Distance isn’t everything of course, but having the ability to cover a huge amount of water with a lure is a pretty handy string to one’s bow if you ask me, and whilst I don’t actually use the regular sized Xorus Patchinko surface lure that much (140mm, 27g), there is no getting away from how in certain situations it’s a frigging killer surface lure, and of course it frigging flies. I am not personally aware of a surface lure of similar dimensions that casts so well, and I I tend to err towards surface lures that cast well. Bear in in mind that the bulk of my bass fishing is from the shore.
I have cast but not actually fished with the much smaller Patchinko 100 (100mm, 11g), and I was amazed at how well it cast for such a diminutive size. I don’t feel the need to turn to this smaller Patchinko because for a few years now the similar sized IMA Salt Skimmer (110mm, 14g) has been my go-to surface lure. I trust it implicitly and it’s one of the best casting surface lures I have ever come across. There are various surface lures around these kinds of dimensions, but I haven’t come across one that gets out there as well as the Salt Skimmer.
But what about when you want something slightly larger than the Salt Skimmer or Patchinko 100, but not quite as big and as noisy-landing as the regular Patchinko? I hear a bit about the Xorus Frosty (125mm, 16g) being a really good casting surface lure, but this must mean the one I own is faulty in some way - because mine casts like a bit of a dog. And yes, it could be me and my casting. The Lucky Craft Gunfish in the 115mm size (19g) is a bit of a flyer if you catch it right, and of course it’s a classic surface lure that I know slays bass for plenty of anglers, but it seems to be one of those lures that you have to catch exactly right for it to really get out there. When it does, it flies, but it seems prone to “fishtailing” on the way out if you’re not spot on all the time - I’d love to say my casting is perfect each and every time, but it’s not. I keep coming back to the Gunfish and wondering why on earth it ever left my box.
There is of course the Tackle House Vulture (120mm, 20g) which is one of those true missiles of a surface lure. Get this one right and without doubt it’s getting me a little more distance than my beloved Skimmer. It catches bass and I know of a few anglers who swear by the Vulture in a big way. I do carry one pretty regularly and I trust it to catch me fish and get me out there, but there’s sometimes this niggling feeling that I’d like a rattle in there to help draw bass in a bit more in rougher conditions. Does a rattle really help? Well I can’t prove either way, but a noisier surface lure sometimes gives me that extra bit of confidence. Horses for courses of course.
One surface lure I really liked the look of when I found it online was the Daiwa Morethan Scouter 110F (110mm, 18.8g), as per the photo above of the one I now own. I like the lure and it goes pretty well, but for some reason the fixed nature of the weight inside the lure seems to kill this thing into a headwind. I can quite easily live with there being no rattle, and whilst I like the lure, I admit that I was somewhat disappointed at how the shape and dimensions of the lure seemed to promise so much in the casting department yet in fact it’s nowhere close to the Salt Skimmer.
Pretty similar with the new and larger IMA Skimmer Grande that I was so excited about when I saw it at the iCast show the last couple of years. Well thanks to a very kind soul (with what I would suggest is a bit of a fishing tackle issue!!) I have a couple of them here, and whilst the specs say 135mm and 25g/1oz on the packet, I have weighed one of these bigger Skimmer Grande lures on the little scales I bought, and it says only 18.4g - some discrepancy. Anyway, I note that unlike many of the the regular IMA lures you or I might own which say “Made in Japan” on the boxes, it says “Made in China” on the Skimmer Grande box. Does this matter? Not in the slightest, but it’s a fact that much of the US fishing scene will simply not stand for the sort of lure prices that we might expect to be paying, hence I must guess the need to get lures like this made as cheaply as possible.
I would guess that Ultimate Fishing’s Xorus lures are made in China, indeed I would also guess that a lot of higher-end Japanese designed lures that you or I might own or lust after are also made in China. As I said, it matters not, but there’s no getting away from how my initial excitement at a larger Skimmer turned quickly to disappointment when I tried casting it into a headwind. Terrible, no other word to describe it. No worries downwind where the bulk of the lure gets it out there anyway, and ok in no wind, but into a wind and the Skimmer Grande casts like the proverbial dog. Does this matter? Not if you don’t fish into headwinds or from a boat, indeed the lad who so kindly sent them to me has smashed a bunch of serious bass later this year on his own Skimmer Grande. They obviously have an action that turns our bass on then, but I know this lad’s fishing calm, mainly gentle offshore conditions - due to his coastline’s characteristics - and as such he isn’t needing to punch a larger surface lure into headwinds as I might. Bear in mind also that the Skimmer Grande is a freshwater US bass fishing lure, and because so much of this fishing takes place from a boat I am guessing distance wasn’t a big consideration when making this larger Skimmer.
Nope, for all the surface lures I have tried over the last few years, there is no getting away from how the regular Xorus Patchinko is a missile, and via a few casts it’s interesting how they kept the great casting nature with the much smaller 100 model. This blog post ain’t going to change a thing, but it’s struck me for a long time now that there’s such a big gap between the regular Patchinko and the 100 models that it seems only natural that a roughly 120-130mm model should be in there somewhere, say around the 20g weight. Can you imagine how well this thing would get out there when you could move it so fast on these lighter lure rods that more and more anglers seem to be using? Keep the same sort of action, noise and castability and I reckon you’d end up with one of the ultimate surface lures for bass fishing. Pretty please Ultimate Fishing - I’d buy a bunch for starters……….