I don’t know about you but for me the whole appeal of finesse lure fishing is getting out there for a few hours with the minimum of kit, getting a few bites and having fun fishing those little plastics. This sort of fishing isn’t necessarily going to produce the biggest fish of your life (though my perch PB is finesse caught), but it gives you the opportunity to get out on the bank at those times when lugging the kitchen sink down just isn’t viable.
The key here is having fun catching those smaller fish on the lightest kit you dare get away with, so when I was asked a few weeks ago “what is your favourite lure to fish for perch” I felt more inclined to answer with the lure that I have the most fun with rather than the one that catches all the fish. Fortunately in the case of the Savage Gear Micro LRF Sandeel Kit there isn’t too much of a compromise in the conclusion!
The Savage Gear LRF Mini Sandeel Kit has been around for a few years now, by no means is it a new kid on the block. For less than a tenner the pack contains five 3g #8 jig heads and twenty micro sandeels in five different colours. The soft baits come in two different shapes, the 45mm paddle tailed sandeel and the 55mm pin-tailed slug. The sheer amount of kit in the pack provides the angler with a versatile range of colour combinations and bait shapes.
The #8 jig heads have been specifically made for the tiny plastic sandeels and have a hydrodynamic design that when fished with a steady bounce of the rod tip creates a wide darting movement – it seems to hunt fish down! I always encourage anglers to spend two minutes bouncing a lure around in the margins to check out how it reacts to different types of movement and the Savage Gear LRF Sandeel is a classic case in point. On days when the random darts and glides of the bait won’t induce takes it is simple to either fish the baits on a straight retrieve to encourage fish to chase or to fish along the bottom with tiny dabs of the rod tip. The long shank hooks on the jig heads are sharp out of the packet and are plenty strong enough for finesse applications.
Through a few years of bouncing these around various types of water in the UK I have found that the two different bait shapes have characteristics and actions that lend themselves to different styles of retrieve. The paddle tailed sandeel is the best choice for fishing with the wide and random darting action as the tail flutters enticingly on the drop. The paddle is also of course the best option for fishing on a straight retrieve as it provides enough movement to provoke takes.
For a slower and lower retrieve however the pin tailed slug style bait is by far the better option. The heavilly ribbed tail section and the micro movement tail create a wagging movement that draws takes from fish that don’t want to chase a lure too far. I have on occasion cut the longer body section down a little if short takes have frustrated me – this doesn’t seem to effect the action too much and can put a few more fish on the bank.
Of the five different colours in the packet I would find it hard to choose one over the others, but my favourite combination is the classic red head/white body rig. The translucent silver baits have scored well in clear water, likewise the fluo yellow in dirty water. One of the most fun aspects of the kit is that the range of options offers the angler the opportunity to play around with the colours based on the water conditions and what the fish respond best to.
For under a tenner the Savage Gear LRF Mini Sandeel Kit represents a real bargain for the finesse lure angler. With colours and shapes for every eventuality it really is possible to arrive at the bank with only this packet and still get amongst the fish. It’s a lure that has its own special area in my box of tricks and one that I wouldn’t want to be without when perch are on the agenda.
If you’re in to finesse lure fishing and haven’t had a play with these little guys then I would strongly recommend you give them a wiggle. With their crazy darting and searching action they’re a heap of fun to fish even before you get a take – that’s what it’s all about!