In the last couple of pieces we have covered line choices, beads n hooks, clevises, and to wrap it up, blade selection for your walleye rigs. So many companies to choose from, not to mention the many, many, many patterns available. Before going any further, I better discuss the types of blades out there.
The indiana is the first style, which really is not used all that much any more compared to other styles of blades, it has a teardrop shape. The indy doesn’t create quite the ruckus in the water that a colorado will do, but I call it a tweener blade. I will lay back like a willow to some degree, but still have more of a noise factor, only a little less than a colorado.
By far the most popular is the colorado, call it short n fat, it makes a lot of noise as it slowly spins. This blade turns a bit slower than other styles. That factor allows it to stay in the strike zone longer, and entices the walleye to lash out.
Say for about the last five years or so, the willow blade has gained in popularity amongst anglers. This is more of a specialized blade, doesn’t quite have the noise factor of other blades, but it gives the most flash for the buck. I like running the willows up high to maximize the effectiveness of the long streamlined body, allowing walleye below to see the presentation from a long distance off in clear water.
The whiptail blade is another tweener of sorts, it is closely related to the action created by the willow, but with a wow factor going for it. Although I would still run this bait up high targeting suspended fish, when it spins a a bulging presentation is created. While still giving max flash potential, it will make more noise than a willow blade.
Smile blades, the only blade uniquely called by the company who sells them has their own niche in the walleye world. Mack’s Lures has made the blade, which is a piece of plastic decorated with a piece of tape, probably produced by WTP (Witch Tape) , but do not quote me on that one for sure. When times are tough and the walleye are finicky, this lightweight plastic blade will spin at low speeds, while heavier metal blades will just wiggle around. It can be a determining factor in whether you are catching eyes, or just fishing for them.
Couple all that with the names, the same wacky names that are more identified with salmon spoons, and things have gotten interesting in the walleye world. Moldy Muffin, Happy Hooker, Pink Panties, Barbie and Forrest Gump to just to name a few. Retail wise, your options for a fruitful shopping trip are limited in Michigan. There are a few in Ohio, and will give an example of each.
Frank’s Great Outdoors is really my one stop shopping spot in Michigan, two 16 foot spaces dedicated to nothing but materials for you to build your own walleye rigs. Blades from several manufacturers including some hard to find Tommy Harris and old Fishlander patterns. For a full view of their selection, click HERE
In Ohio, although Jann’s Netcraft has a lot of the components you need to make your rigs, but they are kind of limited on blade selection. They do have a new line-up of #6 blades that are hot looking, and if you are into painting your own, they have the blank whiptail blades available.
The Fisherman’s Wharf down in Port Clinton, Ohio had a large selection of blades. Some locally made, but for the most part painted up by the guys at Silver Streak (Wolverine Tackle) . There is also a large selection of other gear there that walleye anglers on Lake Erie can use for all season.
After the relatively few retail shops that you can hit, the internet provides your best resource for finding and purchasing the blades you want to rig up on your harnesses.
My favorite of all the choices is DBfishing.com. Not only do they have the biggest selection of blades and styles, they have the best prices by FAR. Located up by Lake St. Clair, this “garage” outfit take the cake for taking care of their customers. Have a pattern you just cannot find anymore, save at least one blade and mail it up to Darren and Kathy, and they will make as many as you want.
My other favorite place on the internet to shop is Pro Choice Fishing . Not only do they have some really nice patterns, they go all out to make sure your needs are met. Even if you have a tourney in four days, these guys from Michigan, are on the ball, and will have it shipped out that day for you. In this economy its all about customer satisfaction, while the big boys cut their staffs, its the small innovators that step and take their place. Their loss, the angler’s gain!