Editor’s Note: Denny Brauer of Camdenton, Missouri, one of the most-successful tournament bass fishermen in the world today, has earned over $2 million in tournament winnings from fishing BASS and other tournament circuits. This week, Brauer will tell us how he decides what new lures and tactics to use to catch bass.
Part 1: Why Fish New Lures and the Strike King 3-inch Baby Rodent with Denny Brauer
Question: Denny, Strike King seems to come-out with new lures two or three times a year. Why do they come out with so-many new lures so often?
Brauer: That’s a really-good question, because Strike King has so-many baits that you’ll think we have just about every lure possible to catch bass. But if a company sits back on its hands and doesn’t come out with new products, and more importantly better products, that company won’t be around for long. Consumers like new colors and sizes, and the bass prefer to see something different. I’m excited about Strike King’s new colors lures and sizes, because new lures add new tools and tactics for catching more and bigger bass and catching them more quickly.
Question: One of the important niches in Strike King’s product research and development is that members of the Strike King Pro Team research new and better ways to catch bass and look for specific needs for lures that aren’t being filled.
Brauer: Strike King wants fishermen who are highly competitive and can give new ideas that will give them the edge to win. All the Strike King Pros search for lures that offer a different way to solve a fishing problem and try to find new ways to catch bigger bass faster. They look for anything new coming into the professional-fishing market that we may be able to tweek, change or improve to make it a better fishing tool.
Question: You’ve said there’s a secret in Strike King that the public doesn’t know. What is it?
Brauer: At the Strike King Lure Company, the people who manage the business not only know how to manage a company, but they also know how to handle and manage a rod and reel. Every manager at Strike King can fish and compete at the highest level of bass fishing. When we go to the management team with an idea, a suggestion or a new concept in bass fishing, they understand. Too, at Strike King, when our management team has an idea about a new technique or lure, the team will bring it to the professional bass fishermen for our suggestions and evaluations.
So, we have two types of fishermen who play different roles in the company, understand each other, have the ability to bring new products and ideas to each other and then collaborate to produce quality fishing lures. For instance, the Football Jig was a great jig when it was developed, but after the Pro Staff fished with it for awhile, they learned that it could be better with a hook on it. Now, it’s one of the best jigs on the market. Another lure that’s caught fire on the tournament trail, and that has been one of the hottest lures is the Perfect Plastic Rodent. This year, Strike King introduced a smaller Rodent, the 3-inch Perfect Plastic Baby Rodent, which is really exciting. It’s a great lure for punching mats.
Question: What does the 3-inch Baby Rodent give you that you haven’t had in the 4-inch Rodent?
Brauer: The 3-inch Baby Rodent offers a more-compact presentation to the bass than the 4-inch Rodent does. Some lakes we fish on the tournament circuit are tough to fish, and there’s not a lot of big bass in those lakes. So, if we can downsize the Rodent, the smaller bait will appeal to a higher percentage of the bass in that lake than the 4-inch Rodent will, and that translates into more bites and catching more bass. When you have to fish tough weather conditions, like the back side of a cold front, by downsizing your lures, you often will get more strikes than you will if you don’t downsize your lure. When I’m flipping in heavy vegetation, I can put a 1-ounce weight in front of the 3-inch Baby Rodent with a No. 4/0 hook. The bait will slide-through those mats much easier than the 4-inch Rodent will. I can Carolina-rig the 3-inch Baby Rodent and flip it, so it increases the number of options for fishing one of the hottest soft-plastic lures on the market today.
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