Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

I am starting to think that this IMA Little Stik can live with the (killer) Xorus Patchinko surface lure

As much as the IMA Salt Skimmer is nearly always the first surface lure I will turn to if conditions allow me to, there’s no getting away from how deadly the Xorus Patchinko is when you need to get out there into a headwind and then fish away in some seriously lively seas. As with trying to find a comparable lure in size and weight and casting ability as the Salt Skimmer (I have given up because the little Salt Skimmer is a freak of nature if you ask me), so I have kept my eyes and ears open for another surface lure around the dimensions of that Patchinko that can keep up with it. And I am starting to think that the IMA Little Stik 135 (25g) can live with it………….

A rather kind angler in Wales sent me the white IMA Little Stik you can see above, and whilst I took it out and gave it a few chucks straight away, I find that with some lures you need to come back to them a while later to fully appreciate what they can do - and this thing is seriously growing on me, to the point that I am now inclined to take it with me when I think the Patchinko might be needed. I have had a couple of sessions this week in some strong crosswinds when to fish surface lures I essentially had no choice but to turn to either the Patchinko or indeed the Little Stik which I had finally remembered to take out with me when the conditions looked nice and bouncy. And it works.

I’ve caught bass and mackerel on the Little Stik, plus had the usual early morning pollack leaping right over the top of it but fail to actually hook themselves - do you laugh every time this happens? All that effort seems so wasted when they miss the lure so well! I have a sneaking suspicion that the Little Stik was actually dealing with the crosswinds a little bit better than the Patchinko, but bear in mind here that I was catching fish on the Little Stik after raising nothing on the Patchinko, hence I fished it that bit more and could have talked myself into thinking this. But holy cow is it getting out there, and it does seem that the face design on the lure helps it to grip in pretty well when the wind is catching your braid and trying to skate your lure across the surface until it finds the right angle. Does that make sense?

Most lure anglers I come across either use or have heard of the Xorus Patchinko, and by no means am I saying that this beautifully designed surface lure is suddenly any less effective. Sure, I don’t actually use one that much unless conditions dictate, but wow has this lure caught some bass over the last few years, and I give a lot of credit to Mick at Mr.Fish in Jersey for bringing them into the UK and making them so readily available. It’s the way my head works though - I like looking around specific lures to see if there is anything comparable out there. Give me a lot more time with the IMA Little Stik, but I am really starting to think that it’s something pretty special. US designed I believe under license from IMA Japan or something like that, made for their freshwater bass, but as with so many lures, it seems to have some serious applications for how we do our thing………..