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Scent attractor in fly fishing?

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Wasn't sure where to post this, thought this would be a good start, please move if that's best

 

Not new in the world of gear, but on the radar for flies:

 

http://www.ginkandgasoline.com/fly-fishing-lifestyle/sunday-classic-scent-attractor-in-fly-fishing/#comment-300379

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Sunday Classic / Scent attractor in fly fishing?

Posted on January 21, 2018 / by Louis Cahill

 

DSC_6612-2.jpg
Leave a bad taste in your mouth? Photo by Louis Cahill

 

I recently did a photo-shoot for Attraxx, a company whose name may be familiar to some of you.

 

Attraxx makes soft plastic baits for gear fishing in both fresh and saltwater. These aren’t your grandfather’s rubber worms. The plastics are infused with five patented attractors that stimulate fish into striking. It’s apparently far more complex than just scent or taste and frankly I don’t totally understand all of the details. These guys have a handful of PhDs to my none, but I spent a few days watching these high tech baits in action and I can tell you they work insanely well.

 

I’m not a gear fisherman. I don’t say that because I feel like I’m above it. Gear fishing takes a lot of skill and knowledge, it’s just not my thing. I don’t do it so I’m not good at it and I don’t understand it. Doug Long, the man behind Attraxx, does understand it. I’ve known Doug for years as a skilled fly fisherman and we’ve wetted our boots together on plenty of occasions so I was surprised to hear that he was now running a plastic bait company.

 

I was even more surprised to hear that Attraxx is considering new products for fly fishermen. Imagine that, flies tied with materials that release neural stimulators into the water, whipping fish into a feeding frenzy. A couple of years ago I’d have said, “no way! Nobody will buy it,” but these days, I’m not so sure. Let’s look at the trend.

 

People raised a fuss when fly tyers started using foam in their flies. There are still a few fly fishing competitions that do not allow foam but I wager that everyone reading this has a foam pattern or two in their box. I know I do. For that matter fly tyers have embraced all manner of synthetics in their patterns and with good reason. They work! What’s the difference between foam and rubber legs? This trend has played out so far that my tying materials now include condoms. It was a tough sell for my wife the first time I packed condoms for a fishing trip but now even she thinks it’s OK.

 

Streamer fisherman (and I count myself) are among the greatest innovators or worst offenders, depending on how you look at it. I’ve had friends laugh out loud at my streamer patterns, only to ask for a closer look after the third or fourth fish. They are all articulated, some have rattling beads or move like a rapala and most have as much flash as a Kiss concert.

 

Saltwater tyers are not new to this game either. The first fly I ever saw with a rattle was a permit fly. This trickery doesn’t end there. Montana Fly Company’s new “Crabby Patty”, a fly I love, features lifelike cast rubber crab claws and legs and an actual photo of a crab shell on it’s back. That’s right, a photo! I mean, d**n!

 

One of the coolest new fly fishing products for 2013 is West Water’s Spectrum Response. A spray that makes flies glow under UV light. Under the right conditions it works and I’ve used it and recommended it and I don’t have any ethical issue with it.

 

So why am I recoiling at the idea of scent attractors?

 

What’s the difference between what works and what works too well? Where is the line? Is there a line? I’ve embraced synthetics and flash and rattles and articulation and photocopies and glow-in-the-dark hair spray. Why does scent feel wrong?

 

I’m not going to pretend to have the answer. What I want is to know is what you think. I’m sure there will be a great outcry against this idea and I want to hear it, but what I’m really curious about is who can sell me on the idea. If you’re thinking, “where can I get me some of that Attraxx stuff?” please! Tell me what you think.

 

I’m listening…and so are they.

 

Louis Cahill
Gink & Gasoline
http://www.ginkandgasoline.com
hookups@ginkandgasoline.com

 

 

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I was working in and guiding at a local fly shop when the gummy minnow came out.  Many of the fishing purists would scoff at it when they came in the shop as they touted the only way to fly fish was dry flies.  Depending on my mood and how well i knew the customer i would always retort with well you know the first fly tied wasn't a dry fly at all so you really aren't being that pure.  The gummy minnow and it's materials are bow used everywhere.  I know i heard flack from people for using synthetics in my posts and wings on my dries instead of the traditional calf hair.  All i would say is i'd rather not have to reapply floating as often so i am going to use the best materials possible.

As far as scent goes, I am all for it.  I love the innovation and fly fishing to me isn't what is on the end of the line as much as the delivery.  I even throw weightless soft plastics on my fly rod and do quite well.  There is no scent that will turn fish into a feeding frenzy that i have seen but if it did they could charge a premium for it, especially to the conventional fisherman crowd.  

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Pretty well nailed it, IMO...but I'm far from a purist.

 

I already use scent when trowing flies for bass, pike and musky:

 

  • I rub some Mega Strike into my hands when I'm done putting on sunscreen, etc., and after lunch
  • I'll work some pike formula into pike and musky flies, particularly when they are new.
7 minutes ago, flyfisher said:

I even throw weightless soft plastics on my fly rod and do quite well.

Would you be able to tell us more about this?  The couple times I tried, the soft plastics didn't last long - they couldn't stand the stress of the stops and acceleration.

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Just now, Further North said:

Pretty well nailed it, IMO...but I'm far from a purist.

 

I already use scent when trowing flies for bass, pike and musky:

 

  • I rub some Mega Strike into my hands when I'm done putting on sunscreen, etc., and after lunch
  • I'll work some pike formula into pike and musky flies, particularly when they are new.

Would you be able to tell us more about this?  The couple times I tried, the soft plastics didn't last long - they couldn't stand the stress of the stops and acceleration.

I do the same thing with mega strike too :)

As far as soft plastic goes you need something that is a pretty hardy plastic.  I have used junior flukes rigged weightless with the hook exposed.  I have also done them wacky rigged with an o ring.  I would also bet that baits like elaztech would be awesome.  I also have some 4" stick worms that were double dipped with clear plastic in the head area and i can nose hook those.  One thing that does help is to slow down your cast and open up your loops but you are right, you will fling off a bunch of plastics.  I also wonder if a drop or two of super glue would help keep them on the hook as well.

I have a few ideas i am going to try this year....

I also wonder if you could use one of those screw locks into the nose of a soft plastic and just run the hook throw the opening.  I bet that would work well too

 

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4 minutes ago, flyfisher said:

As far as soft plastic goes you need something that is a pretty hardy plastic.  I have used junior flukes rigged weightless with the hook exposed.  I have also done them wacky rigged with an o ring.  I would also bet that baits like elaztech would be awesome.  I also have some 4" stick worms that were double dipped with clear plastic in the head area and i can nose hook those.  One thing that does help is to slow down your cast and open up your loops but you are right, you will fling off a bunch of plastics.  I also wonder if a drop or two of super glue would help keep them on the hook as well.

 

Thanks...never thought about Elaztech...that'd work...tried super glue...tended to just break the soft plastics where the glue ended...made the soft plastic kind of brittle/rigid...Hook stayed in the rigid part...rest of the bait went into the trees... :)

 

I've got some hybridization going the other direction (throwing big flies on gear) that I've been working on.  Made some progress at the end of last season, looking forward to carrying it into 2018.

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My problem is when chasing LM on the fly rod i love it but there are just certain situations where conventional is more effective, again no purist here lol  

I do love fishing some lilly pads with the long rod though.  This year i am going to try it at night....I just worry about the bats because i have had to unhook one of those before, not fun lol

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Bats are OK, you just have to keep the line tight and out of the trees.

 

I've found that I am a lot less tired after a day on the water if I switch back and forth between gear and flies.  Different muscles, different presentations...

 

I had one musky to the boat 5 times in about 40 minutes last fall...three flies, two lures...she wouldn't eat any of them...

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Musky on the fly is one of my bucket list fish for sure, along with Peacock bass in the amazon :) 

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Muskies are fun...I like pike better...more of 'em and they are more aggressive.

 

...this'll get you heart beating:

 

 

 

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Closest i get to that near me is chain pickerel :) One of these days i am going to make a trip up north to target some toothy critters.

 

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There's muskies in TN...you can go south...

 

Call the guys at Fly South in Nashville, and there are other options.

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They have them here in the James and the Shenandoah as well but I know it takes time and effort to go for them and it is hard for me to stop chasing the brown and green bass :)

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The first commercial attractor scents for fresh water fish that I recall was for trout and catfish.

Scented salmon eggs, scented cheese dough baits were common back in the early 50's and they worked. Trout have good odors receptors, a lot better then bass. We use scents for bass to help mask other odors, where trout are attracted to baits by odors.

Tom

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There's a gentleman nearby - Jason Halfen - who did a lot of work with Trigger X soft plastics for walleye.  I found it really interesting...and he helped me catch my at-that-time personal best.

 

I've since been cured of fishing for walleye, and have caught a few that eclipsed that fish by almost 10", mostly by accident...but ti was still fun to learn about.

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20 hours ago, Further North said:

There's muskies in TN...you can go south...

 

Call the guys at Fly South in Nashville, and there are other options.

There are muskies (and pike) in VA...

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