SQUIDGIES WHIP BAITS
Through 2012, as part of the celebrations surrounding the 10th birthday of the Squidgies range of Australian-designed soft plastic lures, Shimano Australia ran a competition to name the latest tail design in the growing Squidgies stable.
It’s history now that this keenly-contested competition was won by young Matthew Woodward from Queensland, who was the first contestant to submit the name “Whip Bait” for the new design. As a result, Matthew and his mate Scott Sheldon picked up a great prize in the form of three days fishing at Mallacoota in Victoria’s East Gippsland with Squidgies’ co-designers, Kaj “Bushy” Busch and yours truly.
The Squidgies Whip Bait is very much Bushy’s baby, and he put long hours into designing this interesting cross-over tail, combining the very best attributes of three well-established Squidgies (the Flick Bait, Shad and Fish) into a single lure. (Watch a clip of Bushy talking about the Whip Baits!)
Originally, Bushy had envisaged a large plastic aimed very much at barra, mulloway, big snapper and pelagics such as his personal favourites: yellowtail kingfish. However, the new design swam so well using a wide variety of retrieves that the size range was expanded into the smaller end of the scale, with models created to suit bass, bream, flathead, jacks, trout, perch and the like. The end result is a range of six sizes (from 60 to 200 mm) in an initial selection of eight colours that cover all the main bases in Aussie sport fishing.
ON THE WATER
The Squidgies Whip Bait is something of a “no brainer” when it comes to successful presentations. It swims like a demon and catches plenty of fish if simply rigged straight and true on a jig head, belted out and cranked back (or trolled) at a range of speeds from dead slow to flat out. However, Whip Baits work even better on most species if this straight retrieve is broken up with various stops and starts, lifts and drops and sweeps or stabs of the rod tip.
As its name implies, the Whip Bait is particularly well suited to an energetic “whipping” action, incorporating quite violent rips of the rod. However, at the opposite end of the spectrum, it’s also a real killer if crawled vertically or at an angle through deeply suspended schools of impoundment bass and the like, much in the style of Charlie Brewer’s original Slider — an evergreen favourite for such subtle, “do nothing” presentations.
Over more than a decade, the Squidgies brand has become synonymous with highly successful, user-friendly soft plastics designed by Australian fishermen for Australian fishermen. It seems likely that the new Bushy-designed Squidgies Whip Baits (available in both the Squidgies Pro range, with a free tube of S-Factor feeding stimulant, or in the standard Squidgies range without S-Factor) might well prove to be the most versatile, effective and popular tail in the Squidgies range so far… and that’s certainly saying something!
WHIP BAITS STATS
Models: Squidgies Pro Whip Baits (with S-Factor) and Squidgies Whip Baits.
Style: Crossover shad/stick-style soft plastic swim bait (unrigged).
Sizes: 60, 80, 100, 125 and 150 mm in the Pro Range (with S-Factor), and those five sizes plus the big 200 mm in the standard Squidgies range.
Colours: Bloodworm, Killer Tomato, Drop Bear, White Lightning, Silver Fox, Black Gold, Gary Glitter and Pilly.
Suitable Jig Heads: Squidgies Weapon Heads, Finesse Darter Heads and Painted Fish Heads. Can also be rigged “weedless” on wide-gape worm hooks.
Target Species: Everything from trout to tuna and mullet to marlin… seriously!
RRP: Approx. $9.95 per packet for the Pro Range (with S-Factor), and $7 to $10 for Squidgies standard range, depending upon size.
Video: Watch the video clip here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tuR0GiSCefs
COMMENTS: A particularly versatile soft plastic well suited to a wide range of presentation strategies on all manner of fresh and saltwater target species, and an especially good choice for newcomers to this style of fishing, or those making the transition from hard-bodied lures to softies.