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Trying to Get Lucky
JP Vermeijden, pictured left, is
a master lure maker; LAS Secretary John Cheyne
was lucky enough to find his Lucky Lures, superbly crafted
joint-baits (or are they
swimbaits?). Here John tells us how he was fortunate
enough to get hold of one, and give it a whirl...
Every now and again you come across a lure that really
your imagination. Well, I was snooping around on the internet for
handmade jerk baits last year when I came across ihe Lucky Lures
website.The lures on show, all hand made by Dutch lure fishing
fanatic JP Vermeijden, were absolutely fabulous. Right away I knew
I had to have one!
Every now and again you come across a lure that really fires your imagination. Well, I was snooping around on the internet for handmade jerk baits last year when I came across ihe Lucky Lures website.The lures on show, all hand made by Dutch lure fishing fanatic JP Vermeijden, were absolutely fabulous. Right away I knew I had to have one!
<-Click for larger image
The lure I really fancied was the Esox a jointed pike replica swimbui thai just looks gorgeous. Unfortunately when I got in touch with JP I found out that the lure was still in the development stage. JP suggested I try one of his brilliant looking Jointed HardtBass models which were proving to be great fish catchers on both sides of the Atlantic. I didn't take much persuading, the perch colour scheme version of the Hardbass looked awesome and luckily JP had one in stock. JP puts his lures togethier in a very interesting way. Unlike many small scale bait manufacturers he doesn't hand make every model from wood. Instead he develops a master lure by hand carving and once he has got it exactly right, he produces a mould from die wooden master and then casts individual lures from a urethane composite material.
This produces a very high quality lure which has a hardwood-like feel and action and is virtually bomb-proof! Each lure is then airbrush sprayed in custom colours and finished with a UV and scratch resistant topcoat.
My lovely lure duly arrived and the first thing that caught my attention was the joint in the middle of the lure. This is beautifully moulded into the lure itself and feels very solid, the whole lure had a lovely quality feel and I couldn't wait to get it wet. The lure is 6 inches long and weighs 2.5 ounces (70g).Two days laler, and I was fishing at a local gravel pit. The water was gin-clear which let me watch how the bait reacted to inputs from the reel and rod. JP has designed the lure as a straight retrieve swimbait and sure enough with a nice steady retrieve the lure swims nicely with an enticing action.
On the fourth or fifth cast a feisty jack of about 5 lbs decided the Hardbass looked tasty, a promising start! I inspected the lure after unhooking the jack and the scratch resistant topcoat certainly worked. There wasn't a mark on the lure, despite the fact that my snappy little friend had grabbed the lure sideways, then thrashed about energetically while biting down on the lure as I landed it. Next I tried a few twitches during the retrieve and this time the lure turned back on itself and flashed it's sides beautifully, in fact it was so good at kicking round, that it fouled the trace a couple of times with ihe front treble. I then switched to a more solid trace and this helped a lot.
Unfortunately no more fish were caught that day, but two weeks later I was out again and this time I hit into a proper fish. I was testing the sink rate of the lure by counting down before retrieving and found dial it drops about a foot a second. I'd let it drop about 8 feet and had turned the reel handle twice before everything went solid. It was obviously a good fish, and having coaxed it away from a big weed bed, I was stooping down with the net when I realized there was just one hook in the fish and it seemed to be hanging on by nothing but skin! At that moment the fish kicked and came straight out the water, showering me with spray and throwing the hook.It was a good mid-double and I must admit I used some colourful language as it would have been a great trophy shot for the review, but alas, it was not to be. Since then I've hud at least a dozen fish on the Hardbass, but as yet nothing over 6 or 71b. As far as the action, build quality,and design of the lure is concerned, I can thoroughly recommend the Hardbass, It's a well designed, great looking lure that catches fish. Every lure JP produces is hand signed and numbered and I'm sure many of the lures never see any action, but are displayed by collectors.
They're certainly not cheap, but then again hand built quality costs a little more. Right now I'm saving up for an Esox which is now in production and maybe a Arowana Dragon too. Hopefully I get something sizeable landed using the Hardbass too, it would be a shame if my Lucky Lure didn't live up to it's name!
Lucky Lures can be contacted via their website: www.luckylures.nl
by John Cheyne
published: Lure Angler - Summer 2010