Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Getting your rod tip up can do really good things


I can only speculate as to the exact reasons behind it, but more and more I am noticing how getting the tip of your lure rod up and essentially "forcing" some hard bass lures to swim shallower can often make them move a whole lot more appealingly as well. Not all lures and lure types, but with many cut-face lures especially that swim shallow anyway and seem fairly happy to be forced up, good things can happen when that rod tip starts to rise............well, that's my theory anyway, and I 'm sticking to it !!


Take a killer shallow diving lure like the IMA Komomo SF-125 - a hard lure that already runs pretty shallow and has a strong head-shaking kind of action when you point your rod tip at the water and simply straight retrieve it back at a kind of medium pace. Nice and easy, it's doing just fine. But personally I reckon the Komomo SF-125 can be made to swim a whole lot better - I can't prove it because I have never fished side by side with somebody who is fishing the exact same lure as me, but so many times in fishing we have to go on a gut instinct. And my own feeling is that a lure like this can become even more deadly.........


I have definitely found that some lures like this approach and some don't - take one that does and belt it out there (can't name them all here, but plenty that I have played with work just fine, cut-face minnows especially). All fine on the retrieve. Run it back, slash it from side to side, pause it, whatever, just put the movement the lure makes when you straight retrieve it into your head. Store those images right there for a moment.

Now on the next cast, give the lure a couple of quick turns to submerge it, and now get your rod at about the angle you can see in the photo above - I have said around 45 degrees in the past, but in reality it's less than that. Now simply turn that reel handle. Lots of lures like this work well with a slowish to medium retrieve rate. Now watch as the lure comes up closer to the surface. Very important for me and a lot of very shallow ground I tend to fish. Ain't going to suit rough conditions as the waves will often kill the lure stone dead by chucking it on the surface, but in calm to moderate seas you can get some lures right up close to the top. If in calm conditions you get the rod tip up and the lure breaks the surface and looks lost, then the thing is not happy being forced up. Try another one.

But the thing I m trying to get at most is the action of the lure now you have "forced" it up (and bearing in mind that a slower retrieve generally causes lures not to dive so deep) - I first really noticed this with the IMA Komomo SF-125, that is why I am using it as an example. All looks nice with the tip down, but the lure's head-shaking action just intensifies massively into a far more pronounced head-shaking "slalom" if that makes any sense. And bass obviously love this, because it has worked for on numerous occasions. Would the fish have taken the lure fished with the rod tip down ? Who knows, but I know what my instinct tells me. Make the action more pronounced with such ease.....

I have put a new photo essay up on the site - a bit of an insight into taking fishing photographs out in Mongolia, a work trip I did last year. Check here. Still a trip that I often wake up thinking about. Also make sure to check out the brand new Bass Lures website right here - probably best that I don't go through it too closely, not with my "problem" !!

I got my copy of the new issue of Sea Angler though the post, and I have to admit to being a bit hesitant to actually open it up and see what the guys up there have done with the new Bass Angler section. But I need not have worried because I am genuinely thrilled with how it has been made to look. It feels a little weird to see an idea that I had over six months ago actually come to life, but I could not be more pleased with how the new section has started. No magazine is going to please every reader all of the time, but I really believe that change is a good thing, and I reckon the big new Bass Angler section looks outstanding.