Thursday, 1 May 2014

Savage Gear Lip lure

Savage Gear lip lure - target fish pike (but expect perch and chub too)
This is a jointed hard swimbait available in many colours and a few sizes, 9.5cm, 13cm and 19cm. There is a 25cm jointed hard lure from SG but this is the lipless swim and jerk version. Note there is also a larger lipped low rider swimbait. I use all three of the lip lure sizes, the smallest for pike, perch and chub as a target, the 13cm as a jack catching machine and the 19cm as my preferred choice for pike. However as the pictures below will prove you will eventually catch chub and big perch on the 19cm if you are lucky. All three sizes have caught me big pike but the big lure has a better average for size caught. The lure should be suited to a rod and reel combo rated for casting and matched with strong enough braid and trace to give you a chance of getting the lure back should you become snagged. The lure is a shallow lure, 1-5 feet deep on a normal retrieve so perfect for shallower waters.

This particular lip lure version enables you to fish the lure in a few ways. Simply cast out and wind in for a steady swimming action with slight rocking. More aggressive retrieves wields a more aggressive rock of the lure while a very slow retrieve, kind of like slow motion, can often be the difference in encouraging a take. My preferred retrieve style is hard jerks. By jerking the lure rather than straight winding you impart an erratic wobble of the lure and this wobble gives off vibration and flash of colour which both in turn work the senses of a pike. This jerk should be mixed with pauses and this pause is often where the take comes. So keeping a taught line is important so you are immediately in touch with any knock. The hits come front back and side and so what you feel on the rod tip will be different each time. It could be the tinniest of touches, an arm ripping yank or the line could go slack meaning the fish is coming towards you. The jerks and pauses are a stop-go technique which once mastered is a devastating pike magnet. You can mix the stop-go jerks with stop go short retrieves for similar results and also speeding up or slowing down both retrieve or jerk to trigger the hit. As a word of note, the stop go isn't the old style retrieve and then pause to let the lure sink or rise. These lures are slow sink, slow float or suspend which means they won't go far on the pause. The lure also does a half side turn on the pause for added effect.

Remember you are lure fishing and the fun comes from making it happen, not just cast out and wind in. One day the soft and steady approach does it, the next it's hard and fast. So work the lure in any way you can, you will catch on all methods. As a general rule I will go in "quiet" with a cast out and steady wind in, often running along the bank side and see if there are any pike waiting to ambush. If no takes occur I will cover the same water again with a "noisy" approach of sharp stop-go jerks, lots of vibration and flash and this is to try to trigger a hit, make it happen.

My personal colour choice are any of the natural colour patterns, particularly any with a flash of silver in the paint job which will be highlighted more with the jerk and wobble of the lure. Colour choice should be used to your advantage or to aid in poor light conditions or murky water. Similarly the use of the lip for creating vibration in these conditions will help alert the pike.

There are cheaper versions of this lure from some random manufacturers. You may find one that works but many of them are poor in comparison using weaker wire and poorer hooks. However having the odd one in your bag might pick up a bonus fish as you'll dare to cast it in or around the big snags.

Top tip
You can switch the split rings on the hook holders (not the nose of the lure though) to weaker split rings to create a weak point. This weak point should then give, should you become snagged, resulting in lost hook rather than lost lure.

Chub on 19cm Savage Gear lip lure
perch on 19cm Savage Gear lip lure
This lip lure has done me a few twenties!

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