High Plains Drifter

Lets talk about long casting metals

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Let's talk about long casting metals. Just like the previous "surface skipping lure" post, this is all about aerodynamics and distance, not about fish enticement ability. All lures are around 3 ounces give or take a half-ounce and the testing was done using an unfancy (but well executed) overhead cast. The rods were between 11 and 12 foot with a spinning reel and 50# PowerPro line. Lighter weight tackle does not apply. We are talking about casts with heavy lures. Lets not talk about exact casting distances. In the real world wind, fatigue, clothing, footing, etc. will always be a factor. Instead the metals will be compared with each other. Suffice it to say that most of the distances are in the 100, 150 yard range.

 

Here's the line up:

 

distmetals2.jpg

 

Left to right. T-Hex, Micky Jig/F-14, "bait fish type lure", Spoon'r Outcast, Hopkins, Swedish Pimple, Castmaster, Krocodile.

 

Yes, there are a lot more metals out there but these illustrate the ins and outs of distance casting with metals. Let's start with the ones that don't perform well and work our way up.

 

The Krocodile Spoon. This metal has a great reputation for catching fish and being a long caster. Sorry, it's a long casting flop because it has large flat surfaces and lots of shallow curves to catch the wind. It wind planes, flutters, and doesn't point into the direction of travel. Some metals occasionally get a lucky launch, point like a dart and out do themselves. I never got a lucky launch with the Krococile. It's a sub-100 yard metal but it catches a lot of fish!

 

The Castmaster Spoon. I've had great success with a one ounce Castmaster and the one ouncer casts quite well. I anticipated great things with the 3 ouncer but was I ever surprised. It was only a little better than the Krocodile. The 3 ouncer has much larger flat surfaces than the one ouncer. Once again, it flutters, flops, and wind planes. It's built with a heavy butt end and I expected it to turn into the direction of travel like a dart. It didn't. Once in a very great while I got a lucky launch and it flew well. I think the one ouncer is a great distance metal for lighter set ups and everybody's caught a lot of fish with it. The 3 ouncer just isn't the same critter in distance casting terms.

 

The Swedish Pimple. It's long, lean, and looks like it should cast far. One side is flat and the other side has a "V" along its length. It's big down fall is it's banana shape. There is no way that this is going to travel dart-like because the lengthwise curve defeats this. I rarely got a lucky launch. Like the previous two metal, a sub-100 yard lure.

 

The Hopkins Spoon (see paragraph at the end of this post). Because it is thick its surfaces are relatively small for its weight. The surfaces are gently rounded. The ends are blunt. This is a great metal but inconsistent. At times it gets a good launch and goes like a dart. When this happens it equals the best distance casters. But, an equal amount of the time it gets an unlucky launch, the blunt ends catch the air and it flops around in the air with poor distance. Yes, you will get amazing casts but only about half of the time.

 

The Spoon'r Outcast. This metal is touted as a distance-casting champ. Somebody cast one (sans hooks) an amazing distance using competition gear at a public event. It has absolutely flat sides but the concept is that the broad head will act like a vane and point the butt into the direction of travel for a dart like ride. Well, it does just that but only sometimes. When it doesn't it flops, wind planes and falls to the water. Most of the time it goes very well but when it wipes out it REALLY wipes out. Be aware that the biggest size Outcast, 3 ounce, is really closer to 2 ½ ounces and on the light side for this competition. Also, a crossing wind will really screw it up.

 

The "Bait Fish" type metal. There are a whole bunch of metals like this. They are typically kind of fish shaped, straight along their length, with a gently curved cross section on both sides. Like the Hopkins, their size is small for their weight due to thickness. I wasn't expecting much but I was very surprised. This baby really went well. Its narrow pointy ends do not catch air and turn the lure. It usually went like an arrow and even when it didn't it went pretty good. It's only about 5 or 6 yards short of the next one.

 

The Micky Jig or F-14. One side is flat and the other has a lengthwise "V". It is extremely thick and has a small size for its weight. It tapers at both ends. This thing really goes. Because it is so heavy for it's size, wind planeing and flopping from the small flat side is minimized. It frequently points into the direction of travel like an arrow but only loses a few yards when it doesn't. I like it. It's usually only about 5 or 6 yards short of the winner.

 

The T-Hex. The winner. It's a hexagonal bar with tiny flat sides. It's very heavy for it's size. It's symmetrical in most every aspect. Its end on profile is small. It almost always goes straight like an arrow. It goes a long ways even when it doesn't. This is the metal that I can cast consistently 150 yards. I'm reaching for the T-Hex when I need maximum casting distance.

 

So the lessons are:

Large flat surfaces catch the air and make metals wind plane and flutter.

The thicker the metal the smaller the surfaces.

Lengthwise curves cause the air to turn the lure.

Pointy ends give the air less chance of turning the lure.

Symmetry in all aspects is good.

 

A side note. This has been the strangest January in Minnesota. The ice went out on the Mississippi several weeks ago. It was 54 degrees here last Saturday. Thank you to the gods of warm breezes. This is the only winter I can remember that would allow me to do all this test casting. Hours of banging out heavy metals will take a toll on you. I'm tired and my left elbow aches from all that reeling.

 

So how *** the Hopkins in the picture is so small? I hooked a passing ice flow with my 3 ouncer. It was a fierce battle with my drag screaming at the burning rate of 3 miles per hour. I ran out of shoreline before it tired and I broke it off. To bad. I was going to have it mounted. If someone is fishing the Gulf of Mexico and finds my 3-ounce Hopkins please return it. The 3 ouncer has blunter ends than the one in the picture.

 

People are very devoted to their favorite metals. I hope I didn't offend anyone. Please add your observations about heavy metals and casting distance. Next week I hope we can talk about distance casting with jigs.

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HPD,

 

Nice post!

 

Your "bait fish type lure", is a Cabela's "Real Image" Jig-N-Spoon, Rainbow trout pattern, and looks like a 1.5 oz's?

 

I have a lot of them, and for me they cast OK, but the hooks are soft. I would strongly suggest you replace them with your hook of choice. I say cast OK because they are not tail heavy, and don't sail true a lot of the time.

 

One of the best metals IMO, as I mentioned in a recent post is the Erksine Jumper. It is very streamlined, rear weighted, and very well finished:

 

jumper1.jpg

 

jumper2.jpg

 

 

Braid has their clone of this lure, with a more vivid color scheme:

 

http://www.stripersonline.com/ubb547...braidlures.jpg

 

I asked in a recent post about how much these Braid lures cost, and go no reply. The Jumpers come from Australia, mine came from Thumb Burner a few years back, and perhaps he can answer cost and availability questions.

 

Of what you have posted, I would probably pick the Kastmaster as my go to lure of choice. Looking forward to what others have to say in this thread.

 

SS

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One of the best metals IMO, as I mentioned in a recent post is the Erksine Jumper. It is very streamlined, rear weighted, and very well finished:

 

jumper1.jpg

 

jumper2.jpg

 

 

The Jumpers come from Australia, mine came from Thumb Burner a few years back, and perhaps he can answer cost and availability questions.

 

 

SS

 

SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH hammer-time.gif

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Surfslinger - Just curious. Would you pick the 3 ounce castmaster because it catches a lot of fish or do you think it is a distance champ?

 

And yes, the "bait fish" metal is a Cabelas and its actual weight is 2 1/4 ounces. You a correct about the hooks. They are much to fine and need to be replaced. Thanks for the lead on the Jumper.

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My go to for distance has always been the Ultimus. Sorry no pic. They are made here in jersey and available in most N. Jersey BnTs.It is a chrome plated copy of the Hopkins. What they have done though is weight these towards the back so it is rare to get flutter during the cast. For the purest, most chrome plated lures are looked down upon but a few of these are always with me.

 

As a side note I have never had one flake or lose its bright shine. I usually watch them head out an extra 30 yds. unattached.

 

And one more imporant note, they are about half the price of Hopkins.

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HPD,

 

I only wish I could answer your question with Mexican Roosterfish experience guiding my answer, but I can't... Ironic, and fantastic that two Mid-Westerners are swapping marine fishing advice, but here goes.

 

I would much rather have the wrong lure near the fish, than the best 20 yards short. Always the chance you will get a strike. This happened to me last fall, when the False Albies were just out of range, but we were hammering Ladyfish, Blues, and Drum.

 

Sure fish can be selective, but when folks are finding condoms, Poland spring bottles, and other such crap in the bellies of fish, I'll take my chances with about any lure that can hit the zone. How many times do you read about folks beoching about not casting short enough?

 

I like the Kastmaster cause it can be fished so slow with a great wiggle, it can be jigged on retrieve, dragged on the bottom, or planed on top. I think the reason saltwater fishing is sooo addictive, especially to us landlocked folks, is it's pure, no BS attitude of a lot of the fish. It's not like trout fishing where they spook cause your shadow was wrong, or your 18 size fly was wrong, where a 22 would have worked. Watch a pack of Blues/SP Macs/Jacks tear up a school of Mullet, and it really punctuates what I said. I can't imagine the thrill of a rooster chasing down my offering!

 

I think us type folks at times over analyze/fret over our choices, wanting to make "sure" we have the right gear. As you know, when you get there, the folks catching the most fish are using a hand-line, or dunking bait from a bridge using a K-rod and chunks of Mullet. Anticipation is such a sweet emotion

 

Good luck to you HPD,

 

SS

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Todd, the diamond jig (3 oz)I've been using to get teasers out there seems to do the job. It's pointy ends and beefy middle allows it to cut through the wind. It does flip every other toss, but the shape allows it to keep going and going. I can toss this thing further then a crippled herring, deadly dicks, hopkins slab, Spoon'r lures and a bit further then the Mickey jig.

diamondjig.JPG

 

Ideally if there was a slab made and I need the distance to get it out there, something that comes in the mold of a sputnik weight would be the champ. The heavy aerodynamic design of the butt and long arm allows this thing to keep travelling. 1sputnik.JPG

However I can't see how this could be made to resemble a baitfish.

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I was looking in the surf caster catalong last night. They have something called a "line stretcher" looks similar to the ranger and probably worth a look anyway.

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Qtiep - Yes, the Diamond Jig has the look of a distance casting champ. It's thick with small surfaces. It's got pointy ends. I wish I had one to try for the trials. Can you bring one to Mexico so I can try it out?

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You talk about tins "flopping". I use Heavy Krocs,Kastmasters,Charlie's and Hopkins.None of these ever "flop" on me. The Kroc is probably the longest casting tin of the bunch (never measured). I use conventional reels and have a little spool braking,magnets, or a light thumb on the edge of the spool. The only time lures flop is when I have too short a drop from the end of the rod to the lure. Try changing the length of your drop, you might be pleasantly surprised. It may also be the reel you are using. Spinning guys often have a harder time getting dannys and other kite like lures to fly straight.

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You talk about tins "flopping". I use Heavy Krocs,Kastmasters,Charlie's and Hopkins.None of these ever "flop" on me. The Kroc is probably the longest casting tin of the bunch (never measured). I use conventional reels and have a little spool braking,magnets, or a light thumb on the edge of the spool. The only time lures flop is when I have too short a drop from the end of the rod to the lure. Try changing the length of your drop, you might be pleasantly surprised. It may also be the reel you are using. Spinning guys often have a harder time getting dannys and other kite like lures to fly straight.

 

Thanks Longshot! This really opens things up. Who wants to explain why Longshots experience is so different than mine? I used drops in the 3 to 4 foot range. I found the greater the lure velocity, the more tendancy to flop and wind plane. Does flopping (lack of pointing) increase exponentially with velocity? Is it at very high velocities where these lures seperate theselves out.

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It could well be velocity at launch. My bet would be the lure running straight because it has to pull the line a little harder due to the reel or thumb friction. Also, with a spinning rod the cast seems to be more of a snap. I have very little experience with spinning gear.I use a heavy fiberglass rod that I can overpower, and have found that for me distance comes from smoothness, not power. My goal is usually about 100 yards, not ultimate distance

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LS,

 

My results are completely the opposite. I find a Kroc spoon the most unpredictable, shortest caster of the lot, and one I actually baby cast cause it has proven to cause mega blow-ups in the larger sizes. Hopkins are very erratic fliers for me too.

 

One that flies pretty nice for me is a cast lead Cordell CC spoon. Kinda like a more blunt Hopkins shorty. Flies pretty straight and long, with a nice waggle action.

 

CC-Spoon.jpg

 

Shame they only go as high as 1 oz.

 

SS

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Are we talking about the same lure? The Kroc I use is 3 1/4 long and a little more than 3/16 thick. We call them "doublewides" because of their extra thickness. The same size Kroc can be bought as a 1 1/2 ouncer, but these weigh in at 2 1/4 on my scale.

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Are we talking about the same lure? The Kroc I use is 3 1/4 long and a little more than 3/16 thick. We call them "doublewides" because of their extra thickness. The same size Kroc can be bought as a 1 1/2 ouncer, but these weigh in at 2 1/4 on my scale.

 

I can only find one style Luhr Jensen Krocodile Spoon as I search the web. Mine is 4 inches long, 1/8 inch thick, and 2 3/16 ounces (weighed). It says Die #8 on the back. Is yours the Luhr Jensen Brand or a clone? BTW, the LuhrJensen web site is nonfunctional. I found that they in trouble with the EPA. Check this http://www.deq.state.or.us/news/prDi...asp?docID=2007

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