This month i’m looking at crazy sandeel lures from French lure manufacturer Fiiish, who are famous for their innovation. Their flagship lures, the Black Minnow, are arguably the best soft plastic lure out there and many have tried to copy them without the same success.
This comment will divide people, but the one thing I think Fiiish do exceptionally well is getting the flexibility of their soft plastic lures just right. The Crazy Sandeel is no exception; both the paddle tail and normal versions of these lures move superbly well when being retrieved. They are the closest things I have seen to a real sandeel or launce moving, which is a real selling point when attracting predatory fish.
You’ll want to be using these lures over mixed or clean ground, as they are not weedless, and the hook placement is facing upwards. As a bass lure, they are ideal for being worked from the boat or shore across sandy gullies. Alternatively you can work them just to the side of dense reefs and watch hard-fighting fish like coalfish or pollock slam them hard. Ballan wrasse are also happy to hit them, as I am sure would cod, in areas where they are prevalent.
The larger sizes (150-300mm) incorporate a rattle to imitate the clatter of small baitfish and allow predators to detect the lure. The Crazy Sandeels are scented with a proven formula using anise, which attracts fish. Fiiish has also cleverly used colours which react to ultra-violet light so that fish will see them even in darker conditions. The lures are made using a patented HSV action, which gives them their natural movement in saltwater. The maximum size for the paddle tail version is 180mm.
From the shore on the South Coast of the UK, or in the Channel Islands, I would always choose the natural sandeel colour; in my opinion, it works best in clear water. You actually have a choice of six attractive colours (the paddle tail comes in eight), some of which are ideal at dusk or dawn or in dark conditions. The mango-juice (red/yellow) will be an absolute winner in Norway. There is a great colour, green, which is similar to the launce colouration. Fiiish have done their usual thing of giving an angler lots of options in terms of jig heads, including Shore, Offshore, Deep and X strong. They go
up to a maximum of 160g (10 – 40g for the paddle tail version). There are plenty to choose from depending on the setup you are using or the conditions you are facing. The jig heads are very simple to re-rig with new tails.
As usual, Fiiish recommends a spot of glue to hold the tail against the head and make them slightly more resistant to fish attacks.
My verdict is not only do these Crazy Sandeel lures look fantastic, I feel they move a bit better than some of the others I have used of similar design. Anyone trying these will not be disappointed; they will find you fish if the predators are about. They cast quite well for a sold plastic lure, but it’s all about the action in the water. The manufacturer has a video on their website for any of you who are curious about how these clever little lures swim when slowly retrieved. It’s worth a look to understand just how realistically tempting they look to a hungry predator!
- Soft bodies: £8.99
- Shore jig heads: £7.99