The Silver Buddy
By Swift Spaulding
Every tournament angler has a "go to" or confidence bait. When the chips are down and you're trying to get back on track, there's that special lure that puts confidence back into the forefront of your approach. For me, that special lure is the Silver Buddy. The trick to developing confidence in this lure is learning how to fish it correctly.
I can use this lure anytime through out the year but I must admit it's most effective between September and March. The water's a little cooler, the bass are moving into the back of the creeks and schooling. There are many times I'm prefishing for a tournament and need to cover a lot of water quickly. The Silver Buddy is perfect for this application and will definitely show you where the fish are sitting. You're able to cover the complete water column. You can use it in clear lakes or muddy tidal rivers. It's great for fresh water or salt-water applications.
Although this article is primarily directed toward bass fishing, Kendal Banks the owner and operator of Silver Buddy Outfitters, has now developed and tested his saltwater model and the Big Game series which come in 2 oz., 3 oz. and 4 oz. The primary freshwater colors come in Gold, Fire Tiger, Black and of course the famous Silver. Weights run from 1/4 oz, 1/2 oz, and 3/4 oz.
As I stated earlier, the trick to developing confidence in this lure is learning how to fish it correctly. I've found a medium heavy 6-foot 6-inch baitcasting rod with a 6.3 to 1 ratio is the best suited for this lure. I use a Quantum 600TI and 12- or 14-pound test Gamakatsu G-Power line to determine the rate of fall. I also primarily use the 1/2 oz model but that's just a personal preference because I can feel the lure better, make longer casts and determine the fall rate with more accuracy. When you tie this lure on make sure to use the duo-lock snaps provided. The metal of the lure will cut through the line and you also get the most out of the lure vibration.
You must be a line watcher to determine the strike. As you throw the lure, let it free fall to the bottom. Pump the rod in a 9:00 to 12:00 motion. As the lure falls again, take up the slack, watching the lure for the second it hits bottom. Again pumping the rod in this same 9:00 to 12:00 motion until you've worked the lure down the break. Now the main reason for the 6.3 to 1 ratio is to be able to control the rate of fall. You quickly take up the slack and feel the lure as it falls. The fish will hit the lure normally on the fall so this also enables you to apply instant pressure.
Because of the special vibration of the Silver Buddy and the way it falls, it's not uncommon to foul-hook a fish. For this reason, your hook set is nothing more then a sideways pressure on the fish. It's very easy to rip the hooks out of the fish should you try to step back and give it the haymaker set.
A lot of the time I'll give the lure a quick pump as it initially hits the water to resemble a small bait fish fleeing from a flat before I control the fall. Don't get in the habit of using the same cadence during your retrieve. It's important to occasionally give the rod two quick pumps before the lure falls.
In conclusion, the Silver Buddy may not look like much but as you learn to master and get the most out of this lure, your confidence will increase. Silver Buddy Outfitters can be reached at 1-888-TO BUDDY or check out their web site. Kendal will be more then happy to answer any and all of your questions. GOOD FISHING.
Swift is a professional bass angler from Maryland who fishes the BASS Eastern Invitational Trail. He guides on the Potomac River and Lake Anna in Virginia. He's been fishing national tournaments trails for several years including the Redman, Championship Teams and Bass Champions. Swift is sponsored by All Pro Rods, Gamakatsu/SPRO Corp. and Silverbuddy Outfitters.