Henry Gilbey
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If you need maximum distance, is there an optimal size for a minnow-type hard lure?

There is of course a saying in bass fishing that most fish are caught beneath your feet, but in my view it's too simple a statement that doesn't encompass how much there is to bass fishing. Maybe the whole distance thing in fishing is a somewhat male obsession, but the fact is that it can never hurt to have various options when you are out fishing - and I want one of those options to be an ability to put a minnow-type of hard lure out a long way if needs be, or to at least better punch into a headwind and grip hard into a rougher sea. I also want options to fish in nice and close and very precisely for example. And so on.

Logic I suppose gives rise to a belief that the bigger the hard lure, the further it goes. Whilst I see the sense in this, I don't necessarily agree, and I sometimes wonder if there is indeed an optimal size (weight and length) of hard lure that you might turn to if out and out distance is required. Now obviously you need to feel confident that whatever particular lure you might turn to also turns the fish on, and I get completely that some anglers like fishing with the bigger, say 150mm hard lures - but is it always those bigger and usually heavier lures that are the distance animals? What's the longest casting minnow-type hard lure you have?

I suppose that over the last few years I have messed around with a fair number of different hard lures, and whilst I have never actually measured how far any of them might go, I am as good as 99% confident that I have never personally come across a longer casting hard lure than the IMA Hound 125F Glide (or the different Hound models in the 125mm size). I trust the lure to catch me fish whilst accepting that it's got a regular minnow type of action, and I accept that in the same situation other minnows might be catching me bass - but you can of course only catch on the particular lure you are fishing with. In my opinion the IMA Hound 125F Glide isn't perfectly normal when it comes to casting though, as in for me with the rods, reels and braids I use, this lure I am convinced outcasts any other minnow I have ever used.

Surely though it should be the longer and heavier minnows that cast further? The Hound Glide is not exactly a big bass lure, indeed at 125mm long and weighing only 20g, logic says to me that heavier minnows that I have should cast further. Sure, it's only my gut that the Hound Glide outcasts any other hard lures I have, and of course there are some fantastic casting lures out there that you and I know all about (Tide Minnows, Gatarides, Shoreline Shiners, Athletes, Sasukes, Nabarones, X140s, Halucas etc.), but it's the modest size of the lure and how ridiculously well it casts for me that gets me thinking about all this stuff. And waking up far too early most mornings with bouncing brain syndrome.............

It really gets me thinking when I get the chance to spend some time talking with say a very talented bass angler from Portugal who also happens to sell fishing tackle. On that Atlantic facing coast of Portugal they are tending to fish some pretty hectic swells and sea conditions, and this guy told me that he struggles to sell minnow-type hard lures under around 170mm long for their bass fishing, as well as essentially not selling any sub-10'+ lure rods etc. And a lot of their bass fishing seems to revolve around getting these pretty large lures out there as far as possible to get behind the worst of the swell and then retrieve through it.

Most lure rods I would use for my bass fishing these days are rated somewhere around 8-30g, and this of course means that I can move a hard lure around the 20g mark very fast in the cast if needs be. I am sure you have noticed that most lure rods feel like they are performing best somewhere above that minimum and below the maximum quoted casting weights, and conversely this might apply as you work with heavier lures and then heavier rods, although my experience with the much larger minnows is at best very limited. I have had a few casts for example with the pretty big DUO Tide Minnow 175 Slim (175mm, 27g, one of the lures this Portuguese guy was raving about for their fishing), but I wasn't using a rod that allowed me to move the lure as fast in the cast as I could the 20g Hound Glide.

Does it just happen to be the case that a lure like the Hound 125F Glide (which I believe has been designed for long casting anyway) is that "sweet spot" combination of design/shape, length and weight for optimum casting? I can think of a number of hard lures around say 125-145mm that I reckon are like frigging missiles, but do you any of you here have direct experience of larger lures on bigger rods and can then compare backwards to these "smaller" lures? And of course just because I happen to think that there might be a kind of optimum length and weight, this doesn't mean that the biggest bass agree with me. Big lures for big bass? Easy to see why this is a longheld belief, but as with the mantra that most bass are caught beneath your feet, it's too much of a generalisation in my book.

You all have a good weekend and enjoy your respective Six Nations matches if rugby is your thing. I am of course hoping that an unchanged (yes!!) England side put in a proper and complete performance against Italy tomorrow, and as much as one day cricket isn't anywhere close to Test cricket in my book, England start their World Cup campaign against Australia at 3am in the morning I think it is. I am not a violent man Mr. Fawlty, but I wouldn't mind wiping that smirk and moustache off Mitchell Johnson's face.

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