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Evergreen Ultra Sledge

As dedicated anglers, we’re always on the lookout for high-end gear that can give us an edge on the fish while at the same time being original in design without trying to reinvent the wheel. Recently, we had the pleasure of putting the Evergreen Ultra Sedge to the test, a lure that exhibits all the merits a high-end Japanese lure should.

The Ultra Sledge fills a gap in the market by delivering a finesse jerkbait/crankbait hybrid with a shad profile that suits Australian waters. The 60mm size strikes a balance between subtlety and visibility, making it a versatile choice for targeting a range of estuary species.

As you’d expect from a company like Evergreen, the Ultra Sledge has been meticulously crafted. While it’s a Japanese design, its compact 60mm size, suspending buoyancy and shad profile ensure that it fits seamlessly into the ecosystem of Australian species, setting it apart from many Japanese lures that might not be as well-suited to our waters. Its stated max dive depth of 1.5-2.5m is refreshingly realistic and you can expect to be reaching 2m with your standard cast and retrieve.

The standout features of the Ultra Sledge are its action, castability and colour range. The bib and body shape allow the angler to easily impart a darting action and offers great control, whether you’re working an open flat or casting tight into structure. Even in the fast sections of a river’s flow, the Ultra Sledge locks in tight and doesn’t blow out with aggressive rod work.  We found that jerking and twitching the lure, and allowing for long pauses, brought the most effective results, triggering aggressive bites from even old and finicky winter bream. However, for those anglers wanting to slow roll or troll, its inbuilt tight wiggle is outstanding.

Thanks to its “centre-of-gravity movement system” it casts accurately and with excellent distance for a lure of this style and weighing only 5.5g. The variety of colours and unique reflective mirror inlays are a welcome departure from the norm, allowing anglers to select options that resonate with the local baitfish. The one colour that seemed to dominate during the test period was Ghost Silver (106), a Tennessee Shad colour profile with a slight purple hue. It’s a popular and classic colour for Australian anglers targeting both estuary perch and bream across a range of lures, but Evergreen’s take on it is unique and very classy.

The hooks and split rings, which were originally designed for Japan’s largemouth bass, are perfect for any southern estuary species – even large flathead – so there is no need to upgrade the hooks. The Ultra Sledge is ready to fish straight out of the pack for most species.

Our test took us to the shallow waters of Bemm River where finicky winter bream were lurking at around 1.7 metres on the sandy flats. The Ultra Sledge was like a magnet for these fish. Its lifelike darting action, combined with the carefully selected range of colours, made for a dynamic presentation that the bream couldn’t resist. It’s worth noting that the lure’s ability to be fine-tuned to the specific mood of the fish proved invaluable in varying conditions.

The Ultra Sledge has proven itself as a great lure that has some distinct points of difference in a saturated market of suspending shad profiles. Whether you’re chasing bass, perch, bream, flathead or trout, it has a place in any keen finesse angler’s box and is worthy of its high-end price of around $30.

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