Savage Gear 4Play Herring

Tue 03 December 13


In my younger years, when I first started fishing, I would happily target trout on a small river with a selection of Mepps bladed spinners, the odd Toby spoon, or at the beach, mackerel would take a shine to a dedicated spinner or a Devon minnow; how things have moved on since those heady days with the development of such superb lures like the 4play Herring series from Savage Gear.

The lures are part of a range which comprises the same triple jointed body pattern offered in four variations to suit any given situation. I used the slow sinking ‘swim and jerk’ variant coloured ‘dirty roach’ in an attempt to target pike on a local commercial water.

Coupled with a suitable casting rod, my 19cm lure was easy enough to cast to around 50-60 yards and was unaffected by anything except the strongest headwind. At 1 ¾ ozs, there was ample weight to get it out to where I needed it without the requirement to add any extra weight on the line or put my tackle under undue pressure, so I could happily fling it out and be confident that the retrieve action would remain unaltered.

So what makes this lure special? To start with, it’s exceptionally well constructed; the triple joints are strongly held together with a patented wire and pin joint which offers unrivalled strength and movement within each joint. Despite repeated hard casting, snagging on underwater obstacles and a trip into a low hanging tree, nothing came loose, distorted or detached, nor did it twist when taken by pike, so I was very confident that the action would remain constant. At the sharp end, the carbon steel trebles are extremely sharp, offer good gape to engage during a take and have full rotation around forged split rings firmly attached to the body of the lure; to attach the lure to a trace, a similar split ring gives the same security.

My ‘Dirty Roach’ example was stunningly attired; a holographic finish gives a fantastic ‘flash’ effect as it moves through the water, and the body has a very effective replicated scale pattern infused with holographic flecks which disrupt any resemblance to an artificial lure. I noticed that behind the ‘gills’ even the rakers had the expected redness to add further authenticity! A life like eye, sculpted head and tail vanes of differing length really made this lure look just like the real thing! A final nice touch was the Prologic logo etched into the spine of the lure…..very smart!

As this is a ‘slow sink’ lure, it can be used at all depths, but is probably most effective in the surface layers as it can be jerked upwards and left to flutter down again without the angler having to impart too much effort into making the lure work. I tried a number of different retrieval rates; at very slow speed, using a ‘tippy’ rod, I was simply stunned to see how realistic I could make this thing look! It was easy to hold against marginal reedbeds, it could be held under the rod tip ‘just in case’, swept up towards the surface and left to provoke a strike; I could make the last few feet of the retrieve last almost a minute just by moving the rod and barely touching the reel handle! With a little more energy, steady winding in took full advantage of the ‘S’ curve action and it was interesting to find that when I ceased to take line, the lure almost turned back to face the way it had come resulting in a wonderful opportunity for a fish to see the lure and properly and attack across the middle as pike often do when hunting. At full speed, the ‘Dirty Roach’ left a wake right at the surface and gave a resounding ‘thud, thud’ on the rod tip as it moved through the water; it makes it simple for the relative newcomer to lure fishing to offer a tempting bait without too much effort.

Would I recommend this lure? Definitely, I’m an avid lure angler and this is up there in the top five of any lures I’ve ever used. I am confident this series will help me catch fish wherever I go!


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