Reviewed by: CAPT. MIKE SCHOONVELD
Sometimes the old saw about everything old becoming new again makes sense. Before the first molds were made to make lures from plastic, various types of wood were carved to make fishing “plugs.” Once lure makers sprouted in the plastics industry and many existing brands “reimagined” their baits as plastic, lures crafted from wood, except in a few cases, became endangered species.
Millions of fish have fallen for plastic lures, but that doesn’t mean they were necessarily better. Plenty of fish still fall for the few brands of wooden lures still out there. Balsa ShadRaps and Rapala Jointed Minnows will be in my tackle box forever.
The fact is, the switch from wood to plastic wasn’t made to make lures more appealing to fish; it was an economic decision. The fish don’t care, in fact, my choice of balsa ShadRaps over say, plastic Flicker Shads is because the fish like them better – some of the time – maybe most of the time. So in the competitive fishing lure business, it’s no surprise that a few lure makers are going retro and producing lures made of balsa or other wood – to catch more fish as well as more fishermen.
Few companies know walleyes better than Northland Tackle so when this north woods company based in Bemidji, Minnesota rolled out their balsa wood Rumble Shads and Rumble Sticks last spring, I got some and put them to use and abuse on my early June trip to Lake Erie. My friends and I used them, the walleyes abused them. My favorite color in the dirtier than usual water was the “Sneeze” color – yellow with green/black spots. We did well with the Rumble Shad in the Bubble Gum Tiger color, as well. Check these and other “Rumbles” out at retailers, big box outlets or on-line at http://www.northlandtackle.com