In 2017, we published four gear guides that featured soft-plastic hellgrammites, and we vowed that we would continue writing and publishing gear guides about hellgrammites in 2018.
And our fifth gear guide focuses on the three-inch soft-plastic hellgrammite that is manufactured by Lunker City Fishing of Meriden, Connecticut. It is called Hellgie.
A hellgrammite is the larvae of the eastern dobsonfly. The lifespan of its larval stage can stretch from one to five years. When they reach maturity, some can be five inches long, but most are 2 1/2 inches long. Anatomically, its body consists of three sections: head, thorax, and abdomen. Its body is flat. The tip of its head is adorned with short antennae and a mandible or pincher jaws, which can render a painful bite. Its thorax has three segments, and a pair of legs, which etymologists call prolegs, that branch out from the sides of each of the thorax's three segments. Its abdomen possesses eight segments, and a pair of appendages radiate off of each side of the eight abdominal segments. At the tip of the abdomen, there is a pair of appendages. Etymologists call them hooked appendages, which help hellgrammites from being swept away from their abodes by various kinds of water currents.
The Lunker City rendition of a hellgrammite is an abstract one. In fact, some anglers call the Hellgie a creature bait, and Midwest finesse anglers are always in search for small creature baits. In some ways, it reminds many veteran Midwest finesse anglers of the great and extremely effective Puddle Jumper that the late Chuck Woods of Kansas City, Missouri, created in the early 1970s.
The Hellgie's head, thorax, and abdomen are cylinder-shaped and one and three-quarters of an inch long. From its head to the end of its abdomen, the circumference of its body becomes progressively smaller.
A small appendage radiates off of each side of its head, and the tip of each appendage is endowed with a tiny ball. The tip of its head is flat.
The three segments of its thorax are embellished with six appendages, and there are three on each side. Each appendage possesses a 45-degree joint or bend. They are somewhat similar to the prolegs of a real hellgrammite.
Its abdomen is graced with seven segments. On each side of the first two segments of is abdomen, there are two small and straight segments. Four of the other five segments are devoid of appendages. The abdomen's segments are smaller than the ones on its thorax, and a few of them are small enough that some anglers might call them ribs.
Radiating from each side of the seventh of last segment is a long, thin, flat tail. It is one and a quarter inches in length.
The folks at Lunker City note that the Hellgie's 12 appendages and its two tails seductively quiver and undulate. They note that it works well on a drop-shot rig and affixed to a jig. When it is affixed to a jig, they recommend that Midwest finesse anglers use a Lunker City's Ultralite Ball LunkerGrip jig, which sports a No. 4 hook.
It is manufactured in the following colors: Arkansas Shiner, Black, Black/Green Belly, Black Pumpkin, Brown Bug, Bubblegum, Chartreuse Pepper, Green Pumpkin, Ice, Junebug, Junebug/Green Belly, Olive Pepper, Pumpkin Green Flake, Pumpkin Perch, Purple Majesty, Red Shad, Rusty Melon, Smoke, and Watermelon.
It is not impregnated with salt or scent.
A package of 15 costs $4.49.
(1) Here are two links to Lunker City Fishing's website:
This is a link to their LunkerGrip jig: https://lunkercity.com/collections/terminal/products/ultra-lite?variant=33114194694.
This is a link to their Hellgie: https://lunkercity.com/collections/creature-baits/products/hellgies?variant=32844500294.
(2) When the Hellgie is affixed to a jig, Midwest finesse anglers can employ all six six of the standard Midwest finesse retrieves, as well as critical improvisation with those six presentations. Here is a link to a Midwest finesse column that describes how and where to employ those six retrieves: https://www.in-fisherman.com/midwest-finesse/six-midwest-finesse-retrieves/.