August 23, 2018
By Ned Kehde
Since the dawn of the 21st century, one of the standard Midwest finesse lures has experienced a goodly number of manifestations, and we hope that we have published a gear guide about most of them.
But for some unknown and unacceptable reason during the past 15 or so years, we have failed to write about and publish a gear guide about Venom Lures' Salty Sling, which is a soft-plastic stick-style lure.
Therefore, we hope to somewhat rectify this mistake with this gear guide that focuses on the three-inch Salty Sling.
Dave Maurice of Buckeye Lake, Ohio, who is the proprietor of Venom Lures of Lancaster, Ohio, told us that the Salty Sling was created shortly after Gary Yamamoto of Palestine, Texas, began manufacturing the Senko. And the manufacturing of the Senko commenced just after the turn of the century.
Maurice manufactures a three-, four-, and five-inch Salty Sling. Of those three, the three-incher is the one that most Midwest finesse anglers will affix to a small mushroom-style jig, which they will employ by presenting it to their black bass quarries with the six standard Midwest finesse retrieves or slight variations of those retrieves. But there will be times, when some Midwest finesse anglers opt for the four-incher; such as when they are pursuing largemouth bass and spotted bass that are residing along deep-water ledges and other deep-water haunts during the heart of the summer in reservoirs like Table Rock Lake, Missouri.
The three-inch Salty Sling is actually three and five-eighths inches long.
Since the late 1950s, Midwest finesse anglers have been never-ending customizers of soft-plastics lures. Thus, some Midwest finesse anglers might customize the Salty Sling a touch by amputating its head and a bit of its torso in order to make it a tad shorter.
Its mouth or tip of its head is flat, and it is five-sixteenths of an inch wide with a circumference of about an inch.
The section of its torso from the tip of its head to the beginning of its clitellum or egg sack is fifteen-sixteenths of an inch long. It is segmented with 13 ribs.
The clitellum is five-eighths of an inch long and five-sixteenths of an inch wide with a circumference of about one inch. Its skin is smooth and devoid of ribs.
The section of its torso that stretches from the end of the clitellum to the tip of its tail or anus is 1 15/16 inches long. It is segmented with 28 ribs. Its anus or the tip of its tail replicates the anus of a nightcrawler; thus, it is pointed and similar to the shape of a sharpened pencil.
Maurice told us that his Salty Sling is impregnated with larger grains of salt than other soft-plastic stick-style baits, which helps to make it softer and more durable than similar baits. It is also permeated with Venom's signature GRAB scent.
It is available in the following colors: Avocado, Baby Bass, Black/Blue Glitter, Black/ Red Glitter, Bubble Gum, Chartreuse Pepper, Clear Black Red Glitter, Green Pumpkin, Green Pumpkin Candy, Green Pumpkin Copper, June Bug, Minnow Flash, Pearl Silver Glitter, Pumpkinseed, Rootbeer Green, Smoke Black, Smokey Purple, Tomato Seed, Watermelon, Watermelon Candy, Watermelon Gold Glitter, Watermelon Red Glitter, and Watermelon Red Green Glitter.
Anglers can purchase a package of eight for $5.31 and a package of 50 for $22.94.
(1) Here is a link to Venom Lures' website: https://www.venomlures.com/.
(2) Maurice told us that they have created a package that is called the Ven-Rig Series, which includes a package of eight three-inch Salty Slings and one of their Ven-Rig Heads, which is a mushroom-style jig with a wire bait-keeper. The bait-keeper is five-sixteenths of an inch long, and it extends from the back of the head of the jig along the bottom of the shank of the hook. A package of these cost $5.31. On some Internet venues, the Salty Sling is called Venom Lures' Salty Sling Ned Worm.
(3) The Ven-Rig Head is manufactured in four sizes: 1/32-, 1/16-, 1/8-, and 1/4-ounces. The 1/32- and 1/16-ounce models sport a No. 1 hook. The 1/8-ouncer sports a 1/0 hook. The 1/4-ounce Ven-Rig Head has a 2/0 hook. They are available in the following hues: Black, Chartreuse, Fire Orange, Green Pumpkin, and White. A package of four costs $4.99, and a package of 50 costs $37.50.
(4) For power anglers, Venom Lures has a weedless mushroom-style jig, which is endowed with a 4/0 offset hook. They are called the D-K Heads. Here are two photographs that feature it.
(5) Here is a link to a Midwest Finesse column that describes how to employ the six Midwest Finesse retrieves with a three-inch Salty Sling: http://www.in-fisherman.com/midwest-finesse/six-midwest-finesse-retrieves/.
(6) In the near future, we hope to publish a gear guide about Venom Lures' 2.75-inch Bingo Shad. It is also available in their Ven-Rig Series.