Lure Love - the IMA Komomo SF-125
Quite apart from this being the first IMA lure I ever owned, the Komomo SF-125 was the lure that introduced me to the whole concept of long casting, really shallow diving hard lures. If certain lures almost "place" you in your lure fishing growth, then you're in the same boat as me, but I accept of course that those lure anglers who have been doing it before they were even conceived will turn their nose up at this. What, you mean you didn't know about these kinds of lures all along? Shame be upon you "beginner"!!
Around the time I first came across this rather nice looking IMA lure on the Bass Lures stand at the CLA Game Fair (can't remember the year, but it was the first time Bass Lures took a stand there), most of my getting into bass fishing was based around fishing with Graham over in Wexford - and for the most part I reckoned I turned to the Maria Chase BW and happened to catch a few fish on it. I distinctly remember Graham catching good bass on the very shallow diving but lousy casting Storm Jointed Thunderstick, and the moment I saw that Komomo SF-125 on the shelf, it made sense to me - as in I was in continual state of what on earth does this and that lure actually do, plus how deep do they dive etc. - but from the off the SF-125 didn't confuse me. Look at and it just says shallow diving, and that meant a lot to somebody like me who was just really getting into the whole thing.
It could have been another lure, but by chance it happened to be this Komomo SF-125 that woke me up to the fact that those areas of shallow broken ground could in fact be pretty effectively fished even if you did have to cast a relatively long way to do so. And of course it's always going to help when you get a new lure and it catches fish for you almost straight away. We all know how much lure fishing is about confidence, and my first SF-125 in the cotton candy colour worked for me from the off. Why the cotton candy? From memory it was the only one on the shelf at the Bass Lures stand, and of course I had built up a lot of confidence in those bright, shiny lures via that holographic pink/pearl colour Maria Chase BW I had been using so much already. I reckon that one SF-125 has single handedly influenced my tending to so often turn to cotton candy/bright colours in bright conditions, because from the off it worked for me and at the end of the day I can't help but be influenced by what catches me fish.
I remember a session we fished in Wexford where there were acres of shallow, weedy, broken ground in front of us. The tide was ebbing, the sea was flat and the sun was high and bright. The only lure I had that could remotely deal with this sort of shallow ground was that cotton candy SF-125, and even then I had to lift my rod tip up and slow right down to stop it snagging up. This was before the use of weedless soft plastics for me, and also before I had come across any other hard lures that could swim really shallow and cast well.
Bearing in mind that I had little experience of trying to actually fish an area like that, as in before I became of aware of long range shallow divers I would have most likely looked for the slightly deeper water to fish through, I was over the moon at catching a nice bass that session. I also have a very strong mental image of a good fish essentially beaching itself on a shallow rock right in front of me as it came at the SF-125 so hard. To this day it's a rarity when I go bass fishing without at least one Komomo SF-125 in my box. These days they are an upgraded version of the original, but extra casting technology aside, in my mind they will always make perfect sense to me as a simple to use, long casting, shallow diving hard lure that smashes bass. I did once hook what I thought was the bass of a lifetime on the Wexford coastline very early one morning, only to see an 8lb pollack in my headlamp with my lure in its back. Some scrap!!
So how do you fish this lure? Well I can assure you that there are far better lure anglers out there than me who I am sure are fishing this SF-125 in a whole lot of different ways, but for me it's simply a case of whacking it out and winding it in. What, you mean you don't do all kinds of weird and wonderful things to it? Well I don't. I cast it out and wind it straight back at whatever speed I think might work, and if I need to get the lure up a little shallower again I simply lift my rod tip up and slow down. I have always been convinced that a higher rod increases the head action on the lure, but perhaps that's just a confidence thing again?
There are of course plenty of other long casting, shallow diving hard lures out there, plus of course the whole soft plastics thing is coming into bass fishing so strongly. There are lures that cast better than the SF-125 and there are lures that swim shallower if needs be. If you catch the SF-125 right it's a bloody missile, but then so are some of the other similar kinds of lures out there. For me it's simply a case that over time this easy to understand hard lures has caught me and the anglers I know a heap of bass. I know it works, I feel supremely confident when I've got it on, and yes, I've got a few different colours squirrelled away these days.............