I still get plenty of query’s on the subject of Needlefish, so I thought I’d update this post from my first experiences with Needlefish from back in 2012, a lot of water under the bridge since those first geeky blogs (cringe). Yes, there’s many, many ways to catch bass, the Needle just gives you another option for fast flows, & distance, which is what drew me to it. It was first designed in the US to target their striped bass in strong flows, striped bass, & our bass share a lot of the same traits, and the lure found it’s way to European waters. Since then its took on many forms, & variations, there are some great looking hand made versions around too, but my favorite is still the Super Strike versions with a little modification on the rear hook, the single hook for quicker unhooking, fish release, & with some Bucktail added to assist the lure to “Plane” a little better IMHO. Rod wise, these days for Needles, & many other US style/Striper lures I use a St. Croix Triumph Surf 10′ 3/4-4 oz , 10′ is a great edition when managing a long line across a strong flow, and you will need to manage/mend your line when using them in strong flows, to fish them effectively, without a “Bow” forming along the line thus “Dragging” through the water too fast. Strong flows, tidal rips, call them whatever you want are always magnets for bass, whether the bass are holding up in “Lies”, or “Backing down” the flow, when fished correctly, the Needle will find them on its “Sweep” across the flows, day, or night.
It doesn’t do anything special really, no wobble, rattle, or WTD, and its up to the angler to make them work, it just hangs in the flow in the same way as a Sandeel struggling against the flow, of course the Needle gives the impression to the bass its alive just by holding station against the flow, in essence its what lure fishing is all about, its not what the bass see’s, its what IT THINKS IT SEE’S. Which raises more questions, are many of our modern lures over animated, or too “Loud” ? No doubt many lures are designed to catch anglers…. Just how much lure movement does the bass see from a roughly “Horizontal” position say 2 feet below the lure ? It just goes to show there’s nothing absolute in angling, it’s all about adapting to what your faced with on the day/night, and making the most of the options available to you, & one of those options is the Needlefish.