Trigger X recently announced that it has three little soft-plastic baits that should catch the attentions of Midwest finesse anglers and the fish they pursue. They are the Flap Tail Grub, Wingding, and Nymph.
Because they are small, Trigger X classifies them as panfish baits. But as the acclaimed fishing guide, early practitioner of Midwest finesse tactics, and successful professional tournament angler, Guide Hibdon of Sunrise Beach, Missouri, said back in the late 1980s: "Many people don't believe that little baits will catch big fish, but they do. Gosh, we have proven it for years." And little baits are especially effective at bewitching largemouth bass and spotted bass of all sizes during the cold-water months.
Back in the 1960s, the late Harold Ensley of Overland Park, Kansas, introduced Hibdon and a number of Midwest finesse anglers to the manifold virtues of affixing a soft-plastic, flat-tailed bait to a jig. Ensley called that bait a Reaper. Back in those days, Midwest finesse anglers wielded two-, three-, and five-inch Reapers on small jigs with a 5 1/2-foot or shorter spinning rod. Across those years, the two-inch Reaper, as well as the three-incher, bewitched untold numbers of largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, spotted bass, crappie, temperate bass, trout, and other species.
But those original Reapers are no longer available. Consequently, the Reaper hasn't played a significant role in the repertoire of Midwest finesse anglers for more than a decade.
Trigger X, however, might have remedied that lapse by creating their two-inch Flap Tail Grub. And in the eyes of many old-time Midwest finesse anglers, the Flap Tail Grub looks as if it is the next generation of the Reaper. What's more, it looks as if it might be a touch more effective than the original two-inch Reaper, which, of course, was an extremely effective bait back in its heyday.
The torso of the Flap Tail Grub has a flat belly, which enhances its ability to glide when an angler employs a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.
Its back and sides are ringed with 12 ribs. The circumference of the torso becomes gradually smaller as it approaches the point where it joins the tail.
The tail is oval shaped and similar to a beaver's tail. As the Flap Tail Grub is being retrieved, the tail wobbles up and down, and this flapping is similar to the undulations of a leech. The tail is manufactured with a groove up the middle of it, which allows an angler to split the tail in half. When the tail is split, the leech motif changes to what the folks at Trigger X describe as a wounded-swimming-minnow motif.
It is available in the following traditional, laminated, and Ultra Glow colors: Black, Black Chartreuse (laminated), Black Pearl (laminated), Blue Pearl (laminated), Blood Red, Bubble Gum (laminated), Chartreuse Glow, Glow, Natural, Orange Chartreuse (laminated), Pearl White, Pink Glow (laminated), and Red Pearl (laminated).When fully charged, the Ultra Glow colors will glow for 15 minutes.
Dan Quinn of Hudson, Wisconsin, who is the Field Promotions Manager for Rapala, said that the Glow Colors are easy and quick to recharge. What's more, the charge lasts longer than it does on other glow-style baits that are on the market. Rapala also makes an accessory, which is called the Charge 'n Glow, that anglers can use to recharge glow lures, and it is extremely efficient, but Quinn says any light source will recharge them.
A package of eight Flip Tail Grubs can be purchased for $2.99. It is also available pre-rigged on 1/32- or 1/16-ounce VMC Jigs.
Years ago, a bevy of Midwest finesse anglers spent a lot of time wielding a small jig that was adorned with either a two-inch or a three-inch Puddle Jumper. The Puddle Jumper was created by the late Chuck Woods of Kansas City, and he whittled the first one from the tail of a five-inch Reaper. In many ways, Trigger X's two-inch Nymph looks to be an excellent new-age sequel to Woods' old-fashioned Puddle Jumper.
Some anglers describe the Nymph as a petite and abstract crayfish. The staff at Trigger X notes that it "replicates small aquatic insects and crustaceans that are primary food sources for fish year 'round."
Its torso is tube shaped and encompassed with eight ribs.
Below the last rib and adjacent to the two eyes on the top of its head, a claw-like appendage radiates off of each side of the Nymph. Two elongated and pointed appendages, which resemble a pair of enlarged antennae, extend from the tip of its nose.
The tip of its tail is mushroom-shaped.
It is available in the following traditional, laminated, and Ultra Glow colors: Black, Black Chartreuse (laminated), Black Pearl (laminated), Blue Pearl (laminated), Blood Red, Bubble Gum (laminated), Chartreuse Glow, Glow, Natural, Orange Chartreuse (laminated), Pearl White, Pink Glow (laminated), and Red Pearl (laminated).
Anglers can acquire a package of 8 for $2.99. It is also available pre-rigged on 1/32- or 1/16-ounce VMC Jigs.
Many Midwest finesse anglers are perpetually in search of creature baits, and Trigger X's Wingding might appeal to them. In essence, it is a tiny creature bait with eight tentacles. Therefore, it possesses the unique alluring qualities of a tube bait and a creature bait. It is 1 1/2-inches long. Its body or torso is solid, which increases its durability and the way it can be affixed to a jig. Its torso is tubular shaped. In addition to the tentacles that radiate off the end of the torso, each side of the torso is embellished with a pair of wings, and these wings augment the way it glides when Midwest finesse anglers employ their classic swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. Its back and the tops of both winds are embellished with eight ribs, and down the middle of the last four ribs on its back, there is a groove that runs perpendicular to the ribs and equally separates one side of the ribs from the other side. Its belly is also encircled with ribs.
The Wingding is available in the following traditional, laminated, and Ultra Glow colors: Black, Black Chartreuse (laminated), Black Pearl (laminated), Blue Pearl (laminated), Blood Red, Bubble Gum (laminated), Chartreuse Glow, Glow, Natural, Orange Chartreuse (laminated), Pearl White, Pink Glow (laminated), and Red Pearl (laminated).
Anglers can acquire a package of eight for $2.99. The Wingding is also available on pre-rigged 1/32- or 1/16-ounce VMC Wingding Jigs.
It is interesting to note that Dan Quinn said he was a major Puddle Jumper fan for more than two decades. In fact, it was the only bait he used for panfish during those many years. And in his eyes, Trigger X's production and development team incorporated a number of the fish-catching virtues of Woods' old Puddle Jumper into the Nymph and the Wingding.