While mooching around in a small tackle shop down an alley in Athlone the other day I happened upon a basket full of odd and ends of tackle sporting the tempting sign ‘half price or less’. So I plunged into the task of sifting through the assorted rigs, floats, baits and sinkers. Luminous poppers, bouncing bettys, zoomer floats and myriad other angling oddities were closely examined and rejected. Then, right at the very bottom of the basket my eye fell on a huge shiney plug. Ah ha! Now this was interesting. I asked the shop owner ‘how much? ‘Three Euro for that – it is supposed to come with a special mount but it’s missing’ As this lure normally retails around €12 I had bagged myself a real bargain. All I had to do was make up a new trace and I was in business.
This is a an American version of what we Scots call a ‘Lucky Louis’, a much loved harling lure from the lower reaches of the mighty river Tay. Another version was called the ‘Kynoch Killer’. What makes these lures so successful is the incredible action when trolled behind a boat. They dart around with an extreme action which has to be seen to be believed.
Another advantage of this lure is that when you hook a fish on it the body slides up the line and out of the way so the fish can’t exert any leverage on the hooks. All I had to do now was make up a short trace for passing through the lure. There are different designs of trace, some featuring two lethal looking trebles linked with flexible braid. I much prefer a simple trace with just one treble.
When picking the swivels and beads for making this trace you need to be aware of the sizes required. The swivel needs to be small enough to pass through the hole in the plug (so the body can slide right through and up the main line). The beads however need to be bigger than the hole as they are going to act as ‘stops’. OK, here is what to do:
I use stainless steel wire for the trace and wrap it to the swivel. Now slide on two beads (I like red ones, but use whatever colour you prefer).
Measure the length of the trace by offering it up through the hole and marking the point where the eye of the hook needs to be. You want the swivel to poke out of the head end of the hole.
Now attach the hook by threading the wire through the eye, passing it around the bend of the hook and wrapping it back up the shank (see below).
What you end up with is a short trace with a swivel at one end, two beads in the middle and a treble at the end.
Here is how the hook looks when it is in position:
Why two beads? I like to have the hook sitting a little bit away from the large body, I think it gives better hooking.
Now I am going to have to sit down in a dark room for a while after parting with THREE EURO.