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OK, as stated before, I only took up lure fishing this year and I had it fairly lucky so far, really. Yet the more I listen to what people say, the more of a birdsnest of info it becomes.

Right now, my mind gets chewed up with the "SW" option on lures. Perfect, you would think. A Salt Water option. But how important is this really? Or is it a "con" for want of better words? Is there any standard alteration of the original "FW" lure, to make it suitable for saltwater use?
I've heard some say that all it means is the hooks and split rings have been changed to ones that are less inclined to rust. But whilst hunting thru a Megabass catalogue, I noticed that for at least some of their SW lures, they also adjust the weights within the lures. Here's whats written there:-

"Flap slap saltwater is tuned for rougher saltwater conditions. It has a reinforced body shell and the diameter of the shaft balancer is 3.5 mm as compared to 3.2 mm for the regular flap slap model. This model is suitable for striped bass, sea bass and other saltwater game fish."

So, some lure manufacturers like to change the internals around a bit too...

Now, I was happily looking at buying some Bent Minnows the other day, but the colours I wanted were out of stock at this particular supplier. SO I have left it for now. But then finding, in a Japanese shop, a "SW" version of the Bent Minnow 106, it kinda made me wonder whether we are being sold the correct models, in the first place. By "WE", I mean the UK wholesalers, the shops over here and all the way to the punter who buys them. Should the lure anglers who play in the sea, be buying the SW version of the Bent Minnow or not?
And if it is so, that we should be using the SW version with the Bent Minnow, then how many other countless makes and models of lures are being mis-sold to the UK wholesalers, who then sell to the retailers, to then sell on to us, the consumers?

I know, that on the right day, in the right place you will catch bass on mackerel feathers, but on the whole, people have to work hard to find and entice a bass into biting onto his lure. The point being, that if the "SW" thing is a load of "codswallop" - to be polite - then why even put it on the packaging? Why make adjustments to the original lure. If its just to confuse and confound, then fair enough, but would someone let the novices know, please?

I know that given time, even the best of stainless split rings etc will show signs of rust. Even if its from the eye / loop built into the lure. But beyond upgrading these and the hooks, do the lures really need to be that critically balanced? Is it all just BS to confuse and baffle the newcomers to the game or should we concern ourselves with it?

Sorry about the messed up order of this. Sitting here's still not exactly comfy at the moment and I get distracted easily. Kinda like a woman in a clothes shop or any of you lot in a lure shop ;)
 

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I asked about the SW version right at the start mate, and for some reason we basically just can't get them. Theonly negative I have found with the BM is that the hooks do show signs of rust. In their case I would fully expect that the SW version just has slightly heavier, more salt friendly hooks. The difference in weight is likely to be enough to compensate for the difference in water density between fresh and salt too. As a result, the standard version (with it's lighter hooks), still sits and fishes right in the salt.

On the whole, I think you're right and it is very often just a case of them changing the hooks. I think we'd be wrong to underestimate them to the point where that's all they'll ever do though. There will be floating lures for example that (because they're floating) where the manufacturer is unlikely to take too much time in re-adjusting a lures bouyancy to counteract the change in hook weight - the water density will do it for them and the difference will likely be marginal. Slow sinking or sinking baits though may require more thought - although tbh I'm not qualified to know what they'll really do. Suspending lures, they really should take the time to investigate. Not all work out as they are supposed to, as I'm sure more people are aware. The Rudra for example is one of very few that actually suspends for long. That itself all depends on water temperature a bit though..... so there's very little even the manufacturers can do in most cases though I think. ...unless we start having lures produced for fishing in different salinities, in different temperatures. Because of that and the various variables that a lure manufacturer faces, I could understand if it were just a simple change of hooks, followed by some tank testing to ensure it was within a certain measure of where they want it to be.

The Flap Slap differences sound interesting and its not often you hear of something like that.
 

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Bear in mind things like the Maria Chase, where the BW version is allegedly better in saltwater than the SW version...

Bend the "rules" or better still, throw out the rulebook. Fish don't read it.
 

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Bear in mind things like the Maria Chase, where the BW version is allegedly better in saltwater than the SW version...

Bend the "rules" or better still, throw out the rulebook. Fish don't read it.
Good point Rob!

Was thinking about the Maria a minute ago actually. For those that don't know, the BW stands for "Brackish Water".
 
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interesting read there guys, i have been using freshwater flies and lures in the past in salt with out any adverse effects.
think that rob hit the nail on the head here throw away the rule book fish don't read it... Makes sense realy.
 

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I have heard that a lot of the French guys prefer the original MB Vision 110 over the Vision 110 SW, so maybe it isn't all bad news?
 

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Apart from colours, the only difference from the Bent Minnow 106F and Bent Minnow 106SW is that the hooks are tin plated which makes them more salt water resistant and the lure 0.5g heavier.

In my humble opinion the F colours are much more suited to our baitfish anyway.
 

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The most annoying thing, to me, is there is no standardization to allow a lure to be classified as "SW".
Also, that the companies involved, be that Megabass, OSP, Duo or whoever do not encourage the selling of the right lures in the first place. Ben's comment about not even being able to get the SW format Bent Minnow kinda speaks volumes to me, that the lure companies aer a little more concerned with palming off what they can, rather than supplying the right ones in the first place. This to me would be a much better idea because the more someone has minimal grief or trouble with a specific make and model, then the more likely they are to return and ask for another one, when they eventually snag up and lose it. Where as if you bought a lure that never quite worked very well in the water (I have lures on which I have caught nothing yet, but they inspire confience in their use, by how they behave in the water and if I lost one, I would want it replaced with another one, the same), even tho you have washed them off with fresh water at home they have still showed signs of rust quickly, then when that one gets snagged up and busted off, the chances of returning to the tackle shop and saying "I'l have another one of those please," is highly diminished!

I suppose that at the end of the day, we can only take reccomendations from friends etc and put up with changing out links and hooks to have a particular lure, working in sea water.
 

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Its all about supply and demand mate. Whether we like it or not, the manufacturer-distributor-retailer chain requires certain levels of commitment at each step and in some instances (not all), we're just not requiring enough lures yet to get everything we want (or think we need at least). In 95%+ of cases, it's just different hooks! In reality, the lighter hooks that FW or standard versions come supplied with may actually allow for a better action - so we can't be entirely put off by the fact that they don't say 'SW'. I can totally see what you're saying about getting the SW version in from the start, but bearing in mind that a lot of this stuff is coming via Europe (where they have FW bass etc to go at), our SW sport doesn't currently hold the majority vote. Thats how I see it anyway.

If I may compare it to an electric car argument on the TV last night, we need to accept and use what we've got access to now to enable the market to grow and developments to take place in the direction we want them to. In the years to come, with demand increased and increasing we'll get to where we want to be... (with cars that will do 800 miles on one charge, and enough saltwater resistant lures to fill our boots...). Although in the case of the lures, they really won't be much different.

Standard (non-saltwater) hooks don't just rust and fall off. They just need a bit more care (I know you know that, but I'm just pointing it out before the argument starts sounding like they're totally inadequate).
 

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The most annoying thing, to me, is there is no standardization to allow a lure to be classified as "SW".
Also, that the companies involved, be that Megabass, OSP, Duo or whoever do not encourage the selling of the right lures in the first place. Ben's comment about not even being able to get the SW format Bent Minnow kinda speaks volumes to me, that the lure companies aer a little more concerned with palming off what they can, rather than supplying the right ones in the first place. This to me would be a much better idea because the more someone has minimal grief or trouble with a specific make and model, then the more likely they are to return and ask for another one, when they eventually snag up and lose it. Where as if you bought a lure that never quite worked very well in the water (I have lures on which I have caught nothing yet, but they inspire confience in their use, by how they behave in the water and if I lost one, I would want it replaced with another one, the same), even tho you have washed them off with fresh water at home they have still showed signs of rust quickly, then when that one gets snagged up and busted off, the chances of returning to the tackle shop and saying "I'l have another one of those please," is highly diminished!

I suppose that at the end of the day, we can only take reccomendations from friends etc and put up with changing out links and hooks to have a particular lure, working in sea water.
Disagree mate.

In my opinion, there are to many variables (salinity, temperature etc) for a lure company to finely tune a lure to a saltwater environment, label it as such and risk having their reputation ruined because it doesn't work out of the packet in "saltwater" when actually a "suspending lure" tested in freshwater may become a slow floater in saltwater and a "saltwater suspending lure" like an OSP Rudra may also slow float because the temperature it was tested in may have been warmer etc etc

(think I've got that the right way round, but please correct me!)
 

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put up with changing out links and hooks to have a particular lure, working in sea water.
It should be common practice.

I'll tell you, as the water cools and becomes clearer late winter or next spring, a real suspending lure that just 'sits' at running depth getting gently swayed around and 'left alone' for upto 2 or 3 minutes at a time can result in some big fish.

I think it's accurate to suggest that most BIG Bass get caught on livebaits. I do this, I'll bet many do, or have.
I often suspend a livebait under a dogball and just let it hang tough. A decent suspending lure isn't a million miles away.
Light twitches will rock the trebles and we sometimes dress each treble with bucktail to give the lure more of a 'fish with fins' just holding in a crease line etc.

Trust me, in the right conditions it's a brilliant method. But, no 'out of the box' lure can do it. Not a one.
The methods used to 'tune' suspenders with a video is located on my blog.
 

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The Balisong 130 SW (salt water) has been designed to suspend as horizontally as possible in the sea. Keith above blogged that it was one of the best true suspenders straight from the box, however as Rob mentioned, there are so many variables it's virtually impossible to get it right without some form of tuning.
 

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The Balisong 130 SW (salt water) has been designed to suspend as horizontally as possible in the sea. Keith above blogged that it was one of the best true suspenders straight from the box, however as Rob mentioned, there are so many variables it's virtually impossible to get it right without some form of tuning.
This is true.

In the water temps i tested the plugs at, around 11 deg C to 12.5 the Ballisong held better than any other lure I'd previously tested.
This was followed by the rapala X-Rap and the OSP Rudra. Both of those being excellent also. In deeper profile, the LC Pointer was excellent but again, needs work.

However....

None were perfect. Ballisong, yes, better than all (I've tested, and we've tested alot !)

The point I'm making here is simple.

lets take say... a tide minnow. Not suspending, don't claim it either. But, they make awesome suspenders.
problem is, they take 'work' to get running right.

Ballisong, Rudra ? dead easy to tune bankside. All you need is suspender dots. This only works because the lures are close anyway.

Right, before we continue, suspender dots are, really are going to make a difference. Buy some or, like I use, golf swing weight tape availaible from the pro shop.
This isn't the whole story of the bank or boat side tune though.

Ok, temperature make a difference as does line and rod.

X plug sits at 5ft in freshwater. A decent rod rips X plug down to depth in 1 sweep. This is Jerkbait (suspend) style.
You see tests involving 10lb mono but 15lb mono might not let 1 sweep of the rod achieve running depth. Hence, the plug starts to slow float.
As you can see, a ton of variables.

Don't despair though, tune plugs to run on a dedicated suspender outfit. Lets suggest, 12lb neutral density mono or 15lb 8 strand braid with a 'mono' leader. Only use FC in super clear water as it sinks and sags. In turn, it alters the attitude of a settled plug.

ALL plugs have a centre of balance. It is usually somewhere near just behind the front hook. This is where the suspender dots need to be affixed.
You find this balance point by tying a large loop of braid and sinking this loop into a fish tank or the 'bath'. open up the loop and insert the plug.
Sea water IS best but, shallow freshwater still works because the plug isn't even close to attaining 'suspend' depth.

Eventually, the plug, that is fighting to float will be in balance. You will have that loop in just the right place to let it ride in a 'level' position.
Mark this spot and affix weight, or buoyancy 'here', underneath on the lower side of the plug.

Buoyancy ?, yes, suspenders work both ways. get those sticky foam things made by 3M and get a hole punch. Punch yourself out a bunch of these and place in a sealed bag.

this way, you can fine tune in seconds from neutral, to slow float to slow sink. Really slow sinks work better as the water gets both colder, and clearer and, Pollack love it too.

I could go on, loads to it but most guys I know won't take the time. It's their losss really because it's a superb system.

You need to ask yourself...

Why do I buy suspending lures?
If its because you actually want to hold your plug at depth, then make the effort. It is worth every minute.
 
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