Beyond a shadow of a doubt, the most often question we are asked is what is the difference between all the different blades that come on Bucktails and what is the right blade for a given situation? Today, let’s talk briefly about blades. How do they work and what are the benefits to each one?
In-Line blade – Probably the most unique blade on the market as these blades do not require a clevis to attach the blade to your bait. These blades spin very close to the wire shafts and do not give much “lift” to your bucktail. They have a lighter or “higher pitched” vibration to them. No thump. These blades are excellent for “burning” bucktails. Very little residence in the water and are designed to be scooted along at a fast pace. When used with a lighter bait they excel at being burned over vegetation or use them on a bigger, heavier bait to comb deep weed edges and flats. Better suited in clear water situations.
French blade – This is another good “burner” style blade. Not much “lift” to these blades. Another blade that rides close to the wire shaft of the bucktail. A “higher pitch” vibration, no thump, and very little resistance coming through the water, with a decent amount of flash. Excellent for burning over weed flats on a lighter or smaller bait and can be worked slower on bigger baits for deep weed edge applications. Can be used in clear and stained waters, may not be the best blade in dirty water.
Willow Leaf blade – Tremendous amounts of flash from this blade. No “lift”, rides close to the shaft of the bucktail, very little resistance in the water and not much vibration. These blades seem to really excel in clear water applications.
Indiana blade – Good amount of “lift” with this blade. Meaning it will cause the bait to rise in the water column the faster it is retrieved. Decent flash and a fair amount of vibration, yet doesn’t have that much resistance on the retrieve. Indiana blades will ride a little further out from the shaft then an In-Line, French or Willow Leaf blade. These blades seem to excel in “mid-size” bucktails. Works great in all water clarities.
Colorado blade – The “thumper” of the blades. Great vibration and lots of “lift” given to the baits. The deeper the cup of a Colorado blade, the more “thump” it will have. Great blade to use in low light periods, dirty water, or where you need to give a mid-size to large bucktail a “bigger” sound and feel on pressured bodies of water. Probably the most resistance on the retrieve through the water. The blade will ride the furthest distance out from the shaft on a bucktail, giving it that great and easy “lift” in the water column. Great for shallow water structure fishing. Preforms well in clear water when we need to give a bait a “bigger” feel and is the perfect blade choice in dirty water, low light periods or night fishing due to its high vibration.
Mag-Willow Fluted blade – My personal favorite blade on the market today. This blade seems to bring together the best of the Colorado and Willow Leaf blades, a “Hybrid” blade, if you will. Enough cup to give it good vibration and thump. The bait rides out from the shaft to give it good “lift” in the water column. Also great flash to this blade as well. Excellent for any water clarities and light conditions and is best suited for shallow water structure applications.
So hopefully this gives you a little more insight to the differences in blade styles we can choose from for our bucktails. Selecting the right blade for the conditions you’re faced with will put a lot more fish in the boat and could help you catch that “fish of a life time” this year!