reel as a whole features very few plastic parts which makes me think this is a reel that will wear well. The bail arm is worth mentioning too as it’s made from “Ni-Ti” material which I believe is the makers name for Nickel Titanium. Now nickel titanium has two very cool properties. It is actually able to stretch and move quite easily (for a solid metal) and is defined as “super elastic”. It also has excellent shape memory which means that even after it’s super elastic qualities have been utilised it will reform in it’s previous shape. Simply put…you can drop and bend the bail arm..but it will just pop straight back to it’s original shape. You can actually try it if your brave, just take your thumb and forefinger and twist the bail arm..without a huge amount of pressure it bends and distorts, but as soon as you release the pressure the bail arm snaps back into place as if it had never been bent. Very neat and very helpful if you have a tendency to drop, stand on or otherwise abuse your tackle.

That bail arm is actually pretty clever..it's as flexible enough to be almost unbreakable, but snaps back into shape as if it had never been put under strain.

That bail arm is actually pretty clever..it’s as flexible enough to be almost unbreakable, but snaps back into shape as if it had never been put under strain.

So is it all just good then ?

Well maybe not. One of the concerns we have about the reel is the amount of “unnecessary” parts of the reel that have been cut away to make weight savings. All this porting means that there is quite a lot of the reels moving parts exposed. Now we are assured that all the key areas are sealed and protected and it’s absolutely true that we didn’t have any issues with grit or debris getting into the important moving parts during testing, but I just have concerns about how you stop at least some build up of dust and grit over a long period. During our testing period the weather was damp and cold, so there was very little dust and grit being blown about. I wonder just how would build up over the course of a long hot summer. Unfortunately it’s a question we can’t answer after a two week test, but it’s something to consider.

As you can see from this picture and the one above there are certainly areas where it looks like sand and dust ingress could cause a problem.

As you can see from this picture and the one above there are certainly areas where it looks like sand and dust ingress could cause a problem.

The other thing that we noticed was maybe a little picky and is purely cosmetic, but the two parts of the handle are made from different material which don’t actually match very well, which is a shame since this is a reel that prides itself on good looks. One part of the handle is matt and the other is shiny, which makes the crank arm look like a bit of an afterthought.

Maybe it's just a matter of taste but it;s a pity that one part of the handle is matt finish and the other is shiny..it kind of looks like they don't match.

Maybe it’s just a matter of taste but it;s a pity that one part of the handle is matt finish and the other is shiny..it kind of looks like they don’t match.

Conclusions 

Overall this is a really lovely reel. It’s smooth, solid and light. The drag is excellent and the looks are stunning. In the smaller 15 size format in particular this is a fantastic reel for light lure work that will look tarty with just about any rod. We love the flexible Ni-Ti bail arm and the whole reel feels well engineered. However if you want to be able to backwind this isn’t the reel for you and we reserve some concerns about dust and grime ingress over the long term..that said, with more and more lure anglers upgrading their tackle and looking for something just a little bit different, we certainly expect to see more Expo PT’s on the banks this season…we might even splash out and get the little 15 size model ourselves.

Our sample reel was arranged by www.lurelounge.com who hold stock of the reel

 

“Overall this is a really lovely reel.

It’s smooth, solid and light.

The drag is excellent and the looks are stunning.”

If you want to be different from the herd and like something a bit different then the Exo is the reel for you. Stunning looks and great performance, just as long as you have £200 quid spare !

If you want to be different from the herd and like something a bit flash then the Exo is the reel for you. Stunning looks and great performance, just as long as you have £200 quid spare !

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OK here it is ! The final instalment of our four part series where the UK’s top perch experts outline their favourite perch finesse lures. This time it’s the turn of Simon Nicol who has a huge amount of experience when it comes to catching perch on soft plastics.

Simon with a cracking Drop-shot caught perch from Pitsford.

Simon with a cracking Drop-shot caught perch from Pitsford.

 

Simons Choices

Generic AGM ‘Crappie Tubes’ 1.5”

After a host of expensive Japanese soft plastic from our other experts, Simon starts off with these little beauties that cost 99p for 10 !

After a host of expensive Japanese soft plastic from our other experts, Simon starts off with these little beauties that cost 99p for 10 !

Lure Name Crappie Tube
Manufacturer AGM
Length 1.5″
How many in a pack 10
Fave colour choice Smoke/silver flake
Price £0.99

They are cheap and they are superb. These will catch you vast numbers of little perch. Fished on the drop and twitched back up.

Best on a light 1-2g jig head – for confidence use an insert jig head but it’s not a must.

Light braid and fluoro are essential however – if you can’t use those, leave these alone.

I like simple pearl or smoke, light or dark. Nothing complicated. I think it’s the darting action and slow drop that does it.

I’m completely addicted to this style of fishing at the moment. I can’t get enough.

Simon’s Recommended Retailer – AGM

 

Fish Arrow Flash-J 2”

Like Paul Parnell Simon loves FishArrow lures, but this time it's the pintail version

Like Paul Parnell, Simon loves FishArrow lures, but this time it’s the pintail version

Lure Name Flash-J 2″
Manufacturer Fish Arrow
Length 2″
How many in a pack 8
Fave colour choice LAKE WAKASAGI SILVER
Price £7.99

Amazing lures, incredible realism and that flash – it really does make a difference.  Fished on the drop shot (not just in this size) they excel.

They actually work very well rigged on an EWG weedless as a soft plastic jerkbait – I would encourage the use of wire with this method though as this proves irresistible to any pike for miles around.

Similarly, on a 2-3g size 2 jighead they can be fished like the above tubes in deeper water. Fantastic twitching, diving, spiraling action. They’ll catch anything like this.

Simon’s Recommended Retailer – Art of Fishing 

Lunker City Ribster 3” Small

 

with it's unusual cupped tail the Ribster it's a fascinating lure to use.

with it’s unusual cupped tail the Ribster it’s a fascinating lure to use.

Lure Name Ribster
Manufacturer Lunker City
Length 3″
How many in a pack 12
Fave colour choice Arkansas Shiner
Price £4.20

Arkansas Shiner – I swear If I had to choose one colour for the rest of my life…………………

The most flexible and lifelike lure I own. The design is perfect – you can’t keep the tail still if you try and yet the head is tough and resilient. Big or small fish love these.

Employing a twitching, darting retrieve on a small jighead they just come alive, writhing away on the twitch and the drop.

When used on a drop-shot set up they’re just magnets. I cannot recommend them enough.

Simon’s Recommended Retailer Lurelounge

simon 2

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