Stop, Drop & Roll


A few years ago I joined a friend for a trip to the boat dealer as he prepared to order 20 feet of fiberglass priced at over $60,000. He had a very detailed list of options that he wanted, and I sat semi-quietly as he led the dealer through his preferred build.

When they got to Power Poles, he was unequivocal that he wanted a pair of them. (Good call, I’d say).

Next came the trolling motor, and although this was going to be a big boat, he wanted to save weight and a little bit of money, so he opted for a 24V system instead of a 36V model. (Bad call, I’d say).

His dealer summed up what I was thinking, more concisely than I could: “Let me get this straight. You’re willing to spend $4,000 to STOP your boat, but you won’t spend a few hundred more to help it GO?”

When it comes to lures, most of us have the opposite approach. We’re very concerned with how our lures go – relying on all manners of wiggling, shimmying, darting and burning to make fish bite – but we give very little thought to making them stop. Sure, we’ve deadsticked worms, we’ve had suspending jerkbaits for decades, and the swimbait freaks have developed all sorts of tricks to make their big old baits do a 180 and then quietly stare a trailing fish in the face, but for most of our lures we’re more concerned with triggering fish through movement than through a lack of movement.

Some recent developments in the tackle world made me think about this in a new light. For example, at ICAST Rapala released their RipStop jerkbait, which features a “rear lip” that reportedly causes it to stop abruptly after the rip. Similarly, Megabass supplemented their I-Slide glide bait (which continues to “slide” forward when the retrieve is paused) with the similar-looking I-Brake, which liked the RipStop stops suddenly. IMA has introduced a suspending vibration bait, which is a concept that I’ve loved ever since I used to buy a similar Team Daiwa lure via ebay back in the day. While fish will always chase down their prey, perhaps what these companies are telling us is that a forage fish that goes from 60 to 0 tastes every bit as sweet as one that goes from 0 to 60, or even one that goes from 30 to 60.