That Subtle Flash
Written By: Steve ‘Hippo’ Lau, October 8, 2012
It seems to be a cultural trait among Americans that they feel if a little is good, a lot is better. This, of course, has lead to things like rampant consumerism. It is no longer a simple dream of being a two car family; many families now have three, four, or even more cars.
How about having a three bedroom house? Not if you look at places like American Canyon where the average house has five or six bedrooms along with a living room, a family room, a double wide kitchen, and a study den!
Of course, those who fish aren't immune to this phenomena. Just check out the difference between a Japanese bass fisherman and an American bass fisherman.
The Japanese bass fishermen will have one, and maybe two rods in the boat. It seems as if that one rod is used to throw everything in the tackle box, and the second rod is there only if the first rod goes out of commission.
What is in the boat of the American bass fisherman? Let's see ... there is the spinnerbait rod, the senko rod, the dropshot rod, the swim bait rod, the rip bait rod, the square bill crankbait rod, the deep diver crankbait rod, the jig rod, the flippin' rod, hmmmmmm, nine, ten, eleven ... maybe 18 rods on the front deck and in the locker?
Lures have been an item to use and collect from since the time the first lure was tied to the end of a horsehair leader. As a collector of older bass lures, I noticed that the earlier plugs had simple paint jobs. A white body with a red head was a common paint scheme.
If I remember correctly, the Bomber company was one of the first to start adding glitter into their paint jobs. At first, the glitter was simply a highlight to their paint jobs, but then in subsequent years, paint finishes such as their "Christmas tree" seemed to have more glitter than color. Unfortunately, it seemed like the uber- glittery finish didn't catch any more fish than when it had fewer shiny bits.
Nowadays, most lures outside of a few specialty crank baits have reverted to more subdued color schemes. Jig heads, in particular, have become very monochromatic. Can these lures use a little sprucing up?
Personally, I like to do something to my lures whenever I can. It is hard for me to throw a lure as it comes out of the box. Crankbaits, in particular, are a candidate for modification. It kind of bugs me to throw a crankbait that doesn't have a rear treble hook that has some buck tail or feathers with a little flashabou mixed in. The operational word is "little". Just a few strands, maybe no more than six or seven, is all you need.
Yes, I was caught up into the whole "if a few is good, a lot is better" when I used to tie treble hooks for my lures. Instead of mostly buck tail and a few strands of flashabou, it was all flashabou. Guess what? It never caught fish. As soon as i went back to the subtle approach, the lure caught fish again.
With Halloween coming up, this is the time to stock up on shiny, sparkly, glittery, flashy nail polish at your favorite drug stores or Halloween supply shops. In a recent trip to a drug store, I was surprised at all of the new forms of glittery nail polish!
I have, in recent years, applied several different types of sparkly nail polish to plain lead jig heads, sinkers, vertical jigs, and crank baits. Just a few strokes of nail polish is all I paint on. It is so subtle that sometimes the only time you can tell I have added the polish to a lure is by either close inspection or if the lure just happens to catch the sun at the correct angle.
Am I just into wishful thinking in thinking that such a small amount of glitter/shine/sparkle can make a difference in your catch? All I can say is that I will continue to make these subtle additions to my tackle until that day that someone proves me wrong.