When we asked the people at Rapala Freetime if they would like us to conduct an Inhouse Gear Review of one of their products for the barra, bass and or bream fishing market, they sent us some packets of Storm WildEye Swim Baits. Personally, I was pretty chuffed about that because I buy them anyway. They’ve been around for a number of years and no barra fisho worth his salt could possibly not carry a few sizes in his tackle box. I have fond memories of using the WildEyes during my very-occasional guiding trips in Arnhemland. They are one of those A-grade soft plastic lures that have the knack of turning fish on the bite, especially if they’ve stopped biting on hard-bodies, for example. They’re no good in snags because they are pre-rigged with a deadly exposed VMC hook. But chuck them into salt-water, mud-bottom creek mouths on the first push of the tide, let them sink a few seconds, then ever-so-slowly roll them out and, if they pass any barra on the way, they’ll usually get gulped without hesitation. Mind you, as with all barra lures, colour is important, and I do like greens and darks (and baby silvery pearls when estuary barra are feeding on glass fish). Size is also important – the 8cm/10g second-smallest of the WildEye range is definitely the last to stop working during a typical barra session. These lures are pre-rigged with an internal weight, which aids both action and casting, as well as a holographic Flash Foil. The Flash Foil is certainly one of the secrets to the success of this lure, but not the only one. They are also pre-scented with aniseed and have a long, wide, flat chin. When you yo-yo them in your retrieve, and let them sink to the bottom, the smaller lures will invariably land on the chin and sit on it. Whilst the bigger ones in the range tend to fall over once they hit the bottom, it’s not critical because they sink faster – which makes the tail beat more aggressively – and they will spear into a silty/mud bottom, sending up a small cloud of silt. When the cloud clears, the tail is usually still beating. Imagine how a barra – tail up, head down, nose nudging the edge of the clearing silt cloud – reacts when it sees that! WildEyes are available in a huge range of colours and several sizes that are suitable for a wide range of predatory fish species. Storm promotes the fact that the Swim Baits have a tough, yet soft outer body to give it the feel that matches their life-like swimming action. Largest in the range is the 270mm Swim Bait which is rigged with two superior VMC needle point hooks. This big softy has been popular as a trolling lure for bigger barra in the Top End’s big tidal rivers. My favourite, the 80mm version is a great lure for billabongs and slow-moving water, as well as being an effective lure on tidal mangrove flats. It can also be deadly during the Run-off when barra are focussed on small baitfish being flushed into the big rivers from the bankside gutters and feeder creeks. The 100mm and 130mm WildEyes weigh progressively more so can be cast further and worked down through the water column faster.
Style: Pre-rigged soft-plastic swim baits with internal Flash Foil, paddle tail and scent Length: 60mm to 270mm across the range Weight: Various Retrieval: Slow roll or hop and skip with steady retrieve Action: Swimming tail, body roll Colours: Many Hooks: Pre-rigged VMC Black Nickel RRP: $10.95 (up to 6 per pack depending on size)
Comments: If you’re into soft plastics, especially for barra, then you have no choice but to be into Storm WildEye Swim Bait Shads too. Throughout the range, this is a stand-out soft plastic lure in every department.