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Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Adding Metal to your LRF

Adding Metal to Your LRF
Savage Gear LRF Mini Casting Lures
Late spring into early summer sees the water temperature hit double figures, and this is the time when the sport really starts to kick off. The fish are more active and are greedily feeding on the fresh shoals of baitfish, and there is one sure fire way of cashing in on the early-summer sport – try some metal.

The evolution of the LRF continues to produce new styles and techniques, and there is now a great variety of jigs, spoons and blade baits to use with LRF gear.

Adding various metal jigs to your LRF will account for a surprising array of species. Fished as they are straight out of the box, or modified with different hook arrangements, tipped with plastic or incorporating teasers, metal jigs should be given serious consideration for your summer fishing.

There are benefits of using a metal lure rather than a more conventional soft lure approach. Metals are small, heavy and generally aerodynamic, so they cast well and enable you to cover more water in search of fish. When conditions are windy and rough, metals can really excel, allowing you to achieve good casting distances, even into a headwind.
Daiwa Prisoner CV Lure

They also have the ability to fit a small profile lure into a heavy (for its size) package; the lure’s action is less affected by rough seas, making it a bit easier to control in a swell.

The majority of mini metals can be worked with general LRF gear. For instance, use a 7-8ft LRF rod with a casting range of up to 8g, a reel up to a 3000 size, light braid (PE0.6 or under) and a fluorocarbon leader up to 8lb.

Many anglers prefer a tubular-tipped rod for working metals because a solid-tipped one tends to be softer in the tip, while a tube-tip rod will not fold as easily when twitching metals. This tends to be an issue only when using the heavier LRF jigs and vibe baits.
HTO Hyper Sniper
Tube-tip rods can also offer improved feeling when it comes to bumps and knocks from fish, rocks and weed. Bumps and knocks are transmitted straight down the rod to your hand. On a soft, solid-tipped rod, the tip offers more of a visual indicator, and sometimes you can see the bite before you feel it.

When fishing over rocks, weed and reefs, you will rely on 'feeling' for keeping your metal jig fishing just above the snag zone. To this extent, a tube tip rod tends to offer a bit more feedback and, because the tip folds less, the ability to quickly react and jig the lure up away from the snag.

Metal lures are ideal for modification and can be rigged in different ways. Many are supplied with a treble hook, but these can be removed and replaced with a single or an assist hook.

Rigging a single hook helps cut down on snags without inhibiting bites-to-hook-up ratios. It is also extremely handy for quickly unhooking fish, which can be a real positive when targeting passing shoals.

This helps you get the fish off the hook, so you can recast quickly to get in among the fish before they move off. It is possible to buy hooks that are made especially for replacing trebles on lures. They have a large eye to take the lure’s split rings. If you are rigging a hook (single or treble) on the lure, it’s a good idea to add an extra split ring to the lure. This, like an assist hook, helps stop a hooked fish from using the lure as a lever to throw the hooks.

When using small metal shore jigs, an interesting and practical addition to the rig is to add a teaser lure a foot or so above the jig. It’s the same principle as when fishing bigger pirks and jigs where a muppet or similar lure above the pirk can attract the fish.
Hart Rock And Street Ul-Inchiku
It is just a question of scaling it all down and making sure the teaser lure does not inhibit the action of the metal jig. To do this, the teaser lure should weigh less than the jig. Lures such as a small, unweighted soft plastic, sabiki or Trout fly are perfect for using as teasers.

Using two lures on the same rig does not always double your chances of catching but gives you the opportunity to fish two lures with different actions. A teaser lure can also help promote a competitive feeding response from the fish.

Adding a teaser lure above the mini metal jig can sometimes work too well. There may come a time when you hook into two decent fish at once, one on the teaser and one on the metal jig. As a result, you should always have a landing net at hand because trying to land two fish at once without one could result in you being left empty-handed.

If you do fancy adding metal to your LRF game then you should carry a selection of different sizes and styles of metal lures, and they fall into one of four categories:

METAL JIGS, SHORE JIGS AND SLOW JIGS
These, as the name suggests, are designed for a jigged/sink-and-draw retrieve. However, many can be worked on a straight or twitched retrieve. The shape of the jig affects how it falls through the water. The wider the jig, the slower it should flutter down on the drop.

Where the jig is weighted also affects the action of the lure. It’s a good idea to find some clear water and watch how your lure performs on the drop, so you can tweak your retrieves to suit the lure. The majority of mini metals fall into this category.
HTO Boogie Jig

Traditionally, slow jigs are for heavier boat work; however, this style of jig has been adapted to the LRF side of the sport and they work with the same method of retrieve.

A slow jig refers to the speed at which it drops through the water, and a purpose-made slow jig will fall slower than a standard metal of the same weight.  As a result, you can fish these a bit slower than a faster-falling jig. Allowing more ‘hang time’ as it flutters down, this slower fall really appeals to fish looking for an easy meal.

BLADE BAIT
Blade or cicada-type lures are designed to put out a lot of vibration. Most come with different attachment points to alter the action of the lure, which helps when you are working the lure at different depths and angles.
Hart Rock And Street Mebaru Blade

These are great for when the water clarity is poor because the fish can home in on the vibrations on the lure.

SPINNERS
The good old Mepps-type spinner still has a place among all the fancy Japanese-inspired mini metals. It kicks out a lot of vibration when worked, as well producing a lot of flash from the rotating blade.

A straight retrieve at different depths will account for fish. Spin stops are also great when fishing with spinners; simply stopping the retrieve every few yards for a couple of seconds can provoke an attack.

Yokozuna Tataku Spinner
SPOONS
Traditional-style spoons are another old-school lure that every LRF angler should carry. Straight retrieves, twitched retrieves and spin stops all work well with the more traditional spoons.

You can alter the depth the lure works at by timing when you start the retrieve. Start retrieving as soon as it hits the water to keep it close to the surface. Or wait a few seconds after casting to let
it sink deeper.

Overall these lures are a superb way of catching fish in the warmer months and their variety means the amount of species to catch keeps growing and growing.

If you would like more information regarding LRF techniques you can visit us in store at either the Glasgow Angling Centre or the Edinburgh Angling Centre. Or call us on 0141 212 8880 and our expert staff will be happy to help.

This article was brought to you in association with Sea Angler magazine.

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