What’s the Frequency?

Written by Sarah on May 25, 2011

Did you watch the TV broadcast of the Bassmasters from Lake Murray, South Carolina?

I did, and despite years of know-it-allness, I still learned something. It seemed that just about every competitor was throwing a fluke-style bait. Nothing too surprising there, they’re great shad imitators especially in clear water. But I always thought the fluke was about slow, striding motion, gradual dippitydoos and unpredictable swoons. These dudes were absolutely ripping the snot out of the bait, pulling it across the surface in many cases even faster than I thought a fish could get a handle on it. In fact, Kevin Wirth reported using a “prototype” (there’s that word again) 7.9:1 gear ratio reel, and using it to maximum effectiveness.

After getting over my initial shock, I started thinking about other lure categories that have transferred from the slow to moderate or fast tracks. What about jigs? For years we were told to pitch or flip them, then shake them in place, or perhaps soak them in deep water. Now swimming a jig is used by just about everyone from top pros to weekend joes. On places like Kentucky Lake, they “stroke” a jig, violently ripping it up off of the bottom, slow, subtle presentations be damned. What about “speed worming,” a technique whose name seems almost oxymoronic to old timers.

We often consider the color of our lures, their profiles, even their noisemaking capabilities when we tie them on and cast them out, but speed seems to be an overlooked frontier – or at least one that’s not talked about very much. I’m sure that eventually we’ll hear someone talk about deadsticking a lipless crank or slow-rolling a buzzbait. Seriously, though, what atypical retrieve speed is going to be the next one to show up on Sunday morning TV?

This blog was written by Pete Robbins, Facts of Fishing blogger and Dave’s good buddy.

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