Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

How important is the noise that a lure makes underwater ?

Some lures make one hell of a racket underwater, and some are essentially silent - but does it make a huge amount of difference on your catch rate ? Logic says that it has to, but I have to admit to being a little confused about the whole subject of the noise or lack of it that sub-surface lures make, and I would seriously welcome your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of this post. I have all kinds of theories and thoughts, but I am not that sure how "correct" most of them actually are. Or is that just a part of fishing, the sheer, and to me, completely joyful unpredictability of it all ?

Take a suspending jerkbait like the awesome looking DEPS Balisong Minnow 130 above - this thing slashes from side to side in a way that I know is going to murder bass, and it makes one hell of a racket via a number of moving internal ball bearings. Logic says to me that this will be a go-to lure in rougher, murkier conditions when the added noise of the lure is going to help bass zone in on it. Perhaps even at night as well. That's what logic says to me anyway. But how much logic is there with regards to lures emitting noise underwater ? I would be fascinated to hear what you guys have to say about this.

I am asking the question because I got to thinking about this a lot the other day when I was photographing and messing around with a bunch of lures (it's work after all !!) - I had never actually thought much about it, but the continually killer Maria Chase BW in holo silver especially is actually a "silent" lure, in that there are no internal noise-making systems. Logic might decree that this means a lure like this should work best in calmer, shallower and clearer conditions when a more "subtle" approach is called for. But the thing is that I have taken bass on the Maria Chase BW in all manner of different conditions - flat calm, gin clear, rough as rats, overcast, blue skies, fog, murky water, you name it, a "quiet" lure like this has worked and continues to work for a big number of bass anglers in all kinds of conditions. So where's the logic in that then ? There is no ball bearing making some mad kind of clicking sound inside the lure, yet it has taken bass in virtually every situation I can think of.

So let's take an ultra-shallow diving lure like the IMA Komomo SF-125 - mine has sadly gone to a better place where there aren't so many jagged rocks sticking out of the water (RIP), but that's another matter entirely !! The lure has done really for me on the bass, and especially when I need to fish literally just below the surface over insanely rough ground in clear conditions. Logic should surely say that a lure that is designed to work like this would be better off being a "quiet" lure, for I would have thought that a whole lot more extra noise in clear, shallow water might spook the hell out of the fish. But this IMA Komomo SF-125 actually has a pretty loud internal rattle, yet it has slayed for me. In shallow, clear water. Go figure !! See what I mean about a potential lack of logic when you start thinking about the whole noise issue ?

By the way, I do accept there is a bit of a grey area at times over what constitutes a weight-shift mechanism inside a lure to make for better casting and the actual noise producing elements. Most lures I suppose are always going to make a little bit of noise just from trebles and split rings clanking together, but you can see how some are purpose designed to run silent, and some are built to make some proper noise. Some weight-shift mechanisms will rattle if you shake the lure about in your hand, but I am sure that a lot of these internal, moving weights will actually "lock" into place as you start to retrieve. Perhaps I am better off not even thinking about the noise a lure makes !! In fact the more I think about all this, the more I keep coming back to the fact that action must be virtually everything................or is that misguided ?

A lure that I have heard increasing amounts about is the ZIP Baits System Minnow 139F - these things have a very good reputation for catching bass, but it seems to me that ZIP Baits are very much into making their lures extremely "quiet". This thing casts like a bullet and it has one hell of an action, but there is nothing that moves around inside to make any extra noise underwater. Then look at say the DUO Tide Minnow or the Jackson Athlete ranges of classic, killer minnows and as far as I am aware, they will all create some kind of extra noise underwater.

So who is right and who is wrong ? In all honesty I don't see there being a right and a wrong. We will all have our own opinions, theories and thoughts as to what works in what situation or location, but one of fishing's most important attractions to me is that no angler can ever come remotely close to knowing it all - principally because the goalposts keep on changing to reflect the fact that fishing is a completely "natural/nature" thing to do that. It is something we do where we can not control the outcome, and personally I find that wonderfully reassuring in a world were so much is becoming so safe, sterile and understood. Please do tell me what you think.........