Henry Gilbey
Cape Cod - 1010.jpg


Henry Gilbey blog

Lure fishing terminology - trying to simplify things

The more I learn about lure fishing, the more articles I write about it for various magazines, and the more research I do into the subject, the more I am realising how many different terms there are for all kinds of lure-speak. And to be perfectly honest, it's confusing the hell out of me !! It's like going to South Africa and smashing "kingies" or kingfish, when to most of the world they are in fact the trevally family. Confusing eh ?, and it's similar with lure terminology. So the more I delve into this murky world of technical lure fishing, the more I am making an effort to "standardise" my terminology in my articles. Here's a bit of what I am coming up with so far :

Lure category - jerkbait, minnow or minnow-type lure - in my mind these are the huge family of minnow or sandeel shaped diving lures that so many of use so much of the time. If it dives under the water, needs to be retrieved, and looks remotely like this sort of lure above, the Duo Tide Minnow 120 Surf (thin to thinnish and long, like a sandeel or minnow), then in my book it's a jerkbait, minnow, or minnow-type lure. Nice and easy.

Lure action - rolling, rocking or wiggle - really hard this one, but most of these minnows tend to have some kind of rocking, rolling or wiggle from side to side action. I accept that this is a huge generalisation, and some minnows have far more pronounced actions than others, but in general the shape of the lure's face promotes this kind of rolling, rocking or wiggle. Hold your hand up sideways and roll or wiggle it from side to side - this is what I am trying to describe.

The name for that jutting out bit at the bottom of the face of the lure above - has to be a "bib" in my mind. Nice and simple. The fact that there are so many different shapes and angles of bib is a whole other matter, but the actual bit (whatever it looks like) is a "bib" to me.

Still a minnow or a jerkbait, but you will notice that there is no "bib" jutting out - this specialist ultra-shallow diving minnow in my mind has a "cut face" instead of a bib (the IMA Komomo SF-125). Again, nice and easy. From now on, any lure I see that has sections cut out from the face rather than a bit added (the bib) has a "cut face" to me. And note that I am calling the front of any lure the "face" or "head".

The Tackle House Feed Shallow is a jerkbait or minnow, and like the Komomo, it has a cut-face and not a bib - but this cut-face creates a different kind of action when you retrieve them through the water. Can you see how easy it is to end up completely confused and going round in circles ? A cut-face promotes a far more head shaking kind of action that creates a kind of optical illusion that looks a bit like a fast moving snake when you watch the lure swim in the water. - it is not a wiggle and it is not a rolling action though, not to me anyway. I have made up my mind to call the action on these cut-face lures a "head shake" or a "waggle" - not a wiggle though. Hold the middle of a pen between thumb and forefinger, waggle it from side to side, and this is the kind of action I am trying to describe.

There is masses more to it (various surface lures, flutterers, tremblers, plastics, jigs, the list goes on), but I reckon that will do for the moment. Please do comment here if you strongly disagree with any of these terms that I am trying to standardise on, or especially if you have any more logical suggestions that we should be looking at. I passionately believe in making fishing come across as simple and as logical as possible, and one thing I do not want to do with all this explosion in lure fishing interest is to assist in confusing people. Ain't my style at all. Life's complicated enough already......