Recently I exposed my guilty pleasure of ultra light lure fishing, mostly with soft plastics. Now with hours of LRF experience under my belt, a few successful lures are starting to stand out above the dozens I originally purchased (without too much know-how).
One go-to lure of mine is the excellent Cultiva Ring Kick Tail. If you've not heard of the Cultiva brand before, it's the lure arm of Owner - the top-flight hook and jig head manufacturer.
I'll try to explain why I think this lure produces.
If there was just one thing that ultralight, LRF fishing has taught me (and there's lots I can tell you), it's just how important an on-the-drop (OTD) presentation is to catch rates - especially with certain fish species. On The Drop is simply the art of catching fish with lures by doing nothing... well almost. The skillful bit is knowing you've had a bite as the lure falls through the water column.
Take Pollack for example. I've caught plenty of Pollack in my time. Big and small. In fact my sea angling career started catching Pollack on my local pier using ragworm or tiny, white Eddystone eels as a kid. But it wasn't until I started this latest, very direct, finesse style of angling that I've realised just how Pollack prefer to take my lure as it drops - as opposed to cast and retrieve, or bottom fishing.
I can't ignore these findings. A lot of the Pollack I've caught this year have been from marks where we fish all the time, for many seasons and have only ever 'fluked' the odd Pollack while fishing for some other target. Only with the appropriate gear have I realised that the Pollack are always there, they just want to see a bait presented in a particular way. A real light-bulb moment for me.
There are some reasons why lures like the Ring Kick Tail work well OTD. The key part of most lures is the action. Whether self induced or imparted by the angler themself, the action is what normally triggers a strike from a predatory fish.
Now if you think of fishing on-the-drop, apart from the actual action of dropping (nice but maybe not always enough) any action has to be generated by the design of the lure as it falls through the water, as the angler isn't necessarily in direct contact with the lure at all times - or at least in a manner where action can be induced.
One sure way of getting the tail of a lure to wiggle as it falls towards the bottom is to have a very thin wrist to the tail and the paddle to be oversize. Combine both of these attributes in the right way and the lure will give off a highly attractive vibration as it sinks - even on a slow decent - which is arguably what you're trying to achieve because the lure will be in the strike zone for longer giving you more chance of success.
The 2-inch Cultiva Ring Kick Tail is one such lure that features these design traits and as a result appears to out fish some of the other paddle-tail type lures on offer today. I've fished the Ring Kick Tail on jig heads as light as 0.5 of a gram and on really delicate drop shot rigs and both have worked perfectly OTD. That's not to say that fishing this lure with cast and retrieve styles isn't effective - it is very much so, as one session fishing for shoal bass proved.
The Ring Kick Tail features Owner's 'Tasty Worm Rock 'n Bait' flavouring, which although fairly subtle means fish should come back for another go if they miss the hook first time. I have had success with both the colours I currently possess - Brown Smoke & Black.
Owner and Cultiva products are available to the tackle trade through Fishing Matters. If you're an angler wanting to give the Cultiva Ring Kick Tail a try then a range of colours are currently available mail order from Mr Fish in Jersey.