Made With the Angler in Mind

“Made with the angler in mind”

It’s a phrase you see on a regular basis when perusing almost all lure manufacturing companies.  I see it regularly when I’m doing research on bringing new brands into Cross Bone Outfitters.  It’s got me thinking.  What are they trying to portray?  In all honesty, like most other anglers out there, I’d rather them make baits with the fish in mind.  Seriously, are you personally trying to catch anglers or fish?

You can see a lot of what is out there is flashy, with a catchy name, and is marketed to catch anglers all the time.  You can really tell which makers those are who put the fish first in the creation of their lures.   It’s the functionality of what they’re trying to create.

Because Ricci was thinking about the fish he needed to catch on a vibrating jig and needed a tool to do it.

Ricci Head, the creator of our best selling lure – the Head Shed Baits Wiggler – had fish in mind when he made that lure.  He was using what was available on the market.  Those original chatter baits were good baits, but they have one serious flaw, they have a completely exposed main hook.  Some variations have put weed guards on them in an attempt to be a little more snag resistant, but honestly they still don’t maintain the snag resistance needed.  So Ricci went to thinking and created the Wiggler.  The most important aspect of the wiggler is the wire leading away from the head of the bait.  Because of that wire, the bait will deflect off of cover well before the heavy weed guard has to do any work whatsoever.  Then add the solid weed guard and you have the only truly 4×4 vibrating jig on the market.  Why?  Because Ricci was thinking about the fish he needed to catch on a vibrating jig and needed a tool to do it.  On the flip side, you can get the “Jackhammer” version of the Z-Man Original – This bait was certainly “improved” with the angler in mind.  At a $16 price tag you’ll only get an improved skirt, an improved hook, and an improved bait keeper on the exact same bait as the original.  You’ll still go through one or two in heavy brush, just now at a higher cost to you.

So, looking at the creation or “improvement” of many baits – Do you really want to focus on the companies who have the angler in mind – or the fish?

I’m going to focus on the fish.


…to catch your attention because on some old TNN Saturday Morning Fishing Show

you watched as a kid you were told all baits needed salt.

Functionality of the tools in your tool box should be the first thing you look for when selecting new baits.  Always ask the question, “Why?” when you don’t understand why something says what it says.  For instance, many anglers out there won’t touch a bait if it doesn’t have salt in it.  Why?  Some say it makes the fish hold on longer, others say it helps the bait sink.  For one, almost any flavor other than the flavor of your hands touching the bait will help the fish hold on longer.  Look at the Coffee Scented flavors from Strike King.  Do fish care if the bait smells like coffee?  Without a definitive response from the fish whom I’ve asked in the past, I can’t say for sure, but my educated guess is undoubtedly a resounding “NO.”  However, coffee is a much more natural essence than the essence of man emulating from your fingers when you’re handling the bait.  So to my point, salt is mostly made “With the Angler in Mind” – IE, to catch your attention because on some old TNN Saturday Morning Fishing Show you watched as a kid you were told all baits needed salt.  Salt does have a use, and it was the second one I mentioned, the fall rate.  If you’re going to wacky rig a stick bait, there needs to be two things, softness to the bait, and a decent fall rate when rigged weightless.  Because of that, SOME salt added to a bait can be a good thing.

However, salt has a terrible side effect.

It does NOT bond to the plastic of the bait.  Have you ever asked yourself why you can only get about one or two fish (if you’re lucky) off a single GYCB Original Senko?  It literally is the amount of salt they put in the plastic.  There are unconfirmed rumors that some companies add the salt, not there for the action, but to ensure you as the consumer must have more than one pack on your boat to get through the day – “Made with the Angler in Mind.”  No doubt Gary is a brilliant designer.  From looking at a ball point pen trying to imagine a soft plastic jerk bait, one of the most simple yet effective bait shapes was born by his imagination.    However, this design was largely improved by simply improving the content of the plastic to make it.

So when you’re looking at small or large companies, you should always ask yourself – What exactly do these folks have in mind when they say

– “Made with the Angler in Mind” –

  A lot of gear out there catches anglers, almost all of them will probably catch fish (even a bottle cap will entice a bass), but what is the functional purpose of the gear you’re using?  If you’ve never asked yourself that question, I’d say it’s time to start.

2 thoughts on “Made With the Angler in Mind

    • Chaz Hickcox says:

      Just copy the link in the bar Ryan!

      Something else I was thinking about at work today…. Would you buy tools for your car that were advertised as being made “For the mechanic in mind?” Probably not, because you need tools created with the task in mind. All these awesome baits are tools, and catching fish is the task.

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