I took the real eel out for it's second swim a couple of days ago. I have changed the jighead for a 15g one and it seems to suit the bait perfectly. The eel comes with a hole already cast into it to help run the supplied jighead hook but, although useful for that, I found that it doesn't allow a jighead collar to grip very well. I started off with leaving the jighead hook as standard but it soon became apparent that it was going to slip off at some point so cut it and glued it in. I rarely use a top hook when rigging big softbaits, preferring to cut the hook off at the bend and glueing the shank and collar into place, as I find that the bait is easier to rig, is more secure and lasts longer.
I got to my banker swim and clipped the eel on. After a couple of casts an upper single followed it in but didn't hit it and a couple of casts later it did the same thing. A few casts later the eel got hit hard and I was expecting to see the same fish to come up but this one was a bit bigger. I didn't weigh it but it was 14-15lb..
(apologies for the poor photo.. I had a rank amateur taking the shot! :lol: )
After using the eel a couple of times now I'm quite impressed. It fishes very well slow and shallow and when you pause it, it doesn't dive for the bottom and the tail never stops moving. It's certainly a useful lure that catches fish.
Does it do anything different to a slow sink mag dawg or large grub? Not really, although there are slight differences. It is definitely more realistic which I think can be a factor in clear water when fishing them slowly.
The downsides are that it is expensive for what it is and the material is so soft that it is already showing severe, deep slashes along the body so not sure how long it will last. It's a trade off though, if it wasn't so soft the action wouldn't be the same. Perhaps strangely, none of the hits so far have even got near the tail.. every one has been across the body. At its price point I wouldn't use the 40cm eel where there were lots of jacks but if it lasts several doubles the cost would be offset somewhat. Personally I'd prefer a cheaper body on its own, without the jighead and stinger. I think the supplied jighead is too small and the hook too large, and although it might be a bit OCD, I can't bring myself to trust anyone else's traces, leaders or stingers. Paranoid maybe but when fishing for big fish I'd be more than a bit annoyed if a mass produced one failed.
Due to the very low water levels on the river it hass been hard going for the last few weeks so I've been spending a couple of hours chub fishing with light lure gear. It's been fun and today I decided to just fish topwaters for them. Fishing with an Arbogast Jitterbug in Coach Dog colour I managed to catch 3 with the biggest going 3.12lb. I've never weighed a chub before and was surprised how heavy it went so I'm guessing one I had last time out was a minimum of 4lb.