What’s really happening below the water?

I’ve decided to embrace winter.  I’ve used more jigheads in the last three weeks then I have for the past three years and have even been testing a variety of blades and let me tell, not all blades are made equally.

Blades or metals are slivers of metal that are designed to sink through the water and vibrate when retrieved.  The retrieve is where most of the excitement comes from for most anglers, the buzz of the lure can be felt through the line and rod when retrieved but what I found interesting was the balance of the lure.

Ecogear VX40

Testing these blades in a pool showed some interesting results.  The vibration of some blades is more pronounced than others, just as I had expected and adjusting the tow point can also do this but as I previously mentioned, the lure “on the drop” proved to be the difference.

Some of the blades were well balanced when left to plummet to the bottom of the pool.  These blades stayed upright and composed, falling in a straight line until the rested on the bottom.  When lifted and allowed to fall on a tight line, they behaved in a much similar way.


The “lesser” blades were much less composed.  When let to fall on slack line, they would do circles or fall with a lateral arc, with less balance and control.  When lifted and allowed to fall on a tight line, they maintained the composure of the better quality blades and fell in a straight line.

Why is this important?  Although I’m no expert, I believe that a retrieve needs to be adjusted, depending on the situation (like any bait).  If an aggressive retrieve is required, maintaining the line tension to allow a steady drop is much more difficult and identifies why the better quality blades are so important.

The Metals

Which blades were the good ones I hear you ask?  It should come as no surprise that the Ecogear range really excelled in my testing.  I tried to knock these baits off it’s centre and pulled, flicked and bounced these lures to get them to misbehave but couldn’t.

There are plenty of good blades out there, the Ecogear was by far the best but not the only one to behave in my pool test.  Picking lures that look good with a good range of colours should be paired with understanding how the lure behaves underwater.  My suggestion would be to grab a couple of lures and test for yourself and see what works for your retrieves.  Getting the cadence right is important, understanding your lures is going to help make the adjustments needed to get those fish to bite.

4 responses to “What’s really happening below the water?

  1. Are things getting a little tight at lure & Fly . That VX is pretty dinged up at the front 🙂

    • Nah Toby, I thought I’d photograph one that had actually been used. I’ve got a reputation for not using blades and I want people to think I actually do!

  2. Blades are such a consistent lure this time of year. We all love the summer/shallow bite but blading has grown on me the last couple of seasons and is now a big part of my tournament arsenal

    • Anto,
      I’m getting there and have resigned to the fact that Autumn and Winter take up 6 months of the year and I can’t be so pig headed anymore. I still love my crank baits but I’ve used more plastics this year, than I have for the 2 years prior.

      I’m with you though, blades have become much more consistent for me of late, maybe because I’ve had time to use them and practice.


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