One area of lure fishing that just seems to keep growing and growing is finesse fishing for perch using small soft plastics. It’s fun, accessible fishing and tweaking your rigs, lures and technique to get consistent results is fascinating. In this brave new world of British angling a few anglers have stood out over the last couple of years as leaders in this type of fishing. We’ve asked four of them to name their all time top three perch finesse lures under 3″ long and the answers make fascinating reading. Just for good measure we also came up with a top three before we received the ‘Fab Fours’ recommendations.

The Fab Four (in no particular order) are

Adam Kirby (The Kirbinator)

Paul Parnell (Goldenballs)

Ade Walker (The Flatbill King)

Simon Nicol (Dr Dropshot)

We will be running the results one by one over the next week or so and here is the first instalment !


Adam Kirby was a bright yellow perch magnet in the afternoon, bagging a string of huge stripeys including this 3lb 12oz monster.

Adam was one of the stars of this years British Lure Angling Championship and seemed to win or at least podium in every qualifier he entered. He specialised in catching big bags of small perch and surprised a lot of people by winning the Exeter Canal qualifier without ever bothering too target the pike that the venue is famous for. Adam struggled a little to start with in the Final on Chew, where he had to adapt his usual techniques due to the 4″ lure minimum and wire trace rule, but you can’t keep a good man down and Adam bagged up with multiple 3lb+ perch in the second half of the event and very nearly made the top 10 with his  late run of big stripeys.

Adam’s choices

Ecogear Power Shirasu

A lot of Japanese know-how goes into manufacturing these amazing little baits.

A lot of Japanese know-how goes into manufacturing these amazing little baits.

Lure Name Power Shirasu
Manufacturer  Ecogear
Length 2″
How many in a pack 10
Fave colour choice Pearl Glow 
Price £3.99

A lure that played a part in my qualifying rounds of the British Lure Angling Championships. ‘Shirasu’ means whitebait in Japanese. A tiny fish. I like the Shirasu because I think a few people fail to see its properties. It’s different. If that was a paddle on the tail and not a ball, I think it would be more popular – but that’s not the point. The Shirasu works just fine. Ultra thin profile. Super soft. Folds up lovely on the inhale. Tail beats subtlety, but I think the density of the ball makes it’s tiny presence felt. I’m a big fan of Jighead, but the Shirasu works on Drop Shot too – just turn the tail 90 degrees so it’s flat (eyes facing up and down).

Adam’s recommended retailer –

Reins Bubbling Shad

Another Japanese lure in Adam's top three.

Another Japanese lure in Adam’s top three.

Lure Name Bubbling Shad
Manufacturer  Reins
Length 3″
How many in a pack 8
Fave colour choice Bait Fish
Price £7.45

Along with Ecogear, Reins is the other brand that continually gets me excited. They’re just cool and there’s no denying that French Touch Fishing have actively sent that coolness into overdrive, with all the stuff they’ve been doing over in France. I could have picked any number of lures but the Bubbling Shad stands out as it taught me a few things about ribbed lures. The paddle on the 3-inch BS is fine. Not the best, but adequate. The magic is in the ribs. Profile is an important factor for me. Often, I’m sure Perch will only move on a sizeable meal. There’s plenty of chubby lures around but the usual problem is that they become rigid due to the extra bulk. Not so with a ribbed lure. The core of the lure remains slim while the ribs give the appearance of a much bigger lure. Best of both worlds. I also believe that ribbed lures shift more water and make more disturbance. All those little flat surfaces sticking out and grabbing the water. I can’t prove it, but it gives me confidence.

Adam’s recommended retailer –

Keitech Swing Impact

Guess which country Adam's 3rd choice lure comes from !

Guess which country Adam’s 3rd choice lure comes from !

Lure Name Swing Impact
Manufacturer Keitech
Length 3″
How many in a pack 10
Fave colour choice yellow glow
Price £7.50

One of my all time favourites. I believe these were made for the French / European markets by Japanese firm, Keitech. Purchased on one of our annual trips to the Nantes tackle show. Had an immediate effect on my Perch fishing – especially when the water clarity was poor in the canal. There’s no denying these lures work extremely well, but I think it’s the colour that was the secret here. More yellow than chartreuse, with added sparkle and UV. Down to my last two! :0(

Swing Impacts are available in the UK from however they don’t currently stock Adams magic “yellow-glow” colour choice.


  1. Ben says:

    very interesting article. I have personally found this autumn that pink and yellow curly tale grubs have been devastating for perch. I use the ecogear Shirasu aswell but have had far more perch on pink curly tales strange because last year it was yellow curly tales they liked