I love testing products for the magazines, it gives me an opportunity to play with lots of new things and use products that I would otherwise never get the chance to.
Then there are occasions like this. Anybody who knows me will know that one of my favourite ways to target Australian native species is with spinnerbaits. Hence, a chance meeting with Raymond Parry from Obsession Spinnerbaits at this years Melbourne Boat Show and then again at the Australian Lure Expo has led to me testing some of his spinnerbaits.
If the truth is to be known, I wasn’t going to let anyone else do this testing booth, I claimed it for myself. I spent a bit of time with Raymond at the Lure Expo going through his range of products and picking out a few to try. I have to say that this was not as easy as it may sound. Ray’s range is quite expansive and I wanted to ensure that I gave the best overview I can. Needless to say, Ray was generous with his time and products and after purchasing a few extras just to make sure I was thorough, I then went about trying them for about six months. I will do my best to explain the outcome.
Bigger is better
There is a huge demand for large-profile heavy spinnerbaits at the moment. Anglers are casting and trolling them for Murray cod and golden perch. There are plenty of suitable lures within the Obsession range, from single spins all the way through to quad spins and depending on the model, they are available in weights up to 3.5oz.
The concept behind them is bigger baits catch bigger fish. I put a number of the quad, twin and single spins to the test at Lake Eildon. It is mind-boggling how big a profile these lures present, as well as the options they open up. I comfortably fished steep walls knowing that my lure was following the contour of the bank back to me. Trolling the same areas prospecting for fish was the real eye opener for me. We targeted fish around sunken timber in 20-30 feet of water, and I can guarantee that any fish in the area knew the lure was there. The feedback from the lure through the rod was amazing.
I would love to say that we came a away from a few days fishing with tales of huge fish caught or stories about fish that got away, but poor weather and colder than normal water temperatures meant I was sent back to Queensland with my tail between my legs. However, after casting each of the Obsession spinnerbaits so many times over those days and fishing with a person who also produces spinnerbaits, my conclusion on these larger baits is that they cast amazingly well using the right tackle. They have a strong action and my fishing buddy was impressed by the components used by Ray to make his spinnerbaits, so I have no doubts that if a big fish had jumped on, the spinnerbaits would have been up to the task. I look forward to having further opportunities to use them.
Smaller profile options
Queensland impoundment bass have a thirst for quality spinnerbaits and the size of the fish demands strength in construction. Smaller and generally lighter options are preferred to cast around any edge structure. Ray explained to me that he was slowly building up his range to suit this. There have always been spinnerbaits to suit, but he was adding single spins and mini baits that would also be ideal for this caper.
Maroon Dam is a great little impoundment that holds plenty of fish and is one of my favourite places to throw spinnerbaits. The structure you can fish varies from weed to timber and rock walls, and a spinnerbait is the ideal lure to use around these. I haven’t fished a lot of single spin spinnerbaits, so I decided to tie one of these on first and was instantly rewarded.
A number of bass and an over-sized golden perch (for Maroon) hit the deck. You cannot help but be impressed with the simplicity that a single bladed spinnerbait offers. The Colorado blade instantly spins once in the water and puts out plenty of vibration and flash. Match this with the number of skirt options (Hot tip and Turbo flared) and head colours in the Obsession range and I am sure you find a colour to suit your needs. I stuck with natural gold-based colours and was very happy.
Wait, there’s more
The range of options doesn’t end there. You will also find Clackerbaits, Mumblers and Hotbaits on the Obsession Spinnerbait website. The Clackerbaits are an interesting lure and can be fished either on the surface or below, depending on the speed of the retrieve. Although I played with it them at Maroon, I had missed the prime bite period for this style of fishing, but they certainly create plenty of commotion in the water to get the fishes’ attention.
The lure I really want to mention here and one that I will need to put more time into are the Hotbaits. Although designed to target redfin and golden perch, switched on trout anglers have seen potential in this lure and I firmly believe that flathead in the saltwater will climb all over them. I have retrofitted a larger inline single hook to the one I have for flathead, but I can see trout anglers adding some leader to the hook and trailing worms or a yabby behind it while trolling. I love the concept of this lure; I just need a bit more time to play, so watch this space.
Try them yourself
Ray attends plenty of events selling spinnerbaits and also supports plenty of fishing tournaments in New South Wales and Victoria. He loves a chat and is always open to ideas and feedback. He even runs a metre club promotion through his website. Send a photo of your fish caught on an Obsession Spinnerbait and he will send you two spinnerbaits as a reward.
He also has a strong retailer network through which you can buy one of his spinnerbaits.
In a nutshell, Obsession Spinnerbaits are well made. Quality components are used and there has been plenty of thought put into what each product in the range is going to be used for, with the end product meeting those needs in my mind. I have been impressed using them so far, but the testing isn’t over – I will need to hang onto these spinnerbaits for a little bit longer! For more info about their range, visit www.obsessionspinnerbaits.com – Peter Jung