By Alex Julius
The original Classic 120 was introduced nearly 20 years ago, and it continues to outsell all other barra lures on the market. Why? Because it catches!
I remember only too well when the original Classic 120 came onto the barra scene. It was the late ‘90s and legendary lure designer Rob Gaden turned up at a Barra Classic on the Daly River with plastic bags full of his great new lure.
Originally cast as one-piece foam-injected, the Classic 120 10+ was the lure everyone was waiting for. With its rapid-cycle rolling shimmy and side-to-side roll, plus a buoyant back-up, barramundi found this diving-minnow lure simply irresistible.
Guess what. They still do. This great lure has clearly stood the test of time.
Perhaps 15 years ago, it was modified for improvement when foam-injection gave way to plastic ultra-sonic-welded lures. This enabled ball bearings to be incorporated so that the lure makes an audible rattle.
Over the years, the Classic 120 has surely accounted for thousands of big barra. Nowadays part of the JM Gillies stable, the Classic 120 is available in plus-15, plus-10, the brand new plus-6 and plus-3. Each swims at a different diving depth, as denoted by the number which correlates to “feet”.
Classic 120 6+
In my opinion, the introduction of the Classic 120 6+ is a brilliant addition to the stable. I can see so many scenarios for the fast-action, rapid-cycle rolling shimmy of a 6-plus Classic 120 to absolutely smash the barra. It will be deadly in the Run-off casting to feeder creeks because that 6-8ft zone is often just where the barra are hovering as they feed at creek mouth colour changes. It’s destined to be an ideal trolling lure working across shallow-to-medium-depth snags and rock-bars. I reckon it will also come into its own casting in the estuaries on both outgoing and incoming tides. The Classic 120 6+ definitely fills a gap that is loaded with barra.
Classic 120 10+ Suspending
Also recently introduced is a suspending version of the Classic 120 10+. What a great idea this is. Particularly when barra are in their “more quiet” mood, modern barra fishing tactics have proven that a suspending lure, made to twitch and dart in the same spot, will often entice a strike when conventional buoyant (floating) lures are ignored. Basically, the tactic is to keep the lure in the barra’s face longer… until it can no longer stand the lure’s “I dare you to eat me” erratic action, and clobbers it.
With three VMC 3X-strong, saltwater trebles – plus a light/thin profile – the Classic 120 has an excellent hook-up rate, and definitely hangs in when a hooked barra gets up and boogies. It is available in a huge range of colours, including several Bobby Dazzler (gold or silver) variations.
The Classic 120 has been the lure of choice for a significant number of major barramundi tournament winners since it burst on the scene nearly 20 years ago. According to George Voukolos of Darwin’s premier tackle store, Fishing & Outdoor World, the Classic 120 has outsold all other barra lures for more than a decade, and continues to do so.
Is it any wonder that, if you check the tackle box of any angler in one of the Top End’s major barra tournaments, you’ll more than likely find more Classic 120 lures than any other lure in the box?