Lure fishing isn't about the art of crafting wooden plugs in the basement. It's a game of science. A lot of research goes into how a lure looks, swims, and even smells. Here are two types of lures that have benefited from dedicated research and tank testing.
Trigger X $7; www.triggerx.com Scenting artificial baits is an age-old practice. Trigger X goes outside the perfume box by dousing its soft plastics with species-specific pheromones designed to trigger feeding activity. Trigger X baits fall into three specific categories: bass, walleye, and saltwater. The Trigger X soft baits emit Ultrabite, baitfish pheromones that mimic fish in distress as well as predator pheromones to signal that fish of the same species are in feeding mode. We tested the 4" frog pattern meant to be used for largemouth bass. The biodegradable plastic lure comes packaged in Ultrabite liquid and its jiggling legs mimic a life-like swim pattern. Rigging gets the liquid all over your hands, which Trigger X says masks your odors. Scent can be replenished with a species-specific spray ($7/3.4-oz. bottle) that can also add interest to the soft baits in your tackle bag.
Rapala Glidin' Rap $13; www.rapala.com To the dual maxims that big fish require big baits and that lunkers are lazy, Rapala has responded with its Glidin' Rap, a 5" minnow pattern designed to entice trophies. The Glidin' Rap is a wide-bodied wooden lure you retrieve slowly between 2' and 5' in the water column. Use it to walk the dog or in a stop-start retrieve--it will flutter and swim in a side-to-side pattern that mimics a struggling baitfish trying to find its way below the surface. It also works as a steady crankbait or trolling bait. The Glidin' Rap is made of abashi wood and comes standard with black nickel treble hooks. It's available in chrome/chartreuse, hot olive, pearl shad, chrome/blue, and silver flash patterns. It's suitable in freshwater for pike and largemouth bass and in salt for snook and tarpon.