Monday, May 19, 2008 at 8:00 AM
Mepps Aglia Dressed Treble
I have a feeling lots of bass fishermen will scoff at this post and laugh at me for using an inline spinner. When largemouth bass fishermen look at inline spinners, the first thing that probably comes to mind isn't LM bass fishing. In the world of bass fishing, the inline spinner is more often than not seen as a lure for the kids. Walk into any fishing store or department where bass fishing dominates the market and inline spinners won't be easy to find on the shelf. Visit the same stores in places where people fish hard core for things like smallies and trout and all of a sudden, you're staring point blank at a huge selection of inline spinners. There is an obvious line drawn to keep these lures just outside of our reach. Some might even go as far as to say the division over these lures boils down to a North/South thing. Imagine that. The "Made in France" on the blade might also evoke that irrational sense of loathing for the French by many in this country. Possible for a few I guess. I'm sure most largemouth bass fishermen don't like lure just because it's so small and light. These same anglers are sometimes known to use a beetle spin though. Interesting. Maybe the threat of line twist is just too taboo for you. Whatever your reason might be, I hope to convince you that maybe there is a place for this lure in your box after reading this post.
Over the years, lures like the Aglia have caught numerous LM bass for me. In fact, when I first began fishing for bass as a child, inline spinners were right up there with my plastic worms. I must admit, however, that this lure has been shoved to the back of my arsenal since diving into the world of baitcasting. I still use it, but not as often as I used to. Apparently even Mike Iaconelli keeps an inline spinner in his appropriately named "panic box" for when times are tough. Yeah bass anglers may laugh at you, me, and even Ike, but these inline spinners can catch some nice bass. There was even a nice article highlighting the Mepps Aglia in a recent issue of Field and Stream.
All the stigma aside, this lure is still small and very light. It can be difficult to cast a Mepps inline spinner for those baitcaster fans even if you're using the 1/4oz version. You're probably going to use spinning gear and light line. On top of that, odds are you're not going to be targeting bass. You're used to catching sunfish and other small fish with these lures, not bass. This lure definitely works for those kinds of fish. I've even caught catfish and been in the boat with someone who caught a 5lb drum with one. For the smaller fish, a size 1 Mepps Aglia is definitely a great choice. So stop fishing for those lil guys for a while and move up to a size 3 or 4 to catch some bass. I've witnessed so many 2-3lb bass take on a size 3 Mepps Aglia. I've even seen a Mepps Aglia draw out a 3lb bass in the middle of a 25 feet deep hole over on Caddo Lake near Shreveport, Louisiana. The Mepps web site even mentions sizes 3 and 4 are great for largemouth bass. A size 3 weighs 1/4oz and a size 4 weighs 1/3oz. Even a size 2 would go over well in the fall or in pressured environments. In situations where we need to slow down our retrieve, the Aglia should be right there staring back at you ready to go. When you want to downsize your lure, keep the Mepps Aglia in mind.
The trick for me has always been fishing this spinner slowly. Reeling too slow will keep the blade from turning and reeling too fast is simply that. Too fast. I remember as a child, I would be throwing a Mepps and my mom would be doing the same a few feet away. She would catch fish and I wouldn't. She always fished it slower than I did. When I fished it slow, I caught weeds. Since then, I've improved my technique and found that a good spincast reel or a lower ratio baitcaster with a ML rod works well. I have a hard time finding that happy balance with a 6.3:1 baitcaster. Most of the time I do stick to using this lure in shallow water unless I find a feeding frenzy of bass chasing shad. Anything with a treble hook has a tendency to snag, so yes there are situations where thanks to the treble hook, this lure may not be the best choice. You also have to worry about line twist. You can always change your line after a day out with an inline spinner. I use snap swivels. Works for me. I don't have any trouble with line twist.
I use a size 3 Aglia with a silver blade and the fox tail brown dressing. What's not to love? You've got a flashy blade followed by a mean treble hook. You can go on the Mepps web site and custom order your Aglia size, blade color, and dressing color. They are even available in a plain treble minus the dressing. You do have choices.
Lastly, I would choose a Mepps over a Rooster Tail any day. Rooster Tails just don't behave the same as a Mepps. The Aglia will outfish a Rooster Tail hands down in my opinion. The only other inline spinner that has done as well as the Mepps Aglia has been a Blue Fox spinner with the same color dressing.