November 01, 2012
By Matt Straw
What was I thinking? It's Halloween. It's nice out, and candy zombies are crawling out of the woodwork. May have to barricade the doors pretty soon.
But, in keeping with the season, this would be Mr. Hyde's tackle box. As promised. Call these lures ultralight plus — a little heavier, longer, and bigger than true ultralight lures. The next size up. The midlin' fairs. Things that match nicely with 4-pound braid (which, as we determined earlier today, actually test out as 8-pound lines) and Dark Side ultralight rods. These lures corral mammoth smallmouths, but you can't really throw them anywhere on medium or even medium-light tackle with traditional lines.
Up on the lid you see a couple Glassic Vib 50 sinking, vibrating baits (which I couldn't find a link for). The XR06 Rapala X-Raps in the upper left compartment are 2.5-inches long. In shallow clear water, where smallies spook from their own shadows, a tedious presentation with one of these babies seldom fails. The fast-sinking versions of the Sebile Magic Swimmers next door (upper right) are about the same length. They sneak in at speed and rile up vicious reaction strikes.
The jigs along the left side and bottom-middle compartments are primarily the Gopher Tackle Mushroom Heads I've been writing about because they offer 1/16- to 1/8-ounce jigs with various styles and sizes of hooks, some of which are fine-wire Gamakatsus — perfect for setting hooks way out there with light line and light rods.
In the upper-center portion of the box you'll find a few SPRO sinking BBZ-1 Baby Shads — mini swimbaits that produced some very nice bronzebacks for me this year on pressured waters. Next to those, some little #3 and #4 Salmo Hornets. Hors deurves on the snack tray? Sometimes that's all they want. Smallmouths crush these things.
Below that, Mr. Hyde seems to be carrying some (relatively) deep-diving Yo-Zuri Pins Minnows and old Hardcores with 2.5-inch bodies. Who knows the near-ultralight universe better than Yo-Zuri? Finally, the smallest Rapala Rippin' Rap, a 1/4-ounce Terminator spinnerbait, and some 1/16- t0 1/4-ounce drop-shot weights. Some of those sizes you would never consider using with standard bass tackle. In the right conditions, these mini-mites bring to bay some pretty substantial bass.