First Look

The new Rebel Bluegill crankbait sets a new standard on realism. Fish will find this hard to resist.

One cool thing about writing fish stories for a living is the occasional opportunity to see new lures and even fish them well before their official release to the fishing world.

Such was the case with the Rebel Bluegill, which generated major interest at the ICAST show last month. Prior to that, I spent time fishing Arkansas’ Spring River with Lawrence Taylor of Rebel Lures, and he had grabbed a sample of prototype Rebel Bluegills for field testing.

A lure swimming as it is supposed to in a tank is a nice thing and a positive first step, but for lure manufacturers that seek to do things right, it’s not enough. Lures need testing in the kinds of settings they were designed for to see how they handle current, cover and other real stuff and especially to see what the fish think.

The Spring River, which offers a mix of bass, trout and panfish, plus plentiful current and shallow rock, offered perfect testing grounds for the Rebel Bluegill, a flat-sided panfish imitator designed primarily for fishing in ponds and streams for multiple species.

The baits weren’t yet mass produced so Taylor only had four of them (one per color pattern). That was enough, though. They yielded brown and rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, rock bass and bluegills in a day’s float and out-produced everything else we tried.

It’s fun seeing new stuff for the first time at the ICAST show, but I have to say that it’s even more fun to see a lure on display that is already fondly familiar because I have seen it in action and used it to catch fish!

Check out my blog to keep up with fishing travels.

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