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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Its not often that I get to put a lure (hard or soft) in to a proper current around here and let it just do it's thing, but just reading something of Keith's got me thinking for those times when I do.

Bait fish of varying sizes obviously have different levels of strength when it comes to facing in to and holding position in current. For example, tiny fry will be swept along in currents that larger smelt for example may easily hold. Then there will also be a level of current where the smelt too are forced to go with it.

While it is easy for us to always just chuck on an XLayer no matter how strong the current, does anybody or has anybody found that they match the size of their lure to the current strength? - increasing the lure size to match the current strength?
 

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LOL....

Now you are 'thinking'...

I might expand later but there is correlation between current, depth and lure size/profile.
It is something I'm only really starting to appreciate after this seasons results but, whilst I don't have the right or wrong completely nailed...

I do have a formula.

It not just about size but shape, denisty and balance too amongst other stuff. In fact, stuff most don't care to analyise.

I figured you might be one of the first somehow....

LOL
 

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Interesting question Ben, I'm interested in hearing what people (Keith etc) have to say on this as I've been getting into fishing lures in current a bit this year. As you know, Giant Xlayer and Athlete SS(120) have been doing well, but only been chucking these as they're what I've had on me.

Not sure whether different size lures would get different, or better reactions at different speed of drift?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
lol, wish I'd had more time for 'thinking' this year.

It not just about size but shape, denisty and balance too amongst other stuff.
Can imagine. My mind's all over it at the moment.
 

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Got a feeling I'm going to love this thread, you guys think the stuff that I keep forgetting to think about lol.

Is that true of fishing current anywhere Keith? I.e over rock gutters and also clean estuary? I guess it's just the fact that I've managed to catch each time I've fished the estuary, so not had reason to consider the unknown.
 

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Just to start off.....

lets take 2 lures...

xlayer and giant xlayer.

one is longer, one is heavier, fish show a preference for the former but why....

so, you think 4" is the answer. You snag up and loose your last xlayer and replace with a 4" Senko or whatever, bites stop !

Why ?

clues:

length, profile, current speed and incline on the swing created by....

'planing'

I want you to think about it before I give my findings that came mostly from swinging hard needles, senko's and xlayers in extensive tests across current.
This is when you realise, there is way more to lure fishing and presentation than first meets the eye.
 

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A lot of my bigger fish have come from an estuary with a very strong tide. I didn't analyse to the nth degree but still think about what would be a 'natural' presentation in those circumstances. What type (or size) of fish would hold current and where. Not just holding current though, how else might they behave in the flow, they will move across and back, up and down in the water column and backwards and forwards in the flow.
Good post, perhaps I should analyse it more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Nice one guys. Will have more of a think about it while I'm out this afternoon with Hywel. Got to rush through some work before then...
 

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Ok Keith,
I total get that differing sp will behave differently when swung across the current-Same thing happens with flies even when dressed on the same size hooks-the relative bulk of the pattern will cause them to fish at a different depth and speed.
So given your example of losing your last successful Sp and trying to duplicate the presentation with a different Sp, I would assume that a combination of mending the line to increase or decrease the speed of the swing and possibably the addition or removal of weight in the rig would allow at least some of the swing to present in a similar way to the orginal Sp.
Again from your example X Slayer against a senko, I would asume that mending down stream with the line and a slight reduction of any weight would allow the senk to follow a similar track to the X-Slayer.
 

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Ben,
Size of the lure I use in a current hasn't really been something I concider, and before that causes too many comments there is a reason why.
The size of the lure I am using in current will generally be governed by the size of bait that is present in the current. Small bait=small lures, big bait=big lures.
Speed of the flow does cause differing lures to be selected though, slower flows tend to respond to sub surface stickbaits fished WITH the flow, the exact size/weight combination determined by the depth at which you wish to present the lure. Faster flows seem to respond to lures fished across and down, or trotted and swung. Here the weight of the lure is not an issue, but the diving depth and speed/aggresiveness of the action is critical.
 
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ok....let me expand a little without try to overcomplicate it (as if LOL)

xlayer standard vs xlayer giant vs senko 4" vs senko 5". I've chosen those because at least some guys are familiar with at least one of those.

lets assume for the sake of arguement that we are fishing these on the same hook too with no added weight.

We will first describe a left to right flow, about 6ft deep maybe. The flow speed does not require you to cast upcurrent to achieve any depth.

We have the xlayer standard, 2 options, either, narrow side down or flat side down. The faster the flow, the more inclined I would be to fish, narrow side down. Why ?
Because it reduces the 'planing' surface and it also tracks better across current.

So, we've cast out, the lure sinks slowly and a bow starts to form in the line. We could mend if the flow means the bow drags the lure through at a less than desirable speed but today, we don't need it, we are getting the lure to track across the flow by casting at various angles across and down current. the slower the flow, the more across you would generally cast.

Lure impacts the water and starts to sink and track across the flow. This track can be altered by either lifting and dropping the rod, or feeding the lure in various ways. This time, we aren't making any alterations, it's just cast out, a bow forms and the lure starts moving.

A xlayer standard rigged flat side down will plane higher in the water initially, then drop more slowly before again, sliding quickly up to the surface again on the dangle (directly below the angle perpendicular to the current).

A Giant xlayer casts further, is heavier (sinks faster right ?), no. It actually stays higher if rigged flat side down or narrow side down when held in flow, drifted or otherwise because it's density v's water displacement is differnt to the 4" version and, it has a greater planing surface. This planing surface increases with both width and length on ANY lure, hard, or soft.

If we think a fish wants a subsurface wake AND is sitting lower in the water due to high light levels or increased flow then, the standard xlayer might fish deeper for longer than the giant ? Strange but true. The standard xlayer also has the hook set further back along its overall length than the giant. This gives the giant xlayer a more forward bias in it's weight IF the same hook size is used. I always change UP not just in gape size but in shank length to counteract any undesirable weight shifts.

Ok, still here...

shape:

Xlayers have narrowing tails, bulky body and by comparision, a non symmetrical head shape by comparison to the tail. Xlayers, left to drift, will fall with a head down bias but it isn't significantly so.

Whilst we are on shape, lets discuss attitude before moving to cover the senko.

In current or not, giant xlayer is easier to jerk under the water than say a senko.
eg:

Level straight tubular plastic has no desire to dive, rise, wobble or roll all else being equal. Lets assume that we are retrieving at near equillibrium speeds (one at which the natural attitude of the lure and hook is preserved). The level straight tube will just retrieve, straight and level as long as we fish a dead rod style and the retrieve speed is not fast enough to lift it, or slow enough to let it sink.

Got that, it just sits level, rides level, does nothing but push a very faint wake or pressure wave.

Retrieve too slow and the lure will start to sink. In current too slow to maintain equillibrium, the lure will sink too until the drag from the bow, or the angler applies enough tension to regain 'equillibium'.

PHEW....

I hope you are still here..
I should have wrote this on my blog as it'll roll through and get lost here...

Lets say we add, 1g at the head of that level tube and do the same. The lure will, retieved too slowly, sink with a head bias. xlayer and split shot achieves this with a bottom bounce if the weight is heavy enough.
However: Add weight to the tail and only if the retrieve is stopped would the tail bias really be seen. In addition, a tail weighted straight tube or lure casts further but, on the retrieve, it's 'planing' surface is increased relative not only to it's length and width but, also it's tail weight. It acts like a kite catching the wind. An angled lure catches more water and rises MUCH faster either on retrieve or, a swing at the end of a drift. The longer and more tail bias a lure is, the less input it requires when opposite forces act upon it.

Breathe......

Senko's are different in that they are near symmetrical and fall level. they have a greater density than the xlayer and a uniform planing surface regardless or keel or, changes in vertical micro currents owing to the cross section. they have less tendency to ride up or rise up at the drifts end than an xlayer. cast out 'weedless soft needlefish' style...they will tend to travel back toward the angler at the very depth you allowed the lure to sink too IF that equllibrium is maintained.

Dave Watson: Giant v's standard eh..... I hope you get that above stuff as it WILL help but only if it is clearly understood.

Listen guys, i dare not expand more yet as I fear most will accuse me of over analysis thus far.

Like i said, most of this was learned from hard needlefish work and years and years of current work with varying shotting patterns designed to try to match the fall and downriver trajectory of a hook bait to a loose offering. mis spent life and all that...

I hope i have sort of started to explain this at the very least.
 

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Keith - Do you wear a white coat while you write this stuff? Scientific and very helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Cheers Keith.

Planing - makes sense.

I hadn't thought of tail weighting in this situation (duh!) - makes very good sense too. Is it fair to say that that only applies in an 'upstream' wind?

While the above explains a lot about profile and planing............................................................ hmmm. So as the current weakens, does it eventually get to the point where it just doesn't have enough power to drift a small bait (minimal planing), while it still would a large XLayer? My original question was obviously about the actual lure size (length particularly), but would it be more accurate to say that having the ability to fish a lure effectively (as long as lure length is within realistic boundaries) actually outweighs the 'match the hatch' requirement? I.e. no point fishing a small bait that matches the hatch if you just can't get it to look right - unless you change techniques?!..........
 

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Fishing it all used to be so uncomplicated when I was a kid.

Now it's making my head hurt, but I knew that degree in Physics would come in handy one day :wink:
 

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It's not meant to be complicated guys. More of a 'Lets know what is happening at the business end'.

Ben:

Yes, length and match the hatch but that is no good if you can't present it correctly.
This is why i made the above example about just 2 lures. Imagine how complex it gets when you look at all the lures we carry.

Scenario:

Fast filling gutter, 2 hours UP the floodtide.

We have learned by fishing this mark that the fish arrive at a certain flow rate and depth. We have a 15 minute window in which to fish and the water will rise 2ft in that time.
There is a certain rock that covers and nearly always, if you are going to get a take, it'll happen just as it covers...

They have previously shown a preference for swung 4" Senko's on dark nights.

Ok, you could use that and return to this mark time and time again and repeat this pattern.

Questions:

1) Is it just that the Bass run as the rock covers ? results would reflect that.

2) Are we matching the prefered bait size ? There are sandeels in the 3 to 6" range in the vicinity.

3) Or, is it that, at that state of tide when the rock covers, our 4" Senko is behaving the best, in turn giving the best presentation yet, offering a bait length in the practical range and, at a depth that is where it is advantageous for the Bass to take it on ?


Well, in reality, this mark exists. It used to be a 1 fish mark. For years it was, on sluggo's or whatever, the timing was always slightly off but still centered around that rock. however, variances existed.

Now we learned that a simple lure swap in 3 stages can result in 2 or 3 of us on this very run producing 6 or 7 fish where 2 people before were destined to only get 2 and, at the same time. Of course, this is best case scenario and not an everyday feature just like any bass mark.

Who's to say if we refine it again and the fish are still around to run this section next season that we won't manage even more ? I don't know.
 

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This is a very interesting thread, gets you thinking, and fair play to the lads that can actually write about this stuff as it can, and does, come across long winded, but to witness it being done can turn a thousand words into a 5 minute demo. Thats the beauty of either having an experienced mate that used to be into fly fishing or trotting rivers, or like many of us by using a guiding service that actually shows you methods, not just one that takes you for a walk along a stoney beach :)

I am terrible at reading long posts, I get too excited and want to read them too fast and usually dont take it in properly. But I did read all of this one and it just shows the thought that can go into even the simplist of things, like making a lure drift down some flow just like a fish does....they litterally just drift, doing nothing.

I like this video, not exactly what we are on about here but very simular. I try to do this on the boat, but its another kettle of fish when what you are standing on is drifting too.....different but not a million miles away.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdU0M944pJs&feature=sub
 

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no worries guys....

if only a fraction gets over, its a fraction more...

I've heard this "Keith, it all makes sense now I'm doing it" so many times .....

Actual experience is worth a million words.
 
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