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Bob Banfelder

Bob is an award-winning crime-thriller novelist and outdoors writer. "The Fishing Smart Anywhere Handbook for Salt Water & Fresh Water" is endorsed by Lefty Kreh and Angelo Peluso~online at Amazon.

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February 02, 2017

Spoon-Feeding Pike and Bass

by Bob Banfelder

Part 2 Savvy Rigging Requirements for Spoons

Somewhere along the line (no pun intended), the question arises as how to properly attach a line to a spoon. Back in those early days, it was a generally accepted practice to tie the line directly to the spoon. Why? Answer: for direct contact. However, in terms of practicality when it came to quickly changing lures, there was nothing quick about it—especially when tying knots at night coupled to the concerns of tying anything upon a choppy, cold body of water. I was all thumbs. Therefore, there came a point where anglers had to weigh in on the practical use of attaching ancillary hardware that would expedite matters when changing lures. Hence, a good many fishing folks affix a split ring to their spoon, followed by a barrel swivel, which helps eliminate line twist and aids in changing lures.

By attaching a quick-release clip (such as the Power Clip by Tactical Anglers) between the split ring and the barrel swivel, you can actually take off and put on a lure with your eyes closed. Changing spoons or plugs is that easy. You merely slip the 45º arm of the clip onto or off of the split ring—done. There is no chance of the lure slipping off the clip because the other 90º arm serves as a block. Also, there is no chance of the clip opening up like that of a snap swivel, which I'm certain many of us have experienced in days of old. Quick-release type power lips are shaped very much like a paper clip. I'm sure you've seen them, but be advised that not all of those clips are created equal; more on that point in a moment.

Tactical Anglers Power Fishing Clips are offered in four test-strength sizes of 50 lbs. 75 lbs., 125 lbs., and 175 lbs. [available in small packages or bulk quantities]. They are made from thick stainless steel wire, beefier than the standard round-ended Breakaway Fastlink Clip. Too, the Tactical Anglers Power Clips are designed to be relatively pointed at both ends rather than rounded, and for two sound reasons. One, they keep knots firmly seated. Two, they prevent a barrel swivel from dramatically shifting side to side when retrieving and fighting a good-size fish. To paraphrase Alberto Knie, CEO of Tactical Anglers, "Most pelagic (ocean) fish have a tendency to shift their head, but with the pointed design, it allows for the line to follow; hence, minimizing slippage," which is more likely to occur with the round-ended design. The benefit of the semi-pointed clip is that maximum direct contact is maintained. Tactical Anglers Power Clips are available from Tackle Direct,

I trust you'll be using these indispensable clips—not only for spoons, but for virtually all your lures, especially those long-lipped crankbaits, where the metal eye of the lure is smack up against its face, making it very difficult to fasten a split ring. With Tactical Anglers Power Fishing Clips, it's a cinch to clip to a split ring or directly to a lure's eye.

Small Package Pricing:

Eight (8) Tactical Anglers Power Clips per small package for test-strength sizes 50 lb., 75 lb., 125 lb., and 175 lb. ~ $5.99

Bulk Package Pricing:

Thirty (30) Tactical Anglers Power Clips per bulk package for test-strength size 50 lb. ~ $12.49
Twenty-five (25) Tactical Anglers Power Clips per bulk package for test-strengths 75 lb., 125 lb., and 175 lb. ~ $12.49

As probably noted in past articles, I do not tie my line directly to a quick-release clip. I simply secure one end of a Tactical Anglers Power Clip to the split ring, and a barrel swivel to the other end of the clip so as to eliminate line twist. Experimentation is your best guide. Different strokes for different folks. I even toy with various size split rings because their thicknesses can make a discernible difference in the water column. Avoid attaching a split ring too thick that it does not easily pass through the hole at the top of the spoon, for it will impede the lure's action. Beefier split rings I reserve for heavier spoons such as one ounce and greater. You want good wiggle room between the split ring and the lure. As a rule of thumb, I generally use the standard Breakaway Fastlink round-ended clips for smaller lures in freshwater; for example, 1/8 oz., 3/16 oz., ¼ oz., ½ oz., and ¾ oz. I use the beefier semi-pointed end Tactical Anglers Power Clips for larger, heavier lures in saltwater.

Top & bottom left: round-ended Breakaway Fastlink clips shown in two test strength sizes: 50 lb. and 80 lb. test ~

Top & bottom right: semi-pointed Tactical Anglers Power Clips shown in two of four available test strength sizes: 75 lb. and 175 lb. test

In attaching a split ring to either of the two types of quick-release clips, simply slip the 45º angled arm (not the 90º arm) of the clip onto the thinnest section of the split ring; that is, in between the ends of the double coil where it forms a narrow single-coil space. This facilitates both attaching and removing the split ring from the clip. Attach the clip to a barrel swivel in the same fashion, sliding it to the other end of the clip, and you're done.

Eppinger 1 oz. Dardevle ~ Green/Silver-nickel back spoon, split ring, Tactical Anglers Power Clip (175 lb.), Rosco barrel swivel, Berkley Vanish fluorocarbon

Various size split rings and barrel swivels

Owner, Rosco, Spro, VMC, and Worth components referencing split rings and barrel swivels are worth checking out.

Let's take a look at several Eppinger genuine Dardevle spoons. You'll pay more for an original as opposed to any knockoffs. Why? Eppinger Dardevles go through a five-step manufacturing process to assure quality and craftsmanship. One: the brass or copper blanks are premium corrosion-proof, stamped, and polished. Two: the spoons are then primed with a two-stage etching epoxy primer, which takes a day to dry. Three: Eppinger's craftsmen then apply four to five coats of an exclusive lacquer. Four: the detailing is air brushed and hand painted—a final coat of clear lacquer sealer is applied for ultra-durability. Five: finally, the Dardevle trademark is applied to signify quality. Give the Dardevle its due and experience the ultimate in fish-catching ability. The action is awesome; the proof is in the pudding as you'll soon see.

Eppinger spoons categorized clockwise according to model and size:

Dardevle 1 oz. category: Green/Silver ~ Pink/White Diamonds ~ Hot Shad ~ Yellow/Red Diamond ~ Red/White Stripe ~ Red/White Stripe (Weedless)

Dardevlet ¾ oz. Wide Profile category: Hot Mackerel ~ Red/White Stripe

Cop-E-Cat ¾ oz. Imperial Heavy category: Hot Mackerel ~ Lime/Red Dot ~ Glo'in ~ Silver ~ Blue Silver ~ Green Silver ~ Red/White Stripe

Cop-E-Cat ½ oz. Imperial category: Silver ~ Blue/Silver ~ Lime/Red Dot ~ Red/White Stripe ~ Hot Mackerel

Dardevle Midget 3/16 category: Gold ~ Orange/Black Dot ~ Red/White Stripe ~ (circa 1982) Red/White Stripe

Lil' Devle 1/8 oz. category: Lime/Red Dot ~ Red/White Stripe ~ Hammered Brass

Eppinger spoons range in sizes 1/32 oz. – 3½ oz. and come in a mind-staggering assortment of colors and styles. Log onto to view their full product line. If you go a bit overboard in your purchase and receive flak from anyone, you simply say that the devil made you do it—period.

On the saltwater front this past season, there wasn't an Eppinger spoon viewed above that didn't produce a respectable fish: blues, stripers, weakfish—even fluke! On the freshwater scene, with limited time, Donna and I had good success with several Eppinger spoons, especially the Midgets and Lil'Devles.

Don't be fooled into thinking that little, light spoons can't compete with larger, heavier lures. To hammer home that point sharply, note Eppinger's Lil' Devle 1/8 ounce Hammered Brass spoon in the mouth of the 4-plus pound lunker largemouth bass. I was taking a short break from bowhunting whitetails in the Finger Lakes Region of Central New York. Awesome fishing in the area, folks.

Author with a nice largemouth bass—caught and quickly released

Largemouth bass caught on 1/8 oz. Hammered Brass Eppinger spoon, Shakespeare Ugly Stik SPL 1102 ~ 5 foot Ultra-Light Action rod, Shimano Stradic C14+ 1000 FA reel

As many of us will be severely suffering from cabin fever this February, take or make the time to explore new areas close to home. Bundle up and walk the beaches. Read the water. Jot down notes of places that look promising. Then return to those spots come spring—rod and reel in hand. You may be surprised to discover fresh, fertile fishing grounds.

Next month I'll be detailing a two-part step-by-step Spring Commissioning procedure for outboard engines and boats ~ subtitled SPRINGING INTO ACTION. That ought to warm things up a bit. Until then, think ahead to springtime.

Bob Banfelder

Crime-Thriller Novelist & Outdoors Writer

Member: Outdoor Writers Association of America
New York State Outdoor Writers Association
Long Island Outdoor Communicators Network

Cablevision TV Host Special Interests with Robert Banfelder & Donna Derasmo

Bi-monthly contributor to Nor'east Saltwater ~ presented on the 1st & 2nd of every month.

Available on Amazon in paperback and e-book formats

Available on Amazon in paperback and e-book formats

Comments (3)

Connection Failure wrote 8 months ago

Thanks! The pike fishing stories bring back a lot of memories when I was stationed on Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Connection Failure wrote 8 months ago

Connection Failure wrote 8 months ago

Glad you liked the story, Connection Failure. Writing it brought back some great memories for me as well.

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