Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Two very different surface lures at very different prices, one brand new, one about to be discontinued - and I am rather excited about them both…………

When will the sickness that is lure fishing and new lures ever stop? I have more than enough lures here to last me for a long time, and I also have lures that can do from literally nothing through to cooking me breakfast - but it is never enough, as many of you here will know all about. I love a high-end bit of the shiny stuff as much as the next addict, but I also love stumbling upon a cheap as chips lure that looks like it might do some serious harm. Today I’ve got one from each category to tell you about, and I am genuinely as excited about both of them………………..


I first saw the little Lurenzo Espetit surface lure on the always impressive Jigabite website - it’s a lure from the new Fishus brand, designed by a Spanish angler based around Barcelona, and it is truly a little work of art (9.5cm long, weighs 10.5g). The Lurefishingforbass people are now doing these surface lures as well, and whilst they are not cheap (around £18), they do feel very well made, and some of the available colours are stunning. On the right gear and in calmer conditions these little Lurenzo Espetit lures absolutely fly, indeed I was surprised at just how well they get out there.


I have ended up corresponding a bit with the Spanish lad who designed the Lurenzo Espetit - he made the lure for calmer conditions such as bays and estuaries (they do a lot of float-tubing where they are based), and I am starting to see plenty of photos of bass on these lures appearing on Facebook now. I really like the subtle rattling sound of the regular version, but there are also some colours available in silent. Check out the videos below to see how the lure’s designer recommends they be worked.


I have been out and tested the Lurenzo Espetit in calm to calmish conditions and to me it looks frigging awesome when you work it in a few slightly different ways. I seriously can’t wait to get this surface lure in front of some fish now. You know when you sometimes have bass slashing at a surface lure but they won’t quite commit? The designer said to me that a big part of this surface lure’s appeal is how it remains so upright and stable as you work it and then very suddenly stop it dead. Too many times I have seen big, splashy surface lures seem to literally put bass down in calmer conditions, so I do often carry smaller, subtler surface lures and get them out when things seem right - and if this Lurenzo Espetit doesn’t slay in the right conditions then I will be gobsmacked…………..

Then we come to a completely different and much cheaper surface lure that I came across when I dropped into the Art of Fishing tackle shop earlier this week. There’s some mighty fine looking stuff in there as always, but when Ben plucked this cheap as chips surface lure off the shelf, my heart skipped a few beats. You see all manner of pencil popper type surface lures over in the US where they use them a lot for striped bass, but it’s not easy to find these kinds of lures in a size or weight that would better suit the sort of lure rods we tend to use - but blow me down if the lure which Ben has magically placed in my sweaty mitts isn’t a 130mm long/31g pencil popper type surface lure, and it’s only £6.99 as well.

Now I love the Xorus Patchinko as much as the next angler, but I always keep my eyes and ears open for surface lures of similar dimensions that might cover as much water. I’d be happier if the regular Patchinko had a better finish to it for the price especially, but they work really well at the end of the day and I wouldn’t be without it for bouncier conditions especially. So how about a soon to be discontinued surface lure costing a measly £6.99 that sure looks like it could seriously get out there?


And it does, and big time as well. I was hoping that with the bulk of the weight of this “Swimy Pencil Popper 130” in the arse-end of the lure that it would cast well (blame the French for the “Swimy” and not “Swimmy” name!), but I have bought enough good looking surface lures over the years and been disappointed by how they do actually cast to know that looks mean nothing - you need to clip it on and whack it out. So I did just that, and it frigging flies. It feels and looks like it’s going out a bit further again than the Patchinko, but that is not a fact and of course the Patchinko has been proven over a number of years now.


This cheap as chips Swimy Pencil Popper 130 casts very well though (sounds like a couple of big ball bearings in the arse-end of the lure), and when you WTD with it I can see no reason at all why all that noise and splash won’t murder bass in the right conditions. For sure I am not about to chuck this Swimy surface lure out on a calm summer morning for example, but now give me a good run of current or some bouncy, windy conditions out on the coast (exactly when I’d turn to the Patchinko) and this thing’s going to get a damn good go. Distance isn’t remotely everything of course, but I do like the ability to cover a lot of water with a surface lure especially, and if I catch some nice bass on a surface lure that cost me £6.99 I am going to jump for proper joy!


Okay, so the first thing I did to this Swimy Pencil Popper 130 was remove all the hooks and split rings and bin them - I just don’t trust them and they look very flimsy to me. I also see no need at all for a split ring on the eye of the lure, nor three sets of trebles, so I put a couple of what I think are size 3 trebles onto the lure as per the photos (note that I am not complaining about the components on a lure that costs £6.99). I can’t see inside the lure and I have no idea how well it might be made, and the Lurenzo Espetit just oozes class whereas this Swimy one doesn’t really, but if for £6.99 I have managed to find a seriously long-casting surface lure for bouncier conditions that just might do a similar job to the Patchinko then I am going to be one happy bass angler.

And please, by no means am I telling you that these lures are going to catch heaps of bass, because I just don’t know yet. I am going to give them a damn good go though, and I can’t help but enjoy how we’ve got two very different surface lures here at very different prices. My photos don’t do justice to the sublime colours on the little Lurenzo Espetit lures, and the Swimy Pencil Popper 130 is a bit of a bruiser that doesn’t know what subtle means. I fish all kinds of locations and conditions and here goes to seeing how these lures might work. You all have a good Easter weekend and I’ll see you back here soon………


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