I fish for salmon with the fly for a few reasons, none of which have to do with elitism or for that matter effectiveness. It’s simply that I prefer to cast the salmon fly because a lot of salmon fishing is casting and not, unfortunately, catching! As I’m not anywhere near a perfect Spey caster, it gives me something to concentrate on when fishing those blank days. Having said that, I’ve had quite some success over the years with one particular lure when salmon fishing with the spinning rod.
In the UK, there are quite a few popular lures, I have tried rapalas, minnows, meals blades, Toby spoons. But the lure that literally knocked the socks off them all was the Abu Reflex. How I came upon the Reflex was fishing for pike and perch, where it was extremely successful, and I thought to myself “It looks like a shrimp with its big feathery tail, and it’s a proven predator attractor for pike and perch, so I bet it works for salmon!”
Now you can see this lure looks a lot like a shrimp, which probably accounts for its success with salmon. It also vibrates well and the different sizes mean you can fish effectively in most water conditions. Another advantage of a blade-style lure is the resistance it creates, which holds the lure high in the water, useful in warmer water and when the water isn’t so fast or deep.
There are quite a few variants, but the one I had the most success with was the silver blade red body with white spots, and generally in water which is peaty-coloured.
There is an important modification though you should make, replace the treble with a size larger (you will need to tie your own feather pattern, effectively matching the original) and join this to the body with a new split ring. This will give better hooking and better movement of the hooks.
I see now that this lure is classed as ‘vintage’ which makes me laugh as I only discovered it 10 years ago for Salmon! So get fishing with this vintage lure, it’s truly awesome.
Tight lines, Chris