Self-confessed bass fishing addict, Henry Gilbey, tests the new range of Slap Walker surface lures from Savage Gear
In the interests of transparency I do a fair bit of bass fishing related work with Savage Gear. However, I had very little to do with the development of this new range of Slap Walker surface lures – save for lots of testing which, let’s be honest, is going fishing and trying to catch bass, and I do love testing new lures! I did get to have a bit of input into the final lure colours and a little bit of the casting design, but credit goes to a very clever lad in Europe who is responsible for these surface lures.
Available in 10cm/10g, 12.5cmm/20g and 13.5cm/26g, there is a Slap Walker for most bass fishing situations we might find here in the UK and Ireland. I was insistent as I tested these lures that they had to cast well into a headwind, and this has been very much achieved after a bit of going back and forth with different generations of samples. If casting distance is your thing with surface lures then I reckon the middle size 12.5cm/20g Slap Walker might just be the longest casting of the three, especially on 30g or 35g lure rods; however, the baby one and the largest one also go out incredibly well. Use a more powerful rod and slow down a touch with the 13.5cm/26g version and it absolutely flies!
I know that these surface lures were designed to be very easy to fish with. It doesn’t take much “working” by the angler to really get them walking side to side with a good-looking action. The Slap Walker is designed to sit backside down in the water and then walk with its face in the “up” position as it literally slaps the surface on the turns you put in. I do like a splashy surface lure action for bass. It took me a reasonable amount of time to start feeling really confident about the 12.5cm and 13.5cm versions in rougher water. They work really well if you slow down a bit, which helps them grip.
A surface lure like the Xorus Patchinko is deliberately designed with a specific face-down action which makes them very grippy, but there are other ways for surface lures to work – like the Slap Walker – so if you allow for a slightly different way of doing things then these surface lures are very effective in all manner of sea conditions. I particularly like the smallest 10cm/10g Slap Walker on a lighter lure rod fished in estuaries. I would urge you to crush the barbs on the treble hooks because bass are very likely to literally inhale it. If it helps, the treble hooks which are supplied with these lures are very good, and I really like the fact that we have got some serious surface lures here for very sensible prices. n