Case Officer: John Cheyne
Lure Type: Jerkbait
Weight: 46g (sinking version)
We’ve always felt that LureTour.co.uk shouldn’t just be about brand new lures. We also want to celebrate lures that have really proved their worth over a number of years. Lures that have caught fish consistently and have proved to be an invaluable addition to our tackle bag. One lure that definitely fits into that category is the Salmo Slider. The Slider was popularised by the Dutch lure fishing legend Bertus Rozemeijer and was first introduced in the early 1990’s, since then it has become an iconic jerk bait.
The slider we are going to concentrate on in this review, is the 10cm sinking version, however we will mention the attributes of some of the other models too. However as an all round pike lure, the 10cm sinker has to be the star attraction and has caught us more fish than all the other variants put together. Salmo lures are made from a special hard, closed cell foam which gives them a pleasingly solid feel not unlike wood. They come fitted with good quality split rings and nicely made, sticky sharp hooks. A 10cm slider fits nicely in the palm of your hand and at 46g it can be cast on a wide variety of rods. Ideally you want a fairly stiff rod, but unlike some of the big 100g plus jerkbaits, it certainly doesn’t need to be a poker. Salmo were one of the first companies to offer “Photorealistic” finishes on their lures and their colour schemes are very impressive. I have a real soft spot for the Real Grey shiner (RGS) colour which looks fantastic in the water, but there are a vast number of colour schemes to choose from.
Ok so we clip our slider onto our trace and in front of us is 160 acres of crystal clear gravel pit. The rod is a fairly lightweight jerkbait rod and the reel is a low profile multiplier. There is a gentle breeze behind and we’re keen to feel the lure load up the rod, so we put a bit of oomph into that first cast. The lure sails into the air and just keeps going, dagger straight…..still going….still going….still going. We actually nervously look down at the reel to make sure there is still some line on the spool. Finally we thumb the reel just as the slider cuts into the water like an Olympic diver somewhere on the far horizon. Yes. The Slider casts like a dream. Quite simply there are very, very few jerkbaits we know that can touch it for distance and accuracy. It cast beautifully into the wind as well, which can be a huge advantage at times. When there has been a decent wind blowing for two or three days it can really concentrate the baitfish against the shore that the wind is blowing into. This also concentrates the predators in the same area and that’s where you want to use a lure like the slider. It cuts so well into the wind that you can happily cast all day into a decent blow and feel pretty confident that your not going to get a backlash on your reel every third cast. Silders fly true, they just don’t DO sideways. While distance isn’t everything, the Salmo’s casting prowess can give you some distinct advantages. If you’ve crept into a casting position that is overgrown and means you have restricted movement, then a flick of the wrist will send the Slider the same distance as you could cast most other jerkbaits from an open swim. It’s ability to cut through the wind and fly straight also helps when your trying to cast up the side of a weedbed or along a line of overhanging trees. In short you will love casting the Slider..or if you don’t I suggest you get yourself a 12m carp pole and stop pretending you’re a lure angler.
Ok so you’ve cast your Slider half-way across the lake and being a sinker it’s started to descend in a stately manner. The 10cm slider sinks at about a foot a second and it’s time to start you’re retrieve..so what do you do ? The real answer to that is that you can do virtually anything you like. It’s actually quite difficult to get a Slider to fish badly. A straight retrieve will have your lure weaving side to side like a highly trained alpine slalom ace and you will catch fish doing this. Especially if you add a few pauses and changes of speed. But hey, if you wanted to fish a crankbait you’d have clipped one on, so instead you start getting the lure moving with gentle downward taps of the rod tip. Immediately the lure will begin to glide effortlessly from side to side, flashing it’s flanks and sending out “come eat me” signals to all the resident predators in the lake. The only thing you need to concentrate on is making sure you keep reeling as well as jerking as you need to keep a reasonably tight line to stop the lure from flipping straight over it’s own leader and fouling one of the hooks. Next try pausing for a few seconds, the lure will slide it way to a halt and gently with a very noticeable side to side wobble it will begin to slowly descend. This is one of the key moments for getting hits. Pike just love whacking the lure when it stops and begins to drop. If your retrieve is quite slow you might want to mix it up with a few fast bursts and more animated downward movements of the rod. This will get the slider bucking and darting like a flighty colt at a rodeo. It’s side will flash and the darting, “prey fish fleeing” action will drive pike mad. It’s worth noting that you can work the slider pretty effectively without ever actually needing to work the tip of the rod at all. Quick changes of pace and/or a stop start retrieve using the reel alone will give you at least 80% of the action that jerking will. Again this can be very useful where your movement is restricted or if you just get plain tired. The Slider also reacts positively to a raised rod tip and even the sinking models can be made to glide upwards over obstructions such as weedbeds and fallen trees.
Where the water is very clear and deep and you find that the pike have seen a lot of lures and are hard to catch, it’s well worth trying what I call the drunken sleeper approach. I named it after those guys we’ve all seen making their way home late on a Saturday night who come to an abrupt halt every six feet or so, wobble a bit trying to get their balance then stagger forward another 6 feet before coming to a dead stop once again. When translated to a Salmo Slider this entails two or three dramatic jerks of the rod tip followed by five or six seconds of pause, during which the erratically moving lure comes to a wobbling stop and gradually regains it’s balance. The erratic flashes alert every fish within 50 feet that there is something tasty around and the pauses make it easy prey to be picked off. Most hits come on the pause, so get ready to strike as soon as you feel a fish.
So what about the fish ? Well they will just keep coming. Maybe the one downside to the slider is that being snack-sized even in the larger 12cm version there are very few pike who won’t have a go at it. This means you are going to catch a lot of fish in the 3lb-8lb bracket as well as the bigger ones. However I think it’s hard to fault a lure because it catches too many fish, so I’m not going to score it down for that.
Another nice thing about the slider is that it’s hook up ratio is very high. The size and shape of the lure makes it very easy for a pike to engulf and with two hooks so close together a decent hit invariably results in a fish landed. They’re tough too and seem to manage to be chewed and bitten and engulfed any number of times without showing any real wear and tear. Occasionally the teeth of a big girl will pop a couple of puncture marks in the shrink cover of the lure, but the closed cell foam core won’t take on any water so there is nothing to worry about.
Most of us get a bit obsessed by crankbaits of various types when it comes to trolling lures, but just because the Slider is a jerkbait don’t let that stop you using it while trolling. In fact as with the straight retrieve mentioned earlier the slider has a fantastic weaving/slalom action when trolled and if you troll while holding the rod you can also impart some extra action every few seconds via the rod that will have the lure dancing behind the boat provocatively.
We love the Slider. It casts well, it glides with ease. It wobbles on the drop. It trolls well, it’s a good hooker and it’s tough. On top of that they are pretty easy to get hold of, the come in a vast range of colours and sizes and they are relatively cheap. What more could you ask for ? Our advice then is to get yourself some sliders. Their extra casting distance will mean you can fish features that were previously out of your casting range. Their hooking power will get you fish that would have bumped off a bigger lure and their all round fish catching ability will give you the confidence to stay focussed even when the going is tough.
If you are really getting into the long casting or you want a lure that will work better in a heavier outfit then the 12cm sinker is the one to go for. At 70g it has a good deal more weight to it, but still retains the action of it’s little brother. If you are determined to try to avoid the smaller pike or you are fishing for big saltwater predators then Salmo have now introduced a massive 16cm version, although we believe this is a limited edition. When fishing “Skinny water” as the yanks call it (that’s shallow to you and me) then it’s well worth investing in a couple of floating Sliders. They are beautifully balanced and only require a quick downward tap of the rod tip to get them under the surface and working well, but no matter what you do you won’t get one down more than a foot or two. That makes them brilliant for working over the top of submerged weedbeds and I’ve even seen fish caught using them as a slowly retrieved wake bait.
Don’t forget the little guys either. There are now Sliders available in 7cm and 5cm. The 5cm is virtually an ultralight weighing just 7g . What a fun way to hunt for big perch!
Build Quality: Pretty much bullet proof
Value For Money: You can’t moan at around £10
Performance: These lures just catch fish after fish
Overall: Great lures – you should own some !
The Salmo Slider has achieved legendary status and is awarded the Luretour Kryptonite award.