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JERKBAITS IN PERSPECTIVE
by
DAVE LUMB of D.L. SPECIALIST TACKLE
Enquiries to Dave UK  01772 812036

This is the first of a number of items Dave has sent us on Pike Fishing.



Dave Lumb is a well known Pike Speciaslist who builds rods on Harrison Blanks. He regularly writes in UK magazines. He is pictured here with a lure caught 24lb fish.

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It can hardly have escaped anyones notice that pike lures have got bigger over the last four or five years. Also, that a new lure type has come on the scene along with a new outlook on the tackle scene. Jerkbait fishing has made a big impact on pike fishing, and has been somewhat controversial too. Much of this controversy has been sparked by the seemingly OT'T tackle that is used to fish jerkbaits. I also suspect that there has been an element of sour grapes on the behalf of some of the critics of the method. Fishing jerkbaits all day long is not everyone's idea of a fun day out, it can be hard work!

So why do you need a "rod like a snooker cue" and line like "tow rope" to cast these "half-baseball bat" lures? The answer is simple really. Many jerkbaits weigh over three ounces, and the repeated strain of casting these bulky lures all day long soon wears out substandard tackle. There is no way you could cast jerkbaits on a traditional spinning rod designed to fish 'lures in the half to one-and-a-half ounce bracket. A stiffer and more powerful rod is obviously required. The need for it to be fairly short, between five and six-and-a-half feet, is dictated by the way jerkbaits are fished. Short downward strokes of the rod are preferred to get the best actions out of jerkbaits, which after all have no diving lip to give them an action. It is the angler who has to jerk the rod to impart action down the line and give life to the lure.

That lines up to maybe one hundred pound breaking strain are used for this style of lure fishing does seem overkill at first, but before the advent of braided lines mono was used in the twenty to twenty-five pound range and worked well enough. This too may seem needlessly heavy, but I can assure you that anything less would last a short while before the knot attaching the trace gave out. It is not so much a strong- line that is required but one with good knot and shock strength. Given that twenty-five pound mono was up to the job why not use a braid of the same diameter? If this has a breaking strain five times higher so Much the better. In practice, it is the diameter of the braid that seems to determine its performance when fishing jerkbaits. A thick fifty pound braid will be better suited to the task than a thin one.


Traces too are apparently way heavier than you might expect for the same reason. Anything less than sixty pound wire is asking for trouble, and swivels and snaps should match. Some jerkbaiters prefer solid wire leaders to seven strand traces as they feel these stiff traces cause fewer tangles with the lure. I remain unconvinced by this argument and find a ninety pound seven strand trace fulfils all my needs.


As thick lines are being used it is best, no it is essential, that the line is loaded on to a multiplier reel. Despite what you might think it is possible to cast the more aerodynamic jerkbaits tong distance on the right kind of tackle. Even on one hundred pound braid and using a six foot rod. All you need to do is take a bit of time to practice. Okay, so you will have to throw away a brake block or two from the reel, and back off the casting brake further that it recommends in the reel's hand book, but it is worth the effort and a few birds nests!


So why would anyone want to go to all this trouble for a bit of lure fishing? Quite simply because jerkbaits, and other larger lures that can be used on the same tackle, will catch you far more pike, and bigger ones too, than the old Mepps spinners and Big-S plugs that you used to use. just so long as you get the right gear to do the job, take a bit of time to get used to it and the lures, and you stick with it.

Dave Lumbę1999

Dave has written a book called "Pike fishing with lures", and also has a free catalogue of rods and tackle. Contact the author for more information on the phone number at the top of the page.

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