Raider Lure Project Rods
I’d been looking forward to it for some time. Sweating on the delivery from Shimano, I unpacked a long box with the sort of excitement that only comes from fair amount of anticipation. Inside, a quiver of brand new, sparkling blue rods I’d designed for the Raider range – the new Lure Project Series – that only needed the final nod of approval to go into production.
As a total finesse system approach, I had originally intended to put these finished sample rods through their final paces at Mallacoota Inlet. ‘Coota is a fantastic location where it’s possible to use a wide range of light line techniques and several different lure types all in the one session. But my patience wasn’t going to allow for the 4-5 hour drive… I needed to fish these rods and needed to do it NOW!
Soon I was heading up the highway to one of the local estuaries, St Georges Basin. The ‘Basin’ is also a diverse fishery and while the size and quantity of the fish there may not rival ‘Coota, it is surprisingly productive and responds to a diverse array of approaches. My good mate Hammo was along for the session and it was going to be interesting to gauge his reaction too.
The Lure Project rods are a little different to your average spinning rods. They are purpose designed to cast small ‘finesse’ lures like the Shimano Lure Project range of hard bodies, and there’s seven rods in the range with each named after the intended use; Shad, Minnow, Crank, Vibe, etc. The other main difference with these rods is that they are mostly ultra-light actions designed to fish these lures on lines such as 1kg or 2kg monofilament.
I started with a perfectly matched outfit; Lure Project Minnow rod, Lure Project Medium Minnow lure and 1000 size reel loaded with 3lb fluorocarbon line. During the initial test casting, on only about the 3rd cast a nice bream zoomed in for a look and with one twitch of the lure it was hooked and pulling drag! The outfit certainly felt sweet and after a fair fight the fish was netted, photographed and released. A good start!
We continued to put the various rods through their paces, and fished them in different areas with the appropriate lures. Soon we were fishing one of Hammo’s favourite banks, a shallow weedy edge that the bream seem to love but Hammo wasn’t confident that the ultra-light line would be capable of landing them amongst the liberally growing cockle weed.
He needn’t have been concerned, as we landed plenty of fish without any losses, and the stand-out outfit was the Shallow Crank rod fishing one of Bushy’s Stiffy Fat One lures. It cast an absolute mile and the fish jumped on it never even knowing we were there!
We finished the session with all the rods catching fish from various locations with the all the appropriate lures fished. The rods ticked all the boxes and were good to go! Did Hammo like them? Well it did take him a few casts to get used to the light actions but I’ll let the pictures answer that question!
I should briefly explain the slightly different ‘light-line’ approach. Because the Lure Project rods are mostly very light actions they require a slightly slower casting action that allows the rod to do the work. With the appropriate lure weight these rods cast very well, especially with the light line. Reel drags should be set very light to avoid pulling hooks and the rods have only enough power to fish with lighter drags – this is part of the secret of successfully fishing hard body lures!
Fishing ultra-light lures and lines is a very successful tournament tactic. But you don’t need to be a competition bream angler to benefit from this approach. This method is very effective in many situations where small lures and light lines are able to be used and not restricted to estuaries either. Freshwater species that can be fished with this approach are equally worthy targets!
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