Going on a fishing trip when the moon is full, and the region had recently received over 100mm of rain, I had reason to doubt how successful I might be. But when the second cast of the morning with a brand-new lure gets hit on the drop by a 44cm bream, you start to worry about peaking too early. When I then caught further fish on the fifth and sixth casts, I stopped worrying and took more notice of what I was casting.
In this case it was the Pro Lure Paddle Grub. Pro Lure is a small Australian brand that makes a range soft plastic and hard-body lures designed here on Aussie soil. It’s important to note these lures aren’t off-the-shelf OEM (original equipment manufacturer) lures stuck in a packet with a Pro Lure logo, but the brainchild of owner and Sydney-based angler Heath McGeachie, who designs every model from the ground up. The brand possesses originality as well as some great new tweaks to time-honoured classics such as jerkbaits and crankbaits. It is a brand that I had seen and read about across the pages of Hooked Up but had never had the pleasure of using, so I was stoked to be handed a few different models to review for the mag.
The Pro Lure Paddle Grub is a 65mm soft plastic, available in 11 colours and designed to be proficient as a surface lure, particularly as a ‘pink grubbing’ soft plastic. This technique involves rigging the soft plastic on a weedless or unweighted worm hook, making a long cast along a flat, then winding the paddle grub along the surface and watching a predator of the estuary chase the lure down as if it were a prawn. The key to this ‘pink grubbing’ technique is allowing the lure to sink on a semi-slack line to ensure it falls as naturally as possible, right in front of the fish’s nose. When summer inevitably rolls around, Crystal Pink and Bloodworm are the colours that appeal to me most for this technique. Given I’m currently in the depths of the Victorian winter, I’ve yet to use the Paddle Grub in its designated, ‘pink grubbing’ situation, but what I did learn is that the Paddle Grub isn’t a one-trick pony.
The Paddle Grub possesses a unique profile consisting of a thin ribbed body that tapers down to a very thin tail wrist, enabling the lure to produce an incredible action while being wound at low speeds – and this action isn’t lost while sinking through the water column. The buoyancy of the soft plastic also enhances the slow freefall of the lure when presented on lightly weighted jig heads or an unweighted worm hook.
I honestly don’t think there are many other soft plastics that have such a significant tail action while sinking. The ability of the lure to work so proficiently without any action from the angler is the key reason why it’s so effective which also makes it extremely user-friendly.
The Paddle Grub also comes in excellent packaging. The plastics are contained in a plastic mould so each individual lure holds its shape and swims straight when you take it out of the packet.
With 11 unique colours, of which eight are UV-enhanced, the Paddle Grub range is sure to have a colour that draws your eye or suits your target species. While it was designed predominantly as a bream lure, there isn’t a fish with fins that won’t inhale the Paddle Grub, whether surface-feeding or holding on the bottom.
How it Casts
The Paddle Grub, despite being quite a light soft plastic, skip-casts really well. I can’t think of many other paddle-tailed soft plastics that skip particularly well, which is because most feature flat sides. The round, ‘grub-style’ body of the lure is the reason this lure skips so well. While I don’t think the ability to ‘skip’ a lure is a hugely important feature, it is yet another point of difference that the Paddle Grub possesses, and may be of use in certain scenarios.
On The Water
On my most recent trip I fished the Paddle Grub when targeting schooled-up bream. The fish were in depths of 2 to 4 metres, and I rigged the Paddle Grub with 1/12th jig head. As a rule of thumb, I generally use a 1/12th jig head in water deeper than 3 metres and a 1/24th in shallower water. However, because of the buoyancy of the paddle grub, you can use a heavier jig head, because the lure will sink a little slower.
The moment I knew these Paddle Grubs were highly effective was when I started out-fishing a mate on a recent trip to East Gippsland. My mate was using a well-known brand of paddle-tail soft plastic and the Paddle Grub was taking him to the cleaners. This didn’t happen just once; the paddle grub out-shone other brands for the duration of the three-day trip where we fished multiple systems. I had great success using the Mango and Motor Oil colours, where water clarity determined which of these two UV-enhanced colours I used. I’d also like to point out that the ‘Motor Oil UV’ isn’t your typical Motor Oil colour, despite its strong green UV hue when in the water; this Motor Oil colour is more translucent than others I’ve used, which is a definite point of difference.
Bang For Buck
The Paddle Grub is durable compared with other soft plastics of the same material. Granted, it isn’t the most durable soft plastic I have ever used, but I was still able to catch multiple fish on one lure. Durability isn’t a deciding factor for me when purchasing a packet of soft plastics; its ability to catch fish trumps all other factors, and at under ten dollars for a pack, these provide outstanding value for money.
I actually bought a few more packets after some East Gippsland bream tore through my remaining packets of Paddle Grubs, visiting every tackle shop in the area and picking up any packets of Paddle Grubs they had. So, if you live in East Gippsland and plan on trying to find a packet of Paddle Grubs, I hope they’ve restocked.
Get On It
To conclude this review, I question whether I want people to know about the effectiveness of this lure… because I want to keep it all to myself. Never have I used a lure and developed so much confidence in it so quickly. This is a very, very good plastic.