Monday, 21 August 2017 06:00


The term ‘hard lures’ covers both plugs and metal lures – but here we are looking at plugs, rather than the many varieties of spoons, spinners and jigs available to anglers.

Nowadays the majority of plug bodies are made of plastic, but historically they were carved from wood, and it is still possible to buy carved wooden plugs today.

One thing that basic plastic and wooden plugs have in common is that they naturally tend to float. To make them dive below the surface, ‘lips’ were added to lures to dig into the water on retrieve, making them dive below the water’s surface. Initially these lips were made of metal, but plastic is more commonly used now. This technology is still used, even though it is easier to make plastic lures sink by simply adding weight to them.

Modern lure patterns are very sophisticated, their hollow bodies lending themselves to having ball bearings installed, which as well as providing a fish-attracting rattle also shift position on the cast to make the lures fly further.

Modern printing techniques have increased the number of colours and finishes available on hard lures, and there is now a wealth of eye-catching patterns that some might claim make an even better job of attracting anglers than their quarry!

As lure design has become more sophisticated, the techniques for fishing them have also developed, and styles such as ‘walking the dog’ have gained popularity.

The lures in use these days often have enough ‘action’ to work well with a simple, single-paced retrieve. However, by using more developed techniques the action of the lure can be ‘tweaked’ to draw more strikes from fish.



1 Make sure you match your lure size to the casting weight of your rod; over or underloading will limit the distance that you can cast.

2 Size can have a greater effect on the attraction of a lure than the colour, so it makes sense to have different sizes of lures in your armoury, rather than concentrating on changing colours.

3 It’s possible to have too much of a good thing. Sometimes lures with exaggerated actions can spook fish, and this also holds true for lures that rattle. More subtle patterns can be very good fish catchers.

4 It’s possible to fish the same lure in a number of different ways; always try to ‘work’ the lure to give it the sort of action that the fish want. Something as simple as speeding up or slowing down the rate of retrieve can work very well.

5 Give your lures a good chance to work before changing them – having a lure in the water for longer, rather than continually being out of the water changing it, will give you more chance of catching.


Lucky Craft Gunfish 135

Lure type: Surface

The 135 is the biggest lure in the Gunfish series, measuring 135 millimetres – just over five inches. A top-water lure, it is suitable for walking the dog-style retrieves, and also for popping if fished more enthusiastically, thanks to its ‘cupped mouth’ design.

Weighing in at 1oz (28g) it contains a ball bearing to add rattle and aid casting.

W: www.fishonlures.co.uk

RRP: £14.99

luckycraft gunfish135



Illex Bonnie 95

Lure type: Surface

The Bonnie 95 is a 95mm surface lure weighing in at around ½oz, or 12.5g. A Japanese lure, it has four tungsten beads to give rattle and casting weight, and it is a four-chamber design.

A nice lure for walking the dog presentations on the top of the water, it can be manipulated to give a wide variety of actions, including some quite sharp darting moves and water-displacing chugs.

W: www.fishonlures.co.uk

RRP: £16.99

Illex Bonnie 95



IMA Komomo SF 125

Lure type: Sub Surface – Diver

This shallow-diving 16g lure is a popular choice when bass are showing an interest in surface lures but not taking them. Its angled face aids diving, giving it a ‘wounded fish trying to get below the surface’ look.

A long-casting lure, thanks to internal weighting and a slim profile, this lure has an enticing action and can be made to head towards the surface by raising the rod tip.

W: www.fishonlures.co.uk

RRP: £17.95

IMA SF 125


IMA Sasuke 120

Lure type: Medium Diver

At just 17g the Sasuke 120 casts well and is one of the easiest lures to fish. Even a straight path retrieve will do the job as the lure has a real wobble to it.

More rod manipulation really brings the lure to life, and it is a huge favourite with hardcore UK bass anglers. A good choice in quite heavy seas, where its stability can help generate takes among the maelstrom.

W: www.fishonlures.co.uk

RRP: £17.95

IMA Sasuke 120


Tackle House Morkyn 106

Lure type: Sinking

This 16g 106mm lure is a slow sinker, quite capable of picking up fish as it simply falls through the water. On retrieve it has a strong action, and it can be encouraged to dart from side to side by twitching the rod tip.

The flat belly enables it to be kept very near to, and even on, the surface while it is being retrieved, making it a very versatile lure. Nice and slim, it casts well.

W: www.fishonlures.co.uk

RRP: £21.99

Tackle House Morkyn



Sebile Ghost Walker

Lure type: Surface

The 110mm 28g Sebile Ghost Walker lure has a rather unusual shape; however, it’s a shape that has become very popular. One of the most versatile surface lures out there, it’s good for walking the dog and a number of different retrieve methods that will draw even reluctant fish to it.

A good choice in flat-calm conditions when fish are wary, it can be fished so that it does ‘just enough’ to get them up and looking. With more rod action it can be made to pop too.

W: www.uk.purefishing.com

RRP: £13.99



Jinza Bandsman

Lure type: Surface

The 125mm 21g Bandsman lure is new from the well-respected Jinza stable.

A top-water lure capable of giving a decent ‘pop’ due to its open mouth and flared gill design, it is also a good lure for slide fishing with a side to side action.

With a built-in rattle at the tail it casts well and offers a nice slim profile similar to a good variety of prey fish.

W: www.grauvell.com

RRP: £11.99



Abu Hi-Lo

Lure type: Surface/Diver

The Abu Hi-Lo has been around for a good number of years now, and it remains a classic lure with its lazy side-to-side action.

Borrowing a lot of its original shape from the classic Heddon Spook series, the two firms did collaborate for a number of years on that tried and tested pattern.

As a floating plug the Hi-Lo was a groundbreaking lure, in that it featured an easily moveable lip that allowed the lure to be fished sub-surface and at different depths. It’s still a very clever ploy today – definitely an oldie but goodie.

W: www.uk.purefishing.com

RRP: £7.99

Hi lo Floating Wobbler

Savage Gear Horny Herring

Lure type: Slow Sink

Despite being blessed with possibly one of the worst lure names ever, the horny herring is a very effective lure. One of the smaller lures at eight and 10 centimetres and 13 and 23g respectively, it casts very well thanks to its tungsten internals.

The real attraction comes from its 3D holographic patterning, plus a drunken rolling action that works very well just on a straight retrieve. An added bonus is that this lure comes with an additional single hook on a split ring, for anglers who prefer this setup over trebles.

W: www.savage-gear.com

RRP: £7.99 to £8.99

IMG 9249



Nomura Yori

Lure type: Surface

The 130mm 217g Nomura Yori is a Japanese designed pencil-type surface lure with a flickering side-to-side action. A small plastic lip allows the lure to dig just below the surface for a wounded fish look.

There are plenty of rattling beads inside this lure too, making it cast like a bullet.

Well designed and specifically aimed at saltwater species.

W: www.fishingmayhem.com

RRP: £7.99

IMG 9238



All of these fantastic lures are worth a place in my lure box, but I’m playing safe and going for a lure that has done well for me when times were tough. The Sebile Ghost Walker gets my vote this time around.


Like what you see?


Or buy a single issue




Other titlesmf magfeedermatch livepf plusthink fishing