Information about our Trophy Shads
Why again another lure?
Who is looking today for another lure have the choice between an obscure diversity of variants, sizes, weights and colors. Everyone is claiming to be the ultimate top lure and catching much more fish than others. That´s maybe the reason you will ask: Why another rubber lure named Trophy Shad?
Despite the crowded marked of rubber lures many are the same in one point: They have the priority to be cheap in production and ensnare often only the angler to buy. Some of them have an action you nearly can´t use, other ones with detailed color designs only marketing. Of course there are also some brilliant shads which are produced in big serial production. But often these big manufacturers have no interest to make changes of their products according to advices of anglers. Because all changes of a die casting production or sales logistic around the globe is generating costs – so why invest, when you also can sell the old variants?
We were always on the quest for a lure, which we can use under many circumstances at the water, to have as less as possible variants at our trips in our daypack and boat. This is saving luggage at long travels, creates confidence in fishing and is reducing at the end also the costs. The results were in such a way convincing that we now want to offer our lures also to other anglers.
And what are the advantages of the Trophy Shads?
We don´t claim to offer a super lure which will catch in shortest time and everywhere the trophy fish, without any knowledge about locations and the water system. Rather our lure selection is a consequent and evolving improvement of known and established lure systems. Many small details – colors, shapes, material mixes and sizes, are optimizing the lure action, the attractiveness and quote of bites. These aspects all together are leading to an appreciable better catch rate. We always are demanding at worldwide trips and also at normal waters at home to have maximum success. Thereby we are testing and optimizing our products again and again. What we offer here is exactly the same what we fish on our own! You will find convincing catch report in our column of reports. Now we want to give a detailed explanation, which details are essential for our catch rates and which ideas are the basis of our product development.
When white sun light is getting in to clear (exact, distilled) water, first the long-wave, low-energy red parts will disappear, after that yellow, green, blue and at the end violet. At deepest will infiltrate the light with the shortest waves, which we cannot see – the ultraviolet light. According to this physical model the high-energy color blue should be visible at longest distances under water. But all our water bodies have more or less floating particles, which first absorbing and filter the short-wave, high energy, blue light parts. That is the reason why a water is getting a green, yellow or brown coloring, depending on the composition of particles. Every water has a specific penetrability for every particular color – vertical just as horizontal.
In some cases it is proven that the photoreceptor pigments of the fish eyes has adapt to a specific, for the water typical light spectrum. A pike in a muddy river maybe can see better in the green-yellow sector, whereas a pike in very clear water of a lake maybe is more specialized to the blue spectrum. It is known that some salmons during spawning period are changing their color cognition to the pink area, to recognize better other spawning partners. Exactly this is the reason why they react at this time most aggressive at pink lures – they see them best!
An old rule of thumb is saying: “Choose the color of your lure in the color of the water and you make nothing wrong.” Thereby the lure should be only a little bit flashier than the water color, to generate a contrast to the environment by not being unnatural. Is direct sun light impacting to the lure, the surface should reflect it. This effect, realized by glitter particles in the rubber material, is for many predators an important impulse!
But not only the floating particles of the water, also the dust particles of the atmosphere are filtering blue light out of the sunbeams. Is the sun close to the horizon, the beams has to cross a thicker air space and more yellow-red light waves are reaching the water. So it makes sense, to fish with these colors at morning and evening, even in clear water.
Ultraviolet light is getting deep into the water, depending on the particle density. Our fluorescence colored lures are absorbing the ultraviolet, for us invisible light and beam it out in the natural color, visible for us and the fishes. Thereby the color is staying longer stabile in deeper or darker waters – it seems to glow.
The colors of the Trophy-Shads are adapted exactly to these circumstances under water. By an intelligent color combination of neighbored light spectrums we have managed to reduce the different lure colors to a minimum – by having for every situation at the water the right choice. We have done many field tests with colors. Fished with different colored lures close together in waters, where we caught sometimes more than hundred pikes or twenty nile perches a day. Here we recognized in short time, which color favorites had been only “personal” and which ones were actually approved by more bite attacks.
Our standard decors are mixed exactly regarding these color spectrums!
Sunlight Ultraviolet light
This natural decor is perfect for clear water and also effective where predators have specialized in herrings and other silver prey fishes. The back has silver glitter over a blue basic tint, created for a maximum of reflecting effects. The body in pearl-silver is also reflecting sunlight and is creating a good contrast to the environment even if sun is not shining bright.
This decor is a classic contrast combination of white body and dark back. But it´s not only dark, but colored in motoroil with golden glitter. Motoroil is a special shade of brown which is fluorescent green. This let the lure appearing natural and is creating at medium murky water a better contrast. So this color combination is a real all-round decor.
At bright lighting conditions lures with glitter have advantages. If you fishing now a lure complete of glitter and clear plastic, it is catching good. But if sun is disappearing behind clouds, rain is starting or the lure is running momentary a little bit deeper, this color is losing its attractiveness dramatically. We could see at these situations, in direct comparison to lures being a little bit brighter, that the bite quote was decreasing to ca. 1:5. That way you get unconfident at mixed weather, which color is a good contrast, but also natural enough. Here we made with restrained fluorescent lures, like dim green-yellow or motoroil, outstanding catch results. Wild Honey is connecting all these color aspects to one decor, which makes the lure easy visible for predators by appearing natural. The golden glitter at the back is producing many light reflections at sunny days. The plastic material of the back is fluoresced green. Combined with the dim fluoresced yellow-green-gold body the lure is also a good contrast in darker waters. This decor is completely new on the marked, and this is our honey!
Dark Water Sun
The decor with fluorescent green back and fluorescent yellow body, however, is a classic and must not miss at our lures. This extremely flashy composition makes sense, when the water is muddy, you are fishing deep or at morning and evening. Because at these dark waters no sunbeams could be reflected, the back has no glitter- this would only reduce the fluorescence effect. Here we were absolutely not stingy with fluorescence color!
Very early at the morning, very late at afternoon o rat muddy brown water decors with pink and orange are building the best contrasts under water. Also when at these situations the colors yellow and green most time are still working well, this decor is a further important improvement of the bite rate.
When fishing in the ocean “japanese red” – strong fluorescent red – is since longe time known as a good colour. Together with the black-glitter back our Red Devil is generating a perfect crab imitate, a fantastic colour contrast and maximal shining under water. We and our customers were convinced in short time when fishing this colour combination for cod, and now it should not missing in our standard decors!
The body of the shad should be designed concerning an easy running, but high-pressure playing of the tail by making high-frequent wobbling movements of the whole lure. It must run always stabile upright in the water, by having less own weight, and not turn around or at the side when using our hook systems mounted on the back. The tail has to work reliable under all conditions and should not overwind. To optimize the hook rate of fish and create a smooth-running lure we have designed a slim shape profile. This is also according to baitfish preferences of many predators.
The Trophy-Shads half of the tale is designed very flat and is providing an agile playing of the tale. The long ripped part is securing that the tale is not over winding, but getting more and more “loaded” depending on speed and current. In the thicker first half of the lure this angular momentum is getting convert into the attracting wobbling of the lure. Thereby the V-cross-section of the body is ensuring a stabile running.
Marginally: A ripped design of the tale area is for the lure action, toward received opinion, not mandatory necessary. We only use it to save the tale better against “bite wounds”. Because the tale is making a rotating action and is not turning to the main axis of the lure and a “turned hinge” have no function. Important are only the cross-section areas to create a slow-moving lure with high vibrations (for more information have a look to the catchword ”polar section modulus at torsion”). Who don´t believe that should cut the ribs of commercial ribbed lures – it will not change the running action much, because often these ribs are designed at places where the material is already not working.
The relative hard rubber mix combined with the fluidic optimized basic form is leading to slow-motion-working, high-pressure and fast wobbling long live lure. If you want the Trophy –Shad extremely free-moving, with less pressure and wobbling, just boil it for ten minutes in water (but don´t use the same pan for cooking food!). We don´t offer also the extra soft material, as we use at our fishing tours only the standard one and cook it locally when necessary. This is saving material and “shopkeeper”. But normally that is absolutely not necessary!
The presentation of the lure
In former times rubber shads were only jigged or fished vertical at the ground. This is only one from many ways of presentation, of course. We are fishing for pike most time with the Trophy Shads in the mean water or even at the surface. Also far away from the ground we are “jigging” the Trophy’s with short hits and slow sinking phases. Thereby the tail section is loading up and is transmitting high frequent and strong pressure waves. In the down sinking phase you will get then the most bites!
We offer all necessary sizes in our program to supply the right lure for every fish, from the small bass up to the nile perch. Because ore lures running with high pressure, we believe a maximum size of 25cm in enough.
All our Trophy Shads are stored from the production to the dispatch lying on the back, and stay this way exactly straight. This is very important for a perfect action of a lure.
Also in the tackle box our lures should be storraged, like any other rubber shad, completely straight, because after some weeks heavy bended could occour permanent deformation (creep characteristic of plastics)
Clue: If you stored the Trophy Shads wrong in your tackle box and they stay bended, you can boil this lures in water for around ten minutes (but don´t use the same pan for cooking food!) and lay them afterward straight on the back and let them cool down. Then they will get straight again, but also more soft.
Jig heads – Trophy Jigs
The rubber shad mounting
We are always surprised why so many spin anglers still are fishing with classic jig hooks – although all serious disadvantages should be known! The long, rigid connection of hook and lead is creating a long lever, which is leading together with the weight of the jig head to an easier turn round and shaking the lure out of the mouth of the fish. This danger is bigger when the lure is not inhaled completely in the fish mouth. Is the jig hook, for example, is getting in the teeth plate of the upper jaw, you most time loose them when they make their first run and turning round the rigid hook. This is the reason why we don´t use the jig hook since many years and bended it back into the rubber lure with a plier in the past. Here it was not so easy not to bulge the lure, which was leading sometimes to a rotation on the own axis when swimming in the water.
In the last time you could find also screwed jig heads on the marked – but not in all weight classes, sufficiently big spirals and first of all spirals, which are ending direct in the lead of the head. And this is the way how our Trophy Jigs are looking: Because of a spiral of 4cm with an outer diameter of 7mm they have an extraction force out of the lure of phenomenal 5kg – this can shake no fish from the spiral! For rubber lures up to 11cm you can also create simple jig heads with normal screws. If you don´t lose the lure in a snag or rock, you can fish them for very long time, because no hook can get unsharp!
Since we renounced to the rigid jig hook we caught more than thousand fish and reduced the quote of losing fish significantly. And next to this you harm the fish less. Especially at big, jumping fishes like nile perches and pikes in the river we never would disclaim to this rig – no one of us would ever fish again in former ways!
The jig shape
Today you can find many different shapes of jig heads on the marked. But which model is leading in the praxis to more fish? We figured out that the jig head shape is overrated by many anglers. The biggest incoming flow pressure is caused by the rubber lure, the jig head is overhanging the lure shape, when looking from the front, most time only a little bit or not. Because of this reason we don´t use at all our fishing tours different jig head shapes and using only the most compact and universal shape: The round head.
Is the eye fixed at the front of the jig head, it is hanging without a lure vertical down, when fixed in the middle it is standing horizontal. Often anglers believe that a lure is rising up higher by jigging when the eye is fixed at the front. This is physically nonsense – our lure will rise all time in force direction of the fishing line (as long as he don´t have any paddle like a Rapala)! The right place of the eye rather effect, that the lure have to do with its water displacement a shorter turn to be aligned in force direction of the fishing line and get the flow from the front, which is necessary for the perfect action of the tail. So the hanger position has an influence of the smooth running action of our lure. If the water is flowing around the tail, the tail section will get a light buoyant force. Against this is acting the weight of the treble hook(s), which should be tuned reasonably to every lure.
According to this a front hanger would be the best in the moment of jigging up. In the sinking down phase in contrast a back hanger where the head is hanging down would be perfect. Because now the lure is sinking down like a pendulum at the line and the flow to the tail action is most effective, when the lure is align from the beginning of this phase to the direction of the movement.
To find the best compromise, we fish all our jig heads with straight, horizontal hanger. So we have at all phases of presentation, together with our hook systems, a perfect lure action.
„A good lure fisher is not using numberless rubber lure variants, but many different jig head weights.” This phrase is normally applicable. But we should not forget that it is in many cases not possible, to fish over the complete cast the perfect weight. Have we anchored, for example, with the boat in deeper water and casting in a shallow bay, we need at the beginning of the cast a lighter weight as at the end, when we want our lure sink down in deeper water. Because we need always more lead, as deeper the lure is running and as straighter the line is getting into the water. Of course also the thickness of the fishing line, current and wind affecting generally the optimized jig weight.
The following table will give you some clue, which jig head weights are suitable for our Trophy Shads:
Hook systems: Stinger for Trophy Shads
Function and installation
Because we don´t use the rigid jig hook, our hook stinger systems are getting more important. Depending on the lure size and target fish they have one or two treble hooks, which are fixed by a slight penetration in the rubber lure – thereby the treble hook should stand free and high as much as possible and the stinger leader should always be tight! At a bite and fight the grasping treble hook will pulled out of the lure rubber, the fish is fighting at a free line which makes it more difficult to shake of and loose the hook.
At all lures we fish not direct at the surface we are mounting all hooks on the back. Thereby they grasp most time in the corner of the mouth or in the upper jaw, which is minimizing significantly the risk of deadly wounds of the gills. Furthermore we reduce the risk of losing lures in snags. And a treble don´t slot the upper jaw, like it can happen with rigid jig hooks more often. In total you harm the fish even with two trebles most time less than with a single jig hook and by the use of hard baits (with trebles hanging down). Are fishes attacking lures, which are big in comparison to the fish, direct under the surface in the middle and from down, it makes sense to mount the stinger hook at the lure belly to avoid missed bites. Here we fix the free hanging treble in the rubber with a copper wire. This wire is also getting out of the lure when having a bite. A typical case for this mounting is when fishing with very big baits for pikes in the free water.
All our stinger hook systems are tuned that way, that they don´t turn around the Trophy Shad when being mounted on the back.
We fix the stinger direct with the swivel, and the swivel with a key ring to the eye of the jig head. So we have no needless weak points and can use for fitting the lure a relative light key ring, which makes the change of lures more easy!
Trophy stingers light to normal
We are using for the light and normal lure fishing (Rods up to maximum casting weight of 120g, e.g. fishing for pike, zander, perch) Owner trebles of the strength ST36 – these hooks are very sharp and have a minimal penetration resistance. In most cases we are using only one treble hook. As leader material we are using for all rigs flexible 7×7 braided steel with 24kg load (Flexonit).
Stinger with one treble
Stinger with two treble
Stinger with a free hanging treble for mounting the rubber lure without a lead for fishing under the surface – so you can twitch the Trophy Shad very close to the surface, which is staying all time in a upright position
Trophy stingers heavy
At big fishes like wels catfish or nile perch we are using heavy, but ultra-sharp Owner St41 treble hooks. The leader material is flexible 7×7 braided steel with 40kg load (Flexonit XXL), because braided PE-leaders often have limited abrasion resistance and getting destroyed in short time. By fighting big fish there is a higher risk that they will open the carabiner – because of that we don’t use them (like it is also common by the salt water big game fishery). We tie the main leader always direct to the swivel of the stinger! This takes maybe more time, but is for hundred percent save!
16er Trophy Shads mounted with a heavy treble Owner ST41 2/0. Even here the lure is running upright!
Clue: Fish barbless
We advise to press on all barbs and fish generally barbless! If you keep the line always tight, you don´t lose one fish more, and you will significantly reduce the wounds of the fish when removing the hook. And it is also less painful when you should get a hook in your fingers. Furthermore you reducing the penetration resistance of the hook in the fish mouth – and at the end you will catch more fish! We are fishing generally in all situations for pike and zander without barbs! Have a try on your own and see how good it works!
Most anglers generally are fishing with too thin leaders, which will break because of material weakness when the big fish is attacking. We are using the following leaders:
Pike: 7×7 steel in 24kg (Flexonit), Fluorocarbon 100% in 0,80mm (Savage Gear) or titanium in 40kg
Wels catfish: PA-mono in 1,2mm or PE-braided in 1,5mm (Mantikor Rig Line 144kg)
Nile perch: 7×7 steel in 40kg (Flexonit XXL), PA-mono in 1,2mm