Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Does such a surface lure exist ?

I would guess that many of you are just like me in that you can't help but think how some bits and pieces of gear might be changed or perhaps improved as you spend more time with them, or how you would like to see certain kinds of lures that are either not on the market or do actually exist but you just haven't come across them yet. I am after a specific kind of surface lure and I wanted to ask you if by any chance you had come across the kind of thing I am after..............

There is no getting away from how lethal a bass lure the Xorus Patchinko is - the large model that is 140mm long and weighs a fairly hefty 27g. Catch this lure right and it flies like a bullet, indeed about the only similar sized thing I have personally used that casts as well is the Cotton Cordell Pencil Popper that I got to use out in Martha's Vineyard for the striped bass. Dirt cheap, it flew and it caught fish. The Patchinko is a killer, but my problem with it if you like is that its weight is now tending to be at the upper end of the casting rating of many of the lure rods I might fish with, and sometimes I just don't want a surface lure that lands so (relatively) heavily/noisily - although you might be hard pushed to find another bass kind of surface lure that keeps you fishing in such turbulent conditions. Without doubt a few times this year around where I live it was the Patchinko that nailed the most fish when we had a heap of bass around in some lively conditions. It's a serious killer lure, take nothing away from it.

My "go to" surface lure if you like these days tends to be the much smaller and diminutive IMA Salt Skimmer. I love it. I nailed a fair few fish on the original freshwater Skimmer a few years back in southern Ireland and then this slightly heavier and more stable Salt version came out and it caught bass for me almost straight away. It might only be 110mm long and weigh 14g, but it just flies like a little arrow and for its size and weight it's pretty stable in some fairly lively conditions - although it can't hold a candle to the Patchinko on this front. I find the IMA Salt Skimmer incredibly easy to fish with in that it does not take any great working from your part to get the lure fishing pretty nicely, and I love how it lands softly. It's a fairly light lure and I can really move the rod fast in the cast and put it out there if needs be to cover a lot of water, but again, by pure physics alone the heavier Patchinko is going to push out better in stronger onshore winds. They have different actions in that the Patchinko is more "splashy" when you really walk it fairly hard and the Skimmer kind of walks and "bobs" and you can get it to kick from the back end if you want, but both smash bass and I am perfectly happy with either actions. Because I am often using lighter rods these days I tend to carry the Salt Skimmer first and foremost and then try to gauge what else I might take on the conditions, location etc. - and then it drives me mad when I've got it wrong and I find myself wishing I had so and so lure in my box !!

So what do I actually want ? What I really would love to have in my armoury is a bigger Salt Skimmer if you like, or a smaller Patchinko. Yes, I know there is already the baby Patchinko and I know various anglers who nail loads of bass on them, but in an ideal world I would love a surface lure around the 130mm size that weighed around say 20g - and casts like those two lures. If you have fished with them then you will know how well they cast, and it's this kind of ability I am on about. I am perfectly happy with either kind of action. I don't want a popper, but what I am after is simply a slightly bigger and heavier version if you like for those times when I need to push something more substantial out there - but at a lighter casting weight than the Xorus Patchinko, yet with its attributes and those of the Salt Skimmer. Does such a lure exist and have I missed it ? All I am after really is options for certain occasions, because I do just fine with the stuff I use.................

I dread to think how many surface lures there are out there, and I have used and do use a fair few of them myself - and believe it or not, I have caught a few bass on some of them as well. I have really got back into the Lucky Craft 115 Gunfish/Gunnish recently, indeed I had a bass nail literally inhale one on Sunday morning. I have tried the Xorus Frosty because a mate of mine has hammered bass on them in Ireland, but I just can't make it fly like it looks like it should if that makes sense. I love the Popkey, but it does not really punch out into wind remotely like the Skimmer. I like the look of the Hart Surface Patriot 120, but it's too heavy for me at 29g. I know the Lucky Craft Sammy is a killer, but I want great stability in rougher conditions than it offers me. Can you help ?