Lure Review

When spring winds and rains roil in inland waters, turn your attention to Manchac-area catfish. They bite best when the water’s high and filthy.

The Texan whose artificial lures speak for themselves with their productivity, so much so that they have become a staple in the tackleboxes of pros and weekend anglers alike, can’t help but be proud of a spinnerbait series that’s hooking up bass from Texas to all points of the compass, including Louisiana.

Lonnie Stanley of Huntington, Texas, home of Stanley Jigs Inc., which makes everything from jigs to spinnerbaits to soft plastics, really has a special place in his heart for the Icon Series of spinnerbaits led by the model with the tunable, tapered titanium wire shaft and skirts like the new Hot Flash Bloodspot Series.

Why does the 59-year-old veteran angler think so highly of the nearly indestructible spinnerbait?

Simple, he explained as he and hundreds of other anglers waited for bass to make a move en masse to the beds on Lake Sam Rayburn.

With bass fishermen going to heavier line, including braids, conventional spinnerbaits get abused, Stanley said. Not so for the one with the new Tx3 Wire frame, he said.

“I’ve got all the confidence in the world it isn’t going to break on a big bass,” he said.

Isn’t that what it’s all about? You go through the trouble of getting to the right spot, making the right choice for an artificial lure, casting to the right place and setting the hook … you kind of expect the spinnerbait to deliver that “hawg” to your hands.

Stanley knows it can handle a load. He caught a 9 3/4-pound bass on an Icon Series with the new Tx3 Wire last year in a private lake in East Texas and, recently, used it to catch an 8-14 at Sam Rayburn.

Some 11s and 12s also have fallen to the durable spinnerbait wielded by other anglers, he said.

“The wire will bend, but you can’t break it,” he said. “We’ve tested this wire by bending and re-bending it over 150 times without a single failure. It’s just super strong, sensitive and almost indestructible.”

Well, he admitted, out of all the ones he has tied on, one he was throwing did break when it hit the trolling motor so hard it broke in two. But that’s the only known casualty.

Naturally, there’s more to one of the hottest things going on the market. After all, it’s a Stanley.

“So many things make it so good,” he said. And that makes him prouder because three years ago he set out to build a better spinnerbait, he said.

Patented Wedge blades, Mustad Ultra-Point hooks and super strong ball-bearing swivels that virtually never wear out, along with those innovative skirts, make for an unbeatable combination in the water.

Anglers have fallen in love with the Hot Flash Bloodspot Series skirts on Toledo Bend, Sam Rayburn, Lake Guntersville in Alabama and across Mississippi, Stanley said. The love affair is growing as everyone’s chasing skirts — the ones on red hooks.

There’s the Tennessee shad (No. 353), fire tiger (No. 355), golden bream (No. 358), catalpa (No. 360), white shad (No. 373) and chartreuse shad (No. 375).

“We also have new chrome skirts that act like a piece of tinfoil,” he said. “So many things make it so good.”

They give off the same kind of flash as a baitfish or a bream, he added, which makes them No. 1 on the hit list by bass.

Those Chrome Flash skirts are available in a dozen colors, including chartreuse sunfish (No. 810), melonseed perch (No. 812) and Cajun crawfish (No. 819).

“This new skirt is unlike any spinnerbait skirt you’ve ever seen. It adds so much flash to the entire bait and produces a lifelike image that fish cannot resist,” Stanley said.

But it’s that standard Stanley blade that probably sells the Icon Series more than anything else. The blade with a unique fish scale pattern etched into it gives the whole package more vibration and flash, he said.

“You can downsize blades on it. You don’t have to use big blades because with the “T” wire, a No. 4 willow will outvibrate a No. 5 willow,” he said. “The main thing I like about the spinnerbait is the vibration. It gives out more than I ever used. It’s a confidence factor.”

The Icon Series new Tx3 Wire spinnerbaits are available in 1/8-, 1/4-, 3/8-, 1/2- and 3/4-ounce models.

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About Don Shoopman 475 Articles
Don Shoopman fishes for freshwater and saltwater species mostly in and around the Atchafalaya Basin and Vermilion Bay. He moved to the Sportsman’s Paradise in 1976, and he and his wife June live in New Iberia. They have two grown sons.

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