then and now

BAIT PROGRESSION never stops…

If I wasn’t hunting through shelves and boxes for something totally different for an upcoming tournament, I wouldn’t have stumbled onto a bait that briefly flashed (pun intended) as brightly as any other hard bait in Southern California for a time.

After dominance by the #11 (or #13) floating Rapala as San Diego’s premier twitch and later jerkbait, the new-at-the-time Bomber Long A appeared sometime in the 1980’s with clear body and foil insert.

You had to have one–and most of us did. It was the first lure I ever bought a dozen of the same size and color. But what happened to that terrific lure?

whats missing

WHAT’S MISSING? This early Long A had no internal weights!

Frankly, progress. (And maybe boredom.) After a time, a series of other baits (Storm, Smithwick and newer Long A’s, before the Japanese imports arrived) with changes in construction, color schemes and bill materials were introduced and that little 3 1/2-inch lure seemingly stopped working for us.

“Working” I think is the key word. I never noticed until yesterday that this particular old Bomber had no internal weights. Maybe that was to mirror the buoyancy of the Rapala.

But it was pretty obvious, that model of Long A did not function like the heavier, suspending minnows made for a hard ripping style retrieve. Those smaller, lighter Long A’s would come out of the water or catch on the line. It maybe wasn’t about what the lure could do, it was more about what the lure didn’t. And we put them aside.

modern mylar

PROPRIETARY means of inserting the reflective Mylar is a trait of the Yo-
Zuri 3DB, in the modern era…

Still, when I place that vintage bait next to the new Yo-Zuri 3DB, I am reminded of how far we have come in lure development and construction. Although of a similar size, the modern bait sports an updated and proprietary means of Mylar placement, with flat sides to allow for more reflection.

Looking at the older lure, it appears they put the foil on the seam of the two body “halves” and glued them together. Some ended up flat, while others were warped.

Today, balance, motion, buoyancy variations, hook and hardware quality, not to mention, all the visual and water movement elements are in play when you tie to that split ring.

And that’s a testament to lure progression. Pretty cool.