Home > Monster-technology > Lures > The rubber flood
The rubber flood Print E-mail
Written by Uli Beyer   


Rubber Lure
As a soft wave the rubber lure came over anglers. Meanwhile it is a strong swell in which beginners are threatened to drown. I hope I can give some orientation in the flood of rubber lure with this article.

All started rather harmless with these rubber lures. In the beginning there were just a few colours and sizes which one brought along for different operations. But then there were more and more shapes and variations. The soft wave became a proper flood. Sandras, Frogger, Curlies, Turbotails, Slottershads, Swimbaits, Super-Goober, Paddels and so on. A non-professional can’t find his way anymore.

Choise of rubber lure
I myself had different favourites at different times and I have been influenced by coincidental successes. Meanwhile I choose very selective from the huge range. The complete spectrum of rubber lure can be divided into two groups: grubs with their typical sickle tail and rubber fish, mainly in form of a fish’s body with a paddle tail. Which one to prefer? This cannot be answered in a general way; it depends on the particular water circumstances.

double tails
For me it started with a double tail grub. In the past I swore on this and I thought rubber fish is less catchy. Today I prefer rubber fish of 11 to 25 centimetres length. Every now and then and increasingly so I also use giant grubs up to 40 cm length. Basically I made the following experiences with both forms of lure: The number of catches speaks in favour of the normal grub. Considering the size of the fish the rubber fish is more successful, provided that it is not a giant grub…

grub pike

More movement
The advantage of big grub tails or double tails is that they create a lot of movement even when the are guided slowly. Therefore they create a lot of whirls even in standing water bodies. Even if they have caught some weed they still move attractively. Also grubs have, when drawn through the water, a very slim silhouette which many predator fish like very much. Almost all predators love eel for example! For undecided predators these grubs are the right decision support. On the other hand one has to consider that lure with a long sloppy tail summon up more air and water resistance.

long distance casts
Long distance casts become more difficult; in the current a lure has more uplift. Both facts ask for heavier sinkers. A rubber fish with its compact body form has better casting features. The hook in the rubber fish is more central, that causes less failure bites. And the handling of additional trebles on the lure is also easier. With grubs the tails got hooked up easily on the trebles.

clip system
Especially for big shads it is advised to use additional trebles in form of one of the clip systems developed by Uli in order to keep the amount of failure bites low!

fantastic pike with Slottie Flusskönig
Sven wouldn’t have caught this amazing pike with a 20 cm Slottershad S (Flusskönig) without the clip system…

firm Slottershad
The hardness of the rubber is a crucial feature of the lure. Before deciding on a certain consistency of the rubber you should be aware of the angling situation in which you would like to use the lure. Very often super soft rubber is advised because, with light jig heads, they perform finer movements. Very often very careful predators are easier to catch with soft lure. However, the movement of a soft lure is useless if they start twisting uncontrollably in strong current or with faster draws. Uli fishes for a long time now with the Slottershad developed by him.

Slottie S Flusskönig
The „super softies“, as the meanwhile legendary “Slottie S” for example, are quite tattered after a few bites anyway. And in the end only the tradesmen are happy about that, and very often the super soft lure means many and harmless bites!

Sandra grub firm for surges
Strong surges
Softbaits of stronger synthetic material need heavier sinkers and a stronger draw to perform tempting movements. But with these rubber fishes we can create especially strong surges which appeal to predators even in murky water. The Americans sell these models as “saltwater-version” because one assumes that in salt water the bites are harder and fiercer. Many people don’t have a go at those lures for angling in fresh water. The Sandra von Delalande or the Sea Shad are two of those lure for example which are probably better fished with in fresh water than in the ocean.

pike with firm Slottershad
A big mistake because they are first class lures for our pikes. Pike-perches spot them distinctively better in murky water! Often you can feel the powerful movements of a harder lure in the tip of your rod. The wearing of harder rubber is distinctively lower as of soft rubber. This is an important argument for firmer material.

Slottershad plan view
To combine the good features of soft and hard material in one single lure I developed Slottershad. This rubber fish consists of firm material with notches on the side of the lower body. It can be fished with many different jig heads. It is very mobile even when it is drawn slowly and it sends out strong surges. The firm material is very hard-wearing against bites. For me it seems to be particularly important that the rubber fish performs a natural swimming movement. The paddle tail rotates unnaturally if the body is too soft or if it is badly designed, instead of weaving sideward. An attractive movement originates in a high but slim tail root in connection with a firmer synthetic material or the mentioned notches in the rubber body. They create the swinging sideward movements and avoid unwanted rotations.

the paddle tail defines how a lure waggles
Mobile backsides

What the diving paddle means for the crankbait, for the rubber fish it is the paddle tails. This is the locomotor system of the lure. The steeper the paddle tail descends the more vehement are the movements of the lure. The size of the paddle tail has also an influence on the mobility. Home constructors realized that a long time ago and they bonded the tails of bigger rubber fish to smaller ones. But there are limits to these combinations. Because at some stage the movements become so vehement that one needs a very heavy jig head to counterpart the strong movements of the tail. The tail waggles with the dog (rubber fish)…
Especially in the current an oversized tail creates so much movement and uplift that it reduces the success of the lure. In a strong current I prefer sloped paddle tails. They create sufficient movement and have a low uplift.


flutter bug lure is catchy!
Normally we want to create maximum surges but in this case less is more. With slow lure guidance, as for example the vertical angling, so called tube or flutter bug lure can be distinctively catchier. Especially pike-perches are sometimes mad about the apparently motionless flutter bug jigs.

flutter bug lure for perches
Perches love flutter bug lures as well. Do they think they are little crayfish? Twitched slowly over the grounds they can be fantastic. The “tubes”, as the Americans call them, are amongst the best established lures for perches and they work very well in our regions also!

big lure catches big fish!
It is astonishing that so few anglers for predators have a go at big lure. They don’t hesitate to use big bait fish, but they choose rather small lure. Of course quite often you get more bites on smaller lure. This is because the young predator fishes feel up to the lure. But there a few better arguments for the bigger rubber lure. I mean lure from 15 centimetre length onwards.

big lure inhaled!
1. Bigger predators prefer bigger portions. A potent pike prefers to go at a prey the size of 5-10 per cent of his own body weight instead of chasing about between small fish all the time.

2. The composition and presentation of bigger lure is easier. The coordination between rubber and jig head doesn’t have to be as exact to the gram as it has to be with smaller lure.

3. Due to the fact that many anglers fish with smaller rubber fish, they are quite known in waters which are fished frequently. Big rubber lure has the advantage that the predators don’t have bad experiences with them so far.

starting angle of different sinkers
Varied combinations

The fact that one is very flexible with rubber lure and that one can combine their different elements in many different ways helped to their success story. With selected jig heads – Erie-Jigs for the depth, fish head for the current and banana-jigs for the distance – the rubber lure transforms itself to a specialized “catch machine”. But never mind which sinker you take, the rubber lure has to swim with it on a firm line to stay attractive.

pike with Castaic-Sardine
Newly completely assembled rubber fish with integrated sinker and hook exist. The special advantage of these lures is their especially good sinking and swimming behaviour due to fact that the centre of gravity lies further back. These rubber fish swim attractively even if the line hangs loose or if you don’t concentrate so much on guiding the lure. My favourite is the Sardine von Castaic – not only in the lake Möhne at home or in the Bodden it is a guarantee for good pikes.

original Bulldawg from Musky Innovations
Extremely catchy special lure of this kind are Swimbaits from Castaic and Bull Dawg from Musky Innovations. The disadvantage of these completely assembled lures is their limited range of use due to the given weight of the sinker. And the complete lure has a much higher price as well.

Castaic Real Bait
More than rubber and sinker

The first rubber lures consisted of only two parts, the rubber body and the jig head with the hook. The construction and the weight of these lures were aimed at angling near the ground. Plant growth and irregularities on the water beds made the usage of these lures difficult or even impossible. In the last few years rubber lure with different construction elements emerged. With floatable wood or plastic heads and with a diving paddle these rubber lure are for all water depths. For casting as well as for trailing these lures are an enormous enrichment for the range of lures on offer. With their natural swimming movements and their perfect body form and colour these models can compete with any living bait fish. In the contrary: These lure swim exactly in that direction that any living fish is trying to escape from, in front of the mouth of the predator …