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Sunday, 26 July 2015

Strategic Angler Custom Lures - Top Water Class

Ebb Tide Tackle have been associated with Strategic Angler since soon after our inception as a premium top water tackle supplier - we thought it was time to create a resource for users of the lures where their application could be clearly understood and appreciated! Strategic Angler have been around since about 2010 and lure builder Merv Rubiano moved from hand carved timber blanks to high impact solid core injection molded plastic resin and will hold up to the toothy bites the worlds toughest fish.  The beauty of working with a uniform blank is that Merv can concentrate on his now world famous hand painted customization of each and every lure.

 The Strategic Angler models - going from smallest to largest 

At only 127mm, the Mikros series is the perfect lure to represent small/juvenile scad, poddy mullet, tommy ruff and mackerel.  The Mikros has already proven itself to be extremely versatile in all fishing situations fresh and saltwater and is available in both sinking and floating configurations.
Do not let the small size fool you, the Mikros series lures are wired and constructed the same as their larger brethren giving you peace of mind when the big guys come around.  Elephants eat peanuts after all!

Mikros S (sinking) 
  • Orientation:  Horizontal suspending/sinking (hook dependent)
  • Action:  Alternating side to side swimming action with retrieve; subsurface walk
  • Length:  5 inches  (127 mm)
  • Average weight:  2 ounces (55-58 grams)
  • Retrieve speed:  Medium to fast
  • Skill level:  None to moderate
 Mikros F (floating)
  • Orientation:  Horizontal floating with rattle
  • Action:  Walk the dog; alternating side to side swimming action with retrieve
  • Length:  5 inches  (127 mm)
  • Average weight:  1.25 ounces (35-38 grams)
  • Retrieve speed:  very slow to fast
  • Skill level:  None to moderate

The Mikros-F and Mikros-S can be fished with similar techniques.  The differences lie in their buoyancy, with the Mikros-F creating a visual and audible disturbance on the surface with its internal rattle chamber and the Mikros-S which sinks for a more subtle but “in your face” presentation to deeper dwelling species. Both lures can be walked by twitching the rod tip imparting a side to side zig zag action, keeping the lure in the feeding zone where it is most effective.  The occasional long jerk will make the lure kick wildly, making the lure swim like a fleeing baitfish.
The Mikros lure can be retrieved with various speeds depending on the hook setup.  Lighter hooks allow for a slower retrieve while larger, heavier hooks allow for a more spirited retrieve.  For heavy tackle and big game fishing, an extra large treble or single hook located on the belly is all you need.  This configuration will still allow the lure to swim at its best (note that the Mikros-F will sink slightly due to the heavier belly hook) 

Hook guide - heavy tackle casting
  • Belly only (trolling):  5/0 trebles, 4/0 trebles, 3/0 trebles
  • Belly only: 8/0 single
  • Belly/rear: 3/0 or 2/0 treble with a single tail hook
 Hook guide - light/medium tackle casting
  • Belly/rear:  2/0 trebles with 2/0 to 3/0 single
  • Belly/rear: 1/0 treble with 5/0 single
  • Belly/rear: single 5/0

Oman emperor and bream
Rooster - yes!
Redfish on Mikros

The Frantic series was inspired through the body shapes of sardines and ballyhoo (garfish).  The term “frantic” was appropriately chosen because it mimics the crazed action of a bait fish when chased by a predator.  From a slow to medium retrieve, this lure will consistently wobble side to side or dart away.  Enticing fish to bite with an action like no other is what makes this the perfect lure for every fishing situation.
  • Orientation:  Horizontal slow sinking or suspending (hook dependent)
  • Action:  Alternating wobbling/swimming action with retrieve
  • Length:  8.25 inches  (210 mm)
  • Weight:  85-95 grams
  • Retrieve speed:  Medium to fast
  • Skill level: Low

The Frantic Series Lures can be fished in many versatile ways.
Swimming – A medium retrieve will create a natural swimming action.  It is important to keep the rod tip down to maximize the subsurface swim.   No extra angler input needed.  That’s it!
A fast retrieve will make this lure vibrate frantically sub surface.  The best action is achieved just before the lure starts to roll due to imbalance, so it is advisable to swim the lures prior to use.   The faster you retrieve, the faster it vibrates in a frantic state.  Pause in between fast cranks, you never know what just might hit it. 
Dive and Roll:  Cast the lure.  Give it a few seconds so that it orients itself in the water.  With the rod tip down, pull the rod with one smooth sweep to the right (or left).  Pause for a few seconds.  Slowly point the rod to the direction of the lure while retrieving the line with a few cranks of the reel.  Repeat.  This action will entice a wary fish to strike because it mimics a stunned or dying fish.  The sweeping motion will cause the lure to dive down and roll.   The pause allows the lure to right itself with a horizontal buoyancy.  This is its deadliest move.
Twitch and pause:  Retrieving the lure with small rod twitches with an occasional pause will make it flutter like an injured or disoriented bait fish.  The slight twitches of the rod during the retrieve gives the fish an erratic swimming action while the pause allows the lure to rest; a perfect opportunity to hook that trophy fish!

Hook guide
  • Belly/rear:  3/0 trebles front and back
  • Belly/rear:  3/0 treble and 5/0 single
  • we have also used the Frantic with an assist off the tow point and a single on the rear
A great medium tackle GT lure

Terrific trout

Runfurly Banks YTK on Frantic

The WALKING series lure floats head up and tail down at rest.   The lure responds with input from the angler to control its side to side surface action.  It is a fantastic lure to cast at trophy tuna and GT's and other large predators - at Ebb Tide Tackle we stock Walker in base patterns or as custom works of art
  • Orientation:  Floating with tail down
  • Action:  Top water zig zag with rod work (walk the dog).  Diving bubble trail with rod sweep.
  • Length: 10 inches (255 mm)
  • Average weight:  5 to 6 ounces (140-145 grams)
  • Retrieve speed:  Very slow to fast
  • Skill level:  Moderate

Walking the Lure –  The Walking Series lure is the perfect weapon of choice during a mid or topwater feed.  Twitch and work the rod tip with a downward motion.  The lure will respond with a zig zag surface skim while the tail sits in the water.  The splashes generated by the lure triggers a frenzied feeding response resulting in spectacular blowups.
Sweep and Pause –   Sweep the rod tip all the way from right to left and then pause.  Retrieve the line with a few cranks of the reel while returning to the original position and then repeat.  The sweeping motion makes the lure dive with a trail of bubbles and surfaces head first at rest.  During the dive, the lure will roll under water, exposing its flashy sides and pearl belly.  This visual display triggers the feeding response of the predator so hang on during the pause, this is when strikes happen.
Swim and skim –  Keep the rod tip down to swim the lure just under the surface with an erratic left/right/up/down motion.  Varying the retrieve speed will enhance its erratic swimming nature while keeping the rod tip down.
Retrieving the lure with the rod tip up will create a surface skimming action, just like flying fish or ballyhoo breaking the surface.  Pausing the retrieve after skimming will mimic an injured ballyhoo or flying fish that has just landed.

Hook guide
  • Belly/rear:  7/0, to 4/0 trebles
  • Belly/rear: 8/0 to 9/0 singles
  • Belly/rear: belly treble with a single tail hook
Large bluefin on Walker

Walker munching GT

Amberjack on Walker Ballyhoo

The CRUISING series lures sink and swim with an enticing side to side wobble and tail kick, just like a cruising mackerel.  The perfect strategic when the bite is subsurface or if the current or wind make using surface lures too difficult.  Like the Walker series, the Cruiser is available in base patterns or custom colors.
  • Orientation:  Horizontal slow/fast sinking (hook dependent)
  • Action:  Alternating side to side swimming action with retrieve
  • Length:  10 inches  (255 mm)
  • Average weight:  6.5 to 7 ounces  (185-190 grams)
  • Retrieve speed:  Medium to fast
  • Skill level:  Low to moderate
Swimming the Lure –  The Cruising Series does best with a moderate to fast retrieve with an occasional pause.  The pause enables the lure to sink to the feeding zone while the retrieve creates a side to side motion.  The cruiser’s strike appeal comes from its quick erratic action mimicking a disoriented bait fish, drawing them in for a strike.
A faster retrieve will enhance the action of the lure, making it swim and erratically kick its tail.  I prefer to use this lure when the surface action is slow as the fish may be feeding deep. Cast it out, pause and let it sink, retrieve the lure and hold on!

Hook guide
  • Belly/rear:  7/0 trebles to 4/0 trebles
  • Belly/rear: 8/0 to 9/0 singles
  • Belly/rear: combination belly treble with a single tail hook

What a pair - Cruiser strikes

Imparting your desired action on the Kratos is easy since the lure has been tuned to accept a wide variety of hook configurations, including a front assist-hook.  The Kratos’ amazingly stable design enables it to be retrieved at both slow and very fast speeds while keeping a consistent action.  This lure stability is shown when the lure is retrieved at a high speed -OR- trolled!  Kratos can be trolled at a modest 6-8 knots and can handle speeds up to 14 (see hook recommendations).  Imagine trolling a weedline or temperature break while looking for signs of life.  Seeing a frenzy in the distance, you grab your spinning rod, retrieve the lure and cast to the feed of a lifetime!
KRATOS has been designed for maximum presentation while offering an impressive silhouette in the water, attracting all the apex predators in a food chain.

  • Length: 12 inches (305 mm)
  • Average weight:  8.25 ounces (230-235 grams)
  • 0.093 inch (2.4 mm) thick x-heavy wiring
  • Orientation: Horizontal floating
  • Action:
    • – Walk the dog; side to side cadence
    • – Wobbling side to side swimming action with retrieve
    • – “S” Dive with rod sweep, floats at rest
  • Retrieve speed: medium to fast
  • Skill level: Low to moderate
  • Trolling depth:  Dives down up to 2 to 4 feet (trolling speed dependent); floats at rest
  • Trolling speed:  5-10 knots, up to 14 knots with appropriate sized hooks
  • Trolling distance: 60 feet or more (trolling speed dependent)
  • Action: Aggressive subsurface swimming action
  • Skill level:Low

CASTING the lure and twitching the rod tip during the retrieve will impart a side to side cadence, keeping the lure in the feeding zone where it is most effective.  Sweeping the rod tip in a downward motion will allow the lure to dive down with a swift tail kick.  A pause between rod sweeps will make the lure float horizontally for maximum presentation for the target species to notice.  The broad silhouette of the lure will attract predators from below, while the impressive side profile will catch the keen eye of any hungry species from a distance.

TROLLING can be achieved by strategically placing the lure past the prop wash while the boat is at IDLE.  While a spinning reel may be used while high speed trolling, keep in mind that the drag and line will vibrate exponentially as speed increases.

Hook guide casting 
  • Belly/rear: 8/0 trebles (or smaller)
  • Belly/rear: 5/0 with 10/0 single
  • Belly/rear: 12/0 singles
  • Nose/rear:  Front assist-hook (9/0 or larger) with 5/0 treble (or 9/0 single)
 Hook guide trolling
  • Belly/rear: 5/0 trebles (or larger)
  • Belly/rear: 5/0 treble with 4/0 treble
  • Belly/rear: 5/0 treble with 10/0 single
  • Belly/rear: 10/0 singles (or larger)
Massive bluefin tuna taken on a cast Kratos