Don’t Let This Bandit Get Away
The release of the comprehensive and exciting range of hard-bodied Bandit lures must surely represent another milestone in the development of artificial lures designed specifically for Australian species and conditions. From barra to mangrove jack, from trout to bass, and from flathead to bream, Bandit lures have it covered.
Technical variation is the key to the diverse applications available across the entire Bandit range. For starters, there are four different body sizes, each with its own distinct shape and internal rattle, and between them they cover seven different diving depths. Bib shapes and sizes are all different too, and colour schemes include polished proven patterns, as well as some innovative new designs which intentionally refract light in several directions.
The diminutive Wasp, for example, measures in at only 5.6 cm, and is available in a 5 metre-plus version and a 2 metre-minus version. In other words, the Wasp 5+ will dive to more than 5 m, while the Wasp 2- will swim within 2 metres of the surface. With a fast-beat, tight action, a subtle but effective rattle, quality VMC trebles, heavy-duty stainless split rings, and a choice of 12 glistening colour schemes, the Bandit Wasp is a perfect enticement for trout, bass and bream.
At 7 cm in length, the slightly longer and thicker Bandit Scout is a shallow-to-medium diver with a more discreet variation in depth range – it comes in a 3+ version and a 2- version. Once again, the hardware is strong and, as is the case with all Bandit lure types, it is available in 12 shiny colour schemes.
The Scout’s action is quite lively at the tail end, and it rises horizontally in a start/stop retrieve, thus adding to the explanation for its value as a top barra lure. But the Scout is very much an all-rounder in terms of the different Australian freshwater and tidal estuarine species you can reliably target with it. Yes it’s big and robust enough to catch barra, but it also catches trout, bass, flathead and any other predator that will snack on a 7 cm minnow offering.
With barramundi figuring prominently on the list of potential Bandit target species, it’s no surprise to find a shallow-diving lure with the classic stunted, 45-degree bib, elongated, slender, oval circumference and three strong trebles in the range. That’s exactly the profile of the bandit Scud and, although it looks similar to some well-known barra lures, it stands on its own thanks to its large, contoured eyes and beveled gill covers, both of which add to the direction and amount of refracted light, not only on a jerk/stop/float retrieve but also on a straight wind. Together with a thudding rattle, a body roll and pronounced kick, and an operating depth of less than a metre, and quality trebles straight out of the box, the Bandit Scud is an absolute ripper of shallow-diving barra lure.
The 11.5 cm Prowler is all head and hardly any tail. Coupled with two sizes of duck-billed bib, it dives sharply and kicks quickly. The Prowler 6+ is a true deep-diving barra lure – deadly casting to deep snags or trolling a deep, structured bottom. Its big, shoveled bib offers the additional advantage of kicking over and through much of the structure, which of course is barra heartland and very much the strike zone. Not to be outdone, the 4+ version does pretty much the same job, but without diving quite so far.
The Bandit Prowler in both depths is a top lure to work the start/stop retrieve because it gets going quickly, diving sharply down, but floats slowly to the surface when directional tension is released. Barra are so often suckers for that technique, usually succumbing in the end to the slow float.
If you’re looking for another strong point of the Bandit Prowler, then how good is it to be able to buy a serious barra lure that comes factory-fitted with super-strong trebles; in this case the popular VMC 6-extra-strong hooks?
Successfully catching fish is all about making the right decision. It might be a decision on where to fish, or on when to fish, or on how to fish. But it can also be a decision on which lure to use. To simplify the decision-making process, Bandit lures are also available in economically-priced Species Packs. For example, the Barra/Top End Pack comes with three lures – a Prowler, a Scud and a Scout – and in proven colours. With the Australian Native Pack, you get three Scout lures, but in different colours and bib sizes. Both the Bass/Bream Pack and Trout Pack come with three Wasp lures, but again colours and swimming depths are chosen according to the species.
The serious lure-fishing angler will most-likely choose his or her own Bandits, but as a gift for the very same, the Species packs are ideal.
You’ll probably have to ask your local tackle shop proprietor where he/she keeps the Bandit Lure Retriever. That’s because tackle shop owners are generally not keen on selling lure retrievers; understandably, they’d rather sell you more lures. Notwithstanding, the Bandit Lure Retriever is a beauty, incorporating a heavy cylinder weight and supple stainless wire loops which readily catch snagged trebles.