Would it help if a few more lure products were sold like this ?

We all have different levels of skills, knowledge and natural ability when it comes to fishing, and if there is one thing that confused the hell out of me when I started getting into fishing for bass with soft plastics it was not knowing enough about which jigheads to marry up to them for the different kinds of fishing I was (and am) learning about............and how about the right size of weedless hooks on the wrasse plastics ?

Look at these Fiiish Black Minnows that made a bit of a splash at the Nantes fishing show in 2011 - some guys bought them straight away and then reported good bass fishing on them, and it's great that they are now becoming more readily available here in the UK. But that is not really my point. It's pretty obvious that these Fiiish Black Minnows are going to catch plenty of fish, but then they should. In essence they are a quality shad/paddletail and there would be something wrong if they did not work. But it's how the product is presented to the customer that I find interesting, because this is where I think the Fiiish people have been sensible - much like those popular Savage Gear Sandeels - soft lure plus "correct" jig head in one single packet. I don't know anything about Fiiish as a company, but from the small range of products they sell I am guessing that at some time or another they sat down and thought about soft plastics and then the hooks and the jig heads and then recognised that putting the correct components together to create a "complete" soft lure that can be effectively fished without any confusion could be a winner. I bet that loads of us have used and do use pre-rigged shads like those Storm or Calcutta ones.

What is the best jig head to use with a certain kind and size of soft plastic ? What is the best type and size of hook to use with a particular soft plastic ? How do certain jig heads work ? Do they like to swim, do they like to bounce along the bottom, or do they work best via vertical jigging ? Do you see what I am getting at here ? Soft plastics are becoming more and more important for our lure fishing, but it can be confusing as hell when you try to match a soft plastic to a jig head. Of a certain weight. Or to a hook. Of a certain size. Of a certain pattern. And so on...........

And this is where I have to admire a company like Fiiish with their Black Minnows. OK, so the labelling is all in French which for the moment does not exactly help us, but I just like the fact that this company not only makes the soft plastic lure - they also make (or have made for them) the correct heads and hooks for the lures. And then they sell them in various different guises which gives us the consumers an easy and non-confusing way into picking up this lure and going fishing with it without having to beat our heads trying to figure out what would be the best jig head and/or hook to then buy. The way I see it is that the Fiiish people are saying to the consumer/angler (me, you, us etc.) - "Here's this new lure we have come up with, and because we designed it and know how it works we are also selling you the correct shape and size of jig heads and hooks to go with them. End of confusion about our Black Minnows. Go out and catch fish !!"

If you are an awesome angler who is thinking what on earth is Henry on about here then that's just fine, but the simple fact is that a percentage of anglers don't know. Lure fishing is getting bigger and bigger all the time, and with that comes all manner of new and different techniques/methods and lures etc. - and I know that many anglers look at rows of soft plastics and then rows of jig heads and/or hooks and then get confused as hell. It's easy when you are along that learning curve to forget that not everybody is where you are at with regards to knowledge levels. Now companies like Fiiish or indeed Savage Gear are of course in the market to sell their lures, but I have to admire how the stuff is put together in a way which in my mind simplifies the whole choice process. Choice is good, but sometimes choice can confuse and confound as well..............