During the fall of 2015, Andrew Upshaw of Jenks, Oklahoma, Gary Dollahon of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, George Toalson of Claremore, Oklahoma, and other folks who work for and with Gene Larew Lures began to create a multifaceted Midwest finesse bait.
After laboring to create several prototypes and molds, the initial production run of their Inch Worm began on Sept. 29. The first two colors that they produced were Green Pumpkin and Morning Dawn.
Dollahon and Upshaw are members of the Finesse News Network, and across the years, we have written many works about their piscatorial prowess. Such as the Midwest Finesse column that we published about how Upshaw successfully employed a Midwest finesse tactic at the Walmart FLW Tour event at Beaver Lake, Arkansas on April 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17. He used a customized version of the Gene Larew's green-pumpkin Salt Flick'R and watermelon-pepper Salt Flick'R.
The Salt Flick'R is a unique six-inch stickbait. It is such a multidimensional soft-plastic bait that the folks at Larew describe it as a sinking worm, swimbait, shaky worm, and do-nothing worm. Upshaw made it into a Midwest finesse bait by customizing the Salt Flick'R with a pair of scissors to remove its head and portions of its torso. After that amputation procedure, he affixed the 3 1/4-inch tail segment to a green-pumpkin 1/10-ounce mushroom-style jig.
After the Beaver Lake tournament and into the fall of 2016, Upshaw began thinking about creating a soft-plastic Midwest finesse bait that would encompass some of the virtues of the Salt Flick'R and Larew's TattleTail Worm.
Ultimately, they created the Inch Worm, which is 3.75 inches long. Dollahon said its name was derived from the demarcations along its back that serve as measurement indicators, and the two most noticeable indicators are an inch apart.
Its head is dome shaped, possessing a circumference of 1 3/8 inches where it joins the torso.
Its tail replicates the one that garnishes the TattleTail Worm, which is what John Murray of Spring City, Tennessee -- who is a Bass Elite Series angler and the designer of the TattleTail -- calls a tiny swimming foot. The section of the tail between the swimming foot and the Inch Worm's torso is smooth-skinned and skinny. It is an inch long.
Its torso is three inches long, and it is thick where it joins its head, measuring 1 1/8 inches in circumference. As torso flows to the tail, it becomes significantly smaller, measuring a half of an inch in circumference.
The belly portion of its torso is endowed with 20 ridges or segments, which the folks at Larew describe as forward-facing teeth. These teeth or ridges are designed to create vibration.
The back portion of its torso is embellished with scores of minor ribs. In the center of its back, there is a narrow two-inch gap, which serves as a hook slot and adds to the flexibility of the bait. Also along the back, there are four demarcations. The demarcations that are one and two inches from the tip of its domed head are more pronounced than the ones that are 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 inches from the tip of its head. Because Midwest finesse anglers are inveterate customizers, Larew created these exact demarcations to facilitate the customization or downsizing of the Inch Worm.
So, when Upshaw and other Midwest finesse anglers want to use a three-inch or shorter stick-style bait rather than a worm, they can employ a variety of amputations, such as removing the domed head and the tail. Of course, they can continue using it as worm, but shorten it a touch by removing its head and a short segment of its upper torso.
It is manufactured in 10 colors: Blackberry Sapphire, Green Pumpkin, June Bug Lite, Mad Bluegill, Minnesota Flash, Montezuma's Revenge, Morning Dawn, Sooner Run, Threadfin Shad, and Western Craw.
Anglers can purchase a bag of seven for $4.29.
(1) Here are two links two Midwest Finesse columns about Andrew Upshaw:
(2) Here is a link to a Midwest Finesse column about the three days we spent with the folks who work with Gene Larew Lures: https://www.in-fisherman.com/bass/three-days-with-gene-larew-lures-and-bill-lewis-outfitters/.
(3) Here is the link to Larew's website: http://www.genelarew.com/index.php.
(4) In the months to come, we will write more insights about how, when, and where to employ the Inch Worm. We hope some of these insights will focus Andrew Upshaw's ways with it. Until then, here is his initial insight about its effectiveness, which he wrote in an Oct. 3 email: "I have used them a few times now and I'm overly impressed. At first glance I thought using it cut down would be a better method, but I've learned that rigging it up as it comes tends to get me a bunch of bites. Between the quality colors we will have and the style of bait, I think we've really hit a home run with this worm."
(5) To read about how some Midwest finesse anglers will retrieve the Inch Worm, please see the story at this link: https://www.in-fisherman.com/midwest-finesse/six-midwest-finesse-retrieves/.