The opportunity to test this unique lure came available to me recently. My purpose for testing this bait was to compile a performance report for my fellow anglers. The fishermen could then read the report and gain a working knowledge of the bait. This unbiased wisdom will help other fishermen decide if trying the bait might be something they want to pursue. The fact that I could keep the lure after testing it was an added bonus. For that reason I enthusiastically leaped at the opportunity to give this bait a try. The only defiance facing me was that of the poor climate. A local forecaster stated that weather for that day would make the fishing a challenge. That was the only day I could use to schedule the evaluation. The low barometric pressure predicted to be here always makes fishing a bit tougher. My best effort was all that could be proposed for fishing in those less than ideal conditions. The results were hard to achieve on that day but at least I could evaluate the lure's performance.
The techniques used for fishing a blade type bait were completely new to me. Methods used for fishing with this lure proved to be a bit clumsy when first tried. Anything we do in life that is new to us involves a learning period that takes place. My first pattern tried with the ThinFisher was to retrieve-pause-retrieve and pause again until the lure reached the rod tip. No results were had so more research and a bit of experimentation were tried to achieve confidence while using this metal blade bait. Expert fishermen state that confidence is one of the most important factors in using any type of fishing lure properly. So for that reason I attempted another method of presenting the lure. To start I employed a steady retrieve until the lure was 1/4 of the way back to me. Then I changed to turning the reel handle very fast. No results were experienced while fishing with this method.
While gathering more information on how to use this lure I stumbled upon some of the history of this lure type. So the gathering of this knowledge turned out to be a very lucky and rewarding effort. One of the things I learned was that the first blade type bait was made in 1957 by a company named Heddon. This new type of lure for the time was called a Sonic. Fishing lures were predominately made from wood during the mid-1900's. Metal fishing lures were quite out of the ordinary during that time. With the "blade" lure being made from metal it would naturally sink. Baits made from wood and those of plastic floated because these materials were buoyant. Some of the baits made from these materials were designed to run at depths below the surface. In order to accomplish this a diving lip was added to the lure. When a diving lip was placed in the front end it forced the lure to dive under the water's surface. This was accomplished in one of two ways. The lure dove and vibrated when the angler retrieved it. The bait would also dive when it was moved by the tide or current.Credit: Raymond E
Another good source for finding information pertaining to the bait was right on the back of the packaging. Many companies place directions about how to use their product right on the packaging. Some manufacturers place this valuable information on a separate sheet of paper that is inserted into the container. So it is beneficial for anyone regardless of your skill level in angling to read the instructions before using any fishing contraption. Too many times this priceless information is discarded before the angler reads it. It is in your best interest to have an open mind abouit trying new things. Learning new information may prove to be a valuable tool for your arsenal of techniques. That may just equate to catching more and bigger fish.
As shown in the photograph above depicting the back of it's package, a Johnson Thin Fisher is said to be built with a natural vibrating action. This part of the manufacturers' claim proved to be true during my field testing. The maker also claims that there is a built in sonic rattle which creates a fish attracting "noise." No fish were caught during my testing but when you shake the bait you can physically hear a rattle, so I am pretty certain that's what they are referencing. There are 3 tow points on the top of the blade. The front point is for high speed retrieves and this causes a tight wobble with the blade. There's a middle tow point for using medium speed retrieves which provides a moderate vibration. Then finally the rear tow point yields a wide vibration with a slow speed retrieve with the lure. All 3 of these tow points were tried and every one proved to perform exactly the way its manufacturer stated they would.
Also there were some subtle variations in the retrieval of the lure added by me in an effort to try coaxing a strike. First I would retrieve the lure a few feet then stop. This allowed the lure to drop slowly through the water column during the stop. I tried erratic retrievals by varying the speeds of the bait during each retrieve. A simple stop-go-stop-go retrieve was also employed to no avail. If there is anything that you the reader can think about (a method or technique) for me to try with this bait please let me know. I will give your suggestions a try on my next fishing trip with this lure.
The overall rating that I would give this lure would be an 8 out of 10. My recommendation is for you to give this bait a try. This bait performs exactly in the way it is marketed. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the North American Fisherman club and Johnson Corporation for allowing me to test this lure. Good luck and tight lines my fellow fishermen!