Lure fishing reviews and news

The UK’s highest profile Lure event has confirmed it’s dates for next year and also confirmed that Kayak angling will still be part of the event. With organiser Gary Palmer running the new Classic International Kayak 100 on Grafham Water next year, it was suggested by many, that 2020 would be the last year that kayaks shared the water with boats at WPC England. However in a press release Gary confirmed that WPC would include Kayas and that the Kayak winners would get a free place in the International 100 event. This year the event was covered by BT Sport.

The Event will take place on 14th & 15th of August 2021 and until October 1st this year booking is only open to teams who fished this years event. The Team at Luretour can confirm that we will be entering once more and that we will be represented by John Cheyne and Richard Haines. More details of the event can be found on the WPC England Facebook Page HERE

Rich Haines & John Cheyne representing Luretour at the 2020 event.


We like to keep you up to date with the lovely new lure fishing gear available in the UK. Here is our pick of the latest goodies.

Zman Ned Rig Kits

Very nicely put together kits that include TRD’s, Ticklerz and TRD Crawz along with two weights of ned heads. All for £22.49 at Predatortackle


Westin Twin Teez V2

The new Westin Twin Teez V2 looks like a zander catching machine ! If you can’t decide which colours you want then you can pick up this neat pack of 8 different coloured lures for the price of 7 which works out at £11.55 from The LureBox

TT Lures Big EyeZ Jigheads

Having a big visible eye on your lure, really does seem to make a difference some days, so these new jig heads from TT Lures are certain to get smashed by preds on the lookout for a snack. Available in packs of three for £6.99 for Todber Manor Lure Division

Westin CreCraw Softbaits

These new crayfish creature baits from Westin look the business and I think it’s safe to say that big perch and zander will happily scoff them. Available in packs of 5 for £6.49 from The PIke Shop

British based lure company HTO have just launched a whole host of new light lure products on to the market including rods, luggage and a new street fishing telescopic net handle.


HTO have always been a go to brand for good quality rods for LRF and light lure fishing tactics and their Rockfish range has been the leading entry level range of rods in these categories for some time. So when the HTO guys bring out a new rod range that fits in a similar niche, then it’s time to sit up and take notice.

There are three rods in the new Aikido range. The shortest is a 6 foot solid tip number that’s rated 0.2g – 6g that should be ideal for genuine LRF species hunt work and chasing perch or trout especially in overgrown locations where a longer rod my prove cumbersome. Next up is a 7ft model that is tubular tipped and rated 1-5g and will be perfect for canal work and LRF from piers and harbours where a bit of extra reach can be very useful. Finally there is a 7’6″ version that is rated 1-11g that looks like being the best model for specimen perch, canal zander and light wrasse work.

The rods have a nice red and black livery and if they prove to offer the same value for money that the Rockfish range has delivered over the years then they are set to be immensely popular.

HTO are renowned for producing great budget lure rods, the martial arts inspired Aikido range is their latest offering.

Landing Net Handle

When the original JDM Daiwa ISO super compact, super long telescopic landing net handles hit the European market a few years back they were a must have item for serious street fishing. Most of the time they were actually longer and therefore heavier than was needed, particularly for canal fishing and at around £80 a pop they weren’t the cheap either. Since then we have seen more brands launch shorter compact tele handles to fill the gap in the market and HTO’s new 2.8m model looks like it could be one of the best priced yet with an RRP of just £32.99. The handle has a standard scew fitting so most net heads will fit, although we are told that HTO will soon have a foldable net head to match.


As well as the rods and net handle, HTO have also launched some new luggage ideal for light lure fishing including a Sling Bag, Hip Bag and a Light Game Bag. The new range is constructed from tough, water-resistant, wipe clean 420D Oxford Nylon material and from the pictures we have seen look very nicely put together. We particularly like the HTO fish logo zipper pulls…nice touch !

More Info

Some of this kit is already available online from the usual retailers and if you want to keep up to date with all HTO’s new releases then head over HERE

Case Officer:   Steve Wilson

Name:   Nano Minnow

Manufacturer:   Fishin’ Addict

Lure Type:   Softbait Shad

Size:   3.5cm (1.3inch)

Weight:   0.4g

Price:   £3.99 for a pack of 10


Steve Wilson has been one of the most successful canal lure match anglers in the country for a few years now and proved that he can catch canal predators on lures when others struggle. He is particularly adept at catching large numbers using small lures and recognising when to change his presentation style and choice of lure to maximise his catch rate. In this review, Steve looks at Fishin’ Addicts Nano Minnow, which at just 3.5cm long is diminutive in size. Steve has fished with many small lures, trying to find out which will catch him more fish, most consistently, so there are few UK anglers better equipped to carry out a LureTour review of these cute looking little soft plastics.

First Impressions

One of the first things to point out is that several company’s sell “Nano Minnows”. I’m not sure which company is the originator and they seem to come in different sizes from different companies, but the ones being reviewed here are the lures created by Fishin’ Addicts. Their colour range is different to others, the softness of the plastic is different and they include glued on eyes that I feel are important. The Nano Minnows are very precise with basic colours determined by the base material and painted detail over the top. They have glued on eyes and come in a strong re-sealable pack than can be used for other lures after the original batch has finished. They can sometimes be a little crooked out of the packet (this happens to quite a lot of soft plastics) but this can be corrected by putting them in a bowl and pouring recently boiled water over them. Leave them to cool and they will be straight again and as soft as you could ever want. (This trick can be used with a lot of lures to improve suppleness). It’s unusual for lures this small to have glued on eyes and I think these are very important particularly when the water visibility goes above about 4 inches and the target fish have more time to see the lure. I often glue eyes to my jig heads for just this reason, it gives predators a target to hit.

Steve feels that the eye is a key attractor for predators and often glues eyes on to jigheads, here on the Ecogear Shirasu head mentioned below.


The majority of my fishing is on Midlands canals using drop shot or UL jigging. I use a lot of small lures as the fish in the areas I fish are either naturally small or highly pressured. I have a small set style/type/brands of lures that I trust and it takes a long time for me to replace them or add to the set. This has very much been a long-term review as I came across Nano Minnows (NM) some time ago. They were pointed out by a friend and slowly I have come to rely on them in certain circumstances. Finding lures and techniques that give me an edge is one of the things I love about fishing, and Nano Minnows have proved their worth to me in practice sessions many times. I have confidence in using them and they have won me a few matches when other lures have not caught as well. When jigging they work best on a very light wire hook with a weight around the 1g mark. My ‘go anywhere’ recommendation would be an Ecogear Shirasu light size 8 in 0.9g weight. The Shirasu heads are designed to look like the head of a fish, so I generally cut the lure back to accommodate this and then glue the eye from the lure on to the jighead. While these lures work well on a jighead set-up, it’s drop shot where they really come into their own. When the fish are feeding hesitantly I find it best to hook them as in the upper example in the photo below in the same way as you would hook a jig-head, with the hook fed down the body.  When the fish are feeding more confidently then a classic drop shot nose hooking style as illustrated in the bottom example in the photo is best. This gives the lure a little more articulation and when the fish are “on it” they will inhale the whole thing, no problem. Hook wise I tend to favour a Sasame Wormer 875 hooks in size 8 or 9 and most commonly use a 1.8-3.5g tungsten DS weight.

Many different speeds and styles of retrieve will work when drop shot fishing with these lures, but often “less is more” and a series of short pulls with plenty of pauses will work on most days. When the water gets colder and the fish want less action; cutting off the paddle and slitting the lure at the rear (as in the photo) improves the number of bites. You are basically turning the lure into a miniature split tail.

In this picture the paddle has been removed and the tail split.

Nano Minnows are particularly good at attracting smaller fish but I’ve caught a fair few more specimen sized fish on them as well. 35cm + perch, and 50cm + zander have fallen for them; even the odd pike.


Nano Minnows come in a wide and expanding range of colours but only one size. My favourite colours are Roach Fry, Chartreuse glow & Glitter SnP

Testers Kit:

Daiwa Gekkabijin 7ft 8in 1-7g or Evergreen PSSS-70S 7ft 0.1-6g..


When the visibility is low in canals I think any small, bright shad with an easily mobile tail works as well as any other, but once the visibility starts to improve I’ve found the Nano Minnow to repeatedly out score other shads. I’ve proved this again and again in clearer water to the point where they are my ‘go to’ lures in these circumstances.

Build Quality: As mentioned some occasionally need hot water treatment but are generally very well made.

Value For Money:   40p per lure is great value considering the detail.

Performance:   Very good and versatile

Overall:  A great lure that has made it in to my “trusted” box !

The Nano Minnowhas been awarded the Luretour Gold award.

We bought our lures from HERE

Each week we aim to highlight three great lure fishing bargains that are available. Our resident bargain hunter browses across many online stores and comes up with our top three bargains of the week. So if you fancy some new lures and don’t want to pay a premium here is the inside info you need.

NOTE: We do not have direct contact with the retailers listed below, so we have no control over how long the offers we find will last or how much stock the retailers have. Luretour accepts no responsibility if the offers highlighted are no longer available.

1) HTO Lure Vest – RRP £59.99 – Offer price £29.99

Most of us freshwater lure anglers use waist bags or shoulder bags of one type or another to carry our gear and stay on the move, but there is a lot to be said for wearing a piece of kit like this HTO lure vest. Fly Anglers have been wearing vests for years and having all the pockets to hand without fighting with your bag can save time and hassle. This HTO Vest is purpose designed for light lure angling and at 50% off it’s an absolute bargain.


2) YGK G-Soul Upgrade x4 PE Braid- RRP £20.99 – Offer price £10.00

YGK make some of the best braid available, particularly at the cheaper end of the market and at just over £20 for 150m the G-Soul Upgrade X4 braid was a great price already. For a tenner it’s an absolute steal !


3) Westin KickTeez 9cm- RRP £5.99 – Offer price £3.99

These are lures that we absolutely love. We often fish them on a drop shot set up for big perch and zander. They also work well rigged on a jig head and have a unique inner channel for both jig-head hook and stinger which gives you added stealth and a far more natural presentation and swimming action. They have a superb slim profile and the tail works at the lowest of speeds.



Each week we aim to highlight three great lure fishing bargains that are available. Our resident bargain hunter browses across many online stores and comes up with our top three bargains of the week. So if you fancy some new lures and don’t want to pay a premium here is the inside info you need.

NOTE: We do not have direct contact with the retailers listed below, so we have no control over how long the offers we find will last or how much stock the retailers have. Luretour accepts no responsibility if the offers highlighted are no longer available.

1) Fish Arrow Airbag Bug – RRP £8.49 – Offer price £2.99

When restrictions are lifted and we can get out fishing again I predict topwater fishing for chub and perch could well be this years craze. This is where these little beauties will come in to their own. We are definitely getting some for ourselves and we might take a Spike-it black marker to a few as they would look great as beetles. Fish Arrow make exceptional lures. Their quality is fantastic and in our experience, their lures catch a lot of fish. So the chance to grab some of these Airbag Bugs at 65% discount is just too good to miss.


2) Daiwa Prorex Mermaid Shad – RRP £9.98 – Offer price £4.00

This could be just the lure for you reservoir predator anglers out there. The “mermaid” tails on these 125mm lures makes them perfect for vertical fishing for big zander and perch and at £4.00 for a pack of 5 these are a proper bargain.


3) Culprit 4″ Incredi-Craw- RRP £3.65 – Offer price £2.75

We have to admit we are a sucker for a crayfish style creature bait, they are just so much fun to use and seem to catch more than their fair share of our bigger perch and zander. So these Culprit Incredi-Craws look very nice to us, especially at a bargain price of just £2.75 for a pack of 6. Sometimes lures that are discounted are only available in weird, less popular colours, but we really like the Culprit Green Pumpkin/Orange Flake combination.



Case Officer:   John Cheyne

Name:   TRD TicklerZ

Manufacturer:   Zman

Lure Type:   Worms, grubs and senkos

Size:   7cm (2.75″)

Weight:   3.3g

Price:   £5.49 for pack of 8

Since TRD’s first hit these shores a few years ago, they have taken the perch fishing world in particular by storm. Originally designed for Largemouth Bass in the states at first glance they look pretty uninspiring, a slightly tapered little sausage at best and at worst, especially in brown colour schemes, they look exactly like their TRD name suggests, a turd (yes we know TRD actually stands for The Real Deal). But as European anglers were soon to find out, perch and zander absolutely love them. Maybe it’s the way these buoyant baits sit up and beg to be slurped, maybe it’s because they look like everything and nothing or maybe it’s the subtle vibrations and wobbles that they produce even when seemingly left stationary. One things for sure, TRD’s fished Ned rig style catch lots and lots of fish, particularly lots of and lots of big perch. So when Zman brought out a cool looking new version of the TRD called TRD TicklerZ, we just knew we needed to test them out.

First Impressions

The TicklerZ come packed in the classic Zman resealable bag which contain 8 lures. Although they are the same size as a standard TRD at 7cm they have a different body profile, with a flat slightly wider ‘head’ which tapers back for about 4.5cm where the body splits into four slim 2.5cm long tenticles. The lures are made of Zman’s famous Elaztech material, which is highly buoyant, super stretchy and very durable. Basically they are a flat nosed TRD with frilly bits ! As with all Zman baits the finish and colours on the baits are fantastic. The lures are heavily impregnated with salt and as with all standard unscented Elaztech lures they have virtually no smell at all. The colour we decided to try for our tests was Bubblegut, which is a dark pink/brown combination.

The TicklerZ rigged on an Eagle Claw Lazer Sharp Finesse Jig Head

Testing Time

You only have to look at the TicklerZ and if you have fished with TRD’s you just kind of know they are going to catch fish, the question we really wanted to ask is “can they possibly be as effective as the standard and legendary Finesse TRD ?” The only way to find out was to fish with them, so that’s what we did. First venue was a canal stretch that we have had a fair bit of success with decent perch in the past. We fished the TicklerZ on a standard Ned rig set up using 3.5g Eagle Claw Lazer Sharp (LNJ18) Finesse jigs and 6lb Fluoro.

A TicklerZ photgraphed next to a standard finesse TRD for comparison.

It was a pretty cold day when we fished and to be fair we weren’t exactly expecting the perch to be chasing around after food, but it wasn’t until we slowed the lure right down and let it sit stationary for a good 10-20 seconds between movements that we started to get the fish interested. This is one of the occasions when a Ned Rig style bait really works as even when you leave the bait static, you just know that the currents underwater will be subtly moving the bait for you, especially with the TicklerZ and it’s slim fronds. We managed a couple of really nice perch up to 38cm which sucked the lure straight off the bottom while it was stationary.

This lovely stripey inhaled the TicklerZ straight off the bottom. If you look really carefully you just might see the lure next to the net, mounted on a chartreuse Finesse Jig.

River Monster

Having had some success with the lure on a canal venue, I was keen to see what some river perch thought of it, but with the rivers all high and unfishable with all the heavy rain it looked like the season was going to finish before I had a chance to give it a go. However with just a couple of days to spare, the rain stopped and the river dropped and I managed to head to a lovely looking swim on the Wye. There was a big back eddy and an overhanging tree that just screamed perch. I’ll be honest, I didn’t put the TicklerZ on straight away and instead tried to find a stripey with a selection of shads and spinnerbaits with no success. The fishiest feature was that tree, but it was tough to get a lure underneath it. The river still had a fair old bit of flow on, so I popped a TicklerZ onto a 5.3g weedless Finesse jig and cast it upstream of the tree. By lifting gently and bouncing the lure down and round with the flow I was able to get it right under the tree, “Let it just sit there for ten seconds” I said to myself, trying to be patient and not move the lure too much. I had counted to six when the rod tip thumped and I instinctively struck. The rod bent round hard and something very solid was trying to get into the roots of the tree. “Big Chub.” I thought, “That feels too heavy for a perch.” I didn’t want to let the fish snag me so I bullied it out, thumbing the spool to stop the drag working. The fish headed out into the flow and gave me a fair old tussle, but eventually I had it coming to the surface, at which point I realised it wasn’t a chub it was a big, big perch. Thankfully, I managed to keep my head long enough to get the fish to the net and scrambled up the bank. It wasn’t until I laid the net down that I realised just what a cracker the TicklerZ had tempted. I’ve had a few 4lb + fish from reservoirs and gravel pits, but my river perch PB is 3lb 7oz so I held my breath as I weighed the fish on my Reuben Heaton Flyweights. Result ! 3lb 14oz a new river perch PB. Thank you Zman TicklerZ.

3lb 14oz of River Wye Stripey !

Tips and Tricks

One thing that we have found with all the Zman Elaztech baits, is that you can change both their action and their colour by pre-stretching them before use. It’s not always necessary or even desirable, but sometimes it can really give you the edge. Pre-stretched elaztech is softer and more pliable and therefore has more action. With the ned baits, this means that they will shiver and quiver even more when left static, which seems to be such a key tactic when fishing these baits. Pro-Guide and LureTour reviewer Gary Palmer shows us how to do this pre-stretching below.

One thing you will notice, and it’s worth being aware of this, is that the colour of the lure will become quite a bit more muted when you have pre-stretched it. I actually like this with some colours, but be prepared for changes. The surface becomes quite a bit more pitted and rough when you stretch them too, and we believe that this allows scents and attractants to adhere to the lures much more easily, which again is a bonus. The key thing though is that the lure becomes softer and more pliable, we are convinced this can lead to a little bit more action, which can catch you more fish !

A standard TicklerZ next to a pre-stretched one. As you can see the stretched one is longer and the colours have become lighter/more muted. You may even get the odd little split if you are too rough, but it will only be in the surface.


I think it’s fair to say that we definitely like the TicklerZ. It has all the attributes of the classic TRD and a little more besides. The fronds are a huge addition and they definitely add more movement and give the bait a slightly different profile. So far it has fished really well for us and we are at a stage with the bait that we are just hugely confident in it’s ability to attract big fish. The lures work out at a little under £0.70 each and when you consider how long Elaztech baits last, that is very good value for money. We absolutely love the “bubblegut” colour scheme, but after the success we have had, we will certainly be looking to add some more colours to our armoury.

Build Quality:   Zman lures are produced to a very high standard

Value For Money:   Great price and these baits last a long time

Performance:   They proved themselves by catching the fish !

Overall:   A more mobile alternative to a standard TRD’s, these baits are going to catch lots of fish.

The Zman TicklerZ has been awarded the Luretour Gold award.

You can find out more information about Zman lures at:

We bought our lures from





Each week we aim to highlight three great lure fishing bargains that are available. Our resident bargain hunter browses across many online stores and comes up with our top three bargains of the week. So if you fancy some new lures and don’t want to pay a premium here is the inside info you need.

NOTE: We do not have direct contact with the retailers listed below, so we have no control over how long the offers we find will last or how much stock the retailers have. Luretour accepts no responsibility if the offers highlighted are no longer available.

1) Berkley Havoc Rocket Craw – RRP £4.99 – Offer price £1.00

With milder weather on the way, signal crayfish will become far more active over the next few months. That’s when a nice cray imitation like these 10cm Berkley Havoc Rocket Craw will really score. Fished slowly with little hops along the bottom they can be deadly. At £1.00 for a pack of 8 this is a proper bargain.


2) Savage Gear 3D Snake – RRP £20.99 – Offer price £9.97

Once the Pike have finished spawning and water temperatures rise it will be topwater time again and although we doubt that the Savage Gear 3D snake is likely to be the most productive topwater for UK and European anglers, there is no denying that it is a pretty cool bait. Come on, admit it, you would love to throw one of these, see it side-windering across the surface of the water and then try to hold your nerve as a hungry predator smashes it on the surface ! Angling Active are offering these bad boys at less than half price, that’s got to be worth considering.


3) Predator Tackle “BIG ONE” Sale – 20% off everything

With coronavirus causing the BIG ONE tackle show to be postponed this year, Predator Tackle have decided to cheer us all up by offering a cool 20% off all products in their online store since they won’t be able to offer their usual great offers at the show. When you consider that they stock masses of baits and tackle by brands such as Gunki, Zman, Molix, Illex, Westin and Spro then there are some serious savings to be grabbed. The Sale is on until March 23rd.