Hardbaits. Wobblers. Jerkbaits. Twitchbaits. Suspender. Cranks. Especially as a beginner in spin fishing, you can lose track of these terms. Max Guder from Harz Fishing (@harz_fishing) clears up the lure jungle and explains what you really need to know about these different lures for the beginning.
The classic wobbler, as we all know it, is in its original form a lure carved from wood. It has a lip on the head (e.g. made of plastic) and is therefore able to snake through the water under tension. Traditional wobblers, however, are hardly found anymore today. This is because many lure manufacturers have been working intensively on various materials as well as different running and sinking characteristics. This has led to the fact that we find a huge selection of different hardbaits on the market today.
To get an initial overview, it is first necessary to distinguish between three different types of wobblers. It is advisable to examine the hardbaits according to design and action. The slim models with a narrow back and a shape reminiscent of a minnow are immediately noticeable. These wobblers are therefore also called 'Minnows' - the decor often also reminds of the typical colors of the minnow. These minnows are perfect for imitating juvenile fish of various species. They have become especially popular for river fishing because they are usually not particularly susceptible to currents. They are excellent for chasing trout - but also all other predators regularly pounce on the attractive small fish imitations! Minnows are available in different running depths and sink rates. For us, the 'suspending' running behavior is one of the most interesting and effective here, because it fits many situations. Such an artificial lure has a subtle run and is excellent for twitching, i.e. 'stop and go' retrieve with targeted strikes of the rod into the slack line.
From these lures differ wobblers, which have a slightly more bulky shape. They are called 'shads'. This designation is also based on a small fish. Shads have a slightly more aggressive running behavior and roll more, which means they emit more pressure waves that appeal to the fish's lateral line organ. Shads are also suitable for twitching, but can also be 'legered'. The advantage of these plugs is that they cover a very wide range of applications. A typical application is fishing in dusty or turbid waters. Because here shads stand out better than other hardbaits. Especially perch can be specifically outsmarted with shads!
Hardbaits - successful on perch.
The most striking hardbait category are the so-called 'crankbaits'. They are enormously beefy and particularly broadly built and are usually only monotonously cranked. They are excellent for quickly searching the water for active fish, as they emit very wide pressure waves. In most cases, they also have loud rattles built into them, which makes them the real ruckus makers among hardbaits. Perch and pike are caught with them the most. Nevertheless, crankbaits are less widespread in the European region so far. So if you want to fish a lure that probably only a few fish have seen, you should definitely try crankbaits! In this lure category it is also noticeable that most crankbaits are floating - i.e. they float up and return to the water surface during the stop. This is a great thing to take advantage of with hangers and simply let the bait rise back up once it's stuck to the bottom. Also the so-called 'bottom bouncing' can be operated with crankbaits without any problems. Because these plugs are always built so that the diving blade touches the obstacle in front of the hook and can thus be fished very hanger-free.
Hardbaits in comparison - Minnow, Shad, Crank (left to right)
These are three main central forms of wobblers that need to be distinguished for practice. If you always have all three forms with you, you can catch your fish with hardbaits quite safely. The advantage of this fishing is evident: many (predatory) fish know these lures less well than conventional lures made of metal or soft plastic. And even if this kind of fishing seems a bit more expensive at first sight, it is worth to start with it. Hardbaits are tough and you will be able to enjoy each lure for a long time on the water!
For an introduction to this facet of spin fishing, we recommend taking a look at the extremely interesting Ikiru series from Spro. These plugs offer an attractive price-performance ratio and perform terrific services. If you want to dlve a little deeper into the subject, you will inevitably come across brands such as Duo or Illex. Very proven models here are for example the Realis Jerkbait 120 Sp, the Realis Rozante 63 SP and the Squirrel 79 DD. We have compiled these favorites, which are available in many proven colors, below.
We wish you a lot of fun with our large selection of catchy hardbaits and much success on the water!