Blade the Way
  |  First Published: November 2011

In recent years there has been an explosion in the popularity of the relatively small, skinny lures known as blades.

These lures are sometimes called metal-bodied blades, and in the past I have referred to them as such. That was until I recently picked up a few Koolabung blades, which have a plastic body, therefore rendering the term metal-bodied inaccurate.

So what’s the fuss all about? What has caused the current blade boom that is sweeping through the world of fishing?

Well I can tell you now; it’s all because they are awesome. It really is as simple as that: blades are awesome, like little pocket rockets.

There are plenty of different blade manufacturers, and no doubt more will pop up in coming years as their popularity continues to grow. With different companies comes slightly different specifications, but the most commonly used blades are usually around 40mm long and weigh around 7g. Because they are so light these lures fly through the air like bullets and cast a very long way, allowing shore-based anglers to fish out further, and cover more water.

How do blades actually work?

The blade vibrates and shimmers through the water as you retrieve it. Some blades, such as the Damiki Vault blades are made with highly reflective surfaces to maximize their visibility as they shimmer through the water, while others are made with fluro colours for greater visibility, and some, such as the X-Ray blades are made with transparent plastic, to present themselves slightly more naturally.


Along the back of the blades, there are a number of holes. Some blades have two, some have three and some have four. These holes are there for a reason, and that is to give the angler greater control over the blade.

By attaching the line to the furthest hole at the back, the blade will stand in a much more upright, vertical position when it is retrieved. This creates extra resistance on the blade, making it swim shallower and vibrate much harder.

This is the best way to rig the blade when you are fishing from the bank of a weedy lake, and don’t want your blade to sink too deep.

The back hole is also the best hole to use when fishing with blades in shallow water, such as trout streams. In fact, just recently, some one ask me how to fish blades in the King River, thinking they would crash against the rocks on the bottom. But there are ways to fish your blades in shallow water streams, which I will go into a little further on.

The front hole has the complete opposite effect. The front hole will cause the blade to sit in a more horizontal position in the water as it is being retrieved. This creates less resistance in the water, causing the blade to vibrate and shimmer less, and sink further.

This front blade is ideal when vertical jigging from a boat, kayak or even a jetty, and it is always a good option when making long casts into deep water, where you want to keep your blade close to the bottom during the retrieve.

The hole, or holes in between the front and back holes, just give you greater control, if the front hole is retrieving too deep, and the back too shallow, then try a middle hole.

I use the middle hole quite a lot when casting from my kayak into large open areas of water for trout, which are often feeding either on, or just under the surface.

Target Fish Species

Blades seem to be able to catch just about anything. I have caught, and regularly target redfin, trout and golden perch with blades.


I had redfin in mind when I purchased my first blades. I bought a few Damiki Vault 42 blades, thinking they would be great redfin lures.

Like most new lures, it sat in my tackle box on the sidelines as I used my known and trusted redfin lures that I was confident with. Then one day while fishing one of my favourite redfin hotspots, I was catching very few redfin, so I decided to tie on the Vault 42 blade, and away I went…instant success!

The redfin came thick and fast, and so to did the golden perch, especially closer to nightfall. I was truly blown away at the potential these awesome little lures had!

Golden perch

Once again, this was an accidental discovery. I had broken my blade hoodoo with redfin, and was impressed with the way the redfin were drawn to the blade, then out of the blue I hooked a thumping fish. As soon as it made it’s first run I knew it wasn’t a redfin, but a golden perch.

Almost immediately afterwards, I landed a second golden perch, making the tally two decent yellas in five minutes on a green Damiki blade; I was very impressed! Now whenever I am targeting golden perch on a lake, I will be sure to start off using a blade.


I am going to sound a bit repetitive here, but once again this was an accidental discovery! Well, not so much an accidental discovery, but a discovery I made while stepping out of the square and trying new things.

A couple of mates and I were fishing the King River near Cheshunt back in April, and the fishing was very quiet. As with most quiet fishing sessions, there was a lot of lure changing going on

After about my 15th lure change for the afternoon, and long after all of my old faithful lures had let me down, I decided to tie on a Koolabung blade. After no more than five minutes, I caught my first ever trout on a blade, and over the following hour or so I landed around half a dozen trout up to 35cm, all on the same blade.

So don’t be afraid to tie on a blade for trout, and don’t be afraid to step outside the square and try something new.

Now, getting back to the shallow streams and how to fish them the most effectively. Firstly, you must have the line attached to the hole that is the furthest back along the blades back. This will give the blade a more vertical attitude; make it vibrate harder which is a real help for making the blade work properly in fast water; and most importantly, make the blade swim shallower. On top of that, if the water is really shallow, make sure you hold the rod with the tip facing upwards while you retrieve the blade, just to help keep it off the bottom.

Damiki have released a very small 35mm blade, which is a ripper for the trout streams. At 3.5g it doesn’t sink as quickly, yet still gives off strong vibrations and shimmering light.

In the lakes, like William Hovell where I have been having a lot of success with the trout during the current cold months, I have been attaching the line to the middle eye of the blade, to give it an average action. Not too much vibration, and not too deep. This appears to be working well, and I have honestly been surprised at how the brown trout have been climbing all over the blades in the lake.

Retrieve speed

It’s hard to give an exact idea on how fast or slow to retrieve the blade, but what I have found, is that I tend to retrieve them much slower than I would a Tassie devil, or bladed spinner, yet faster than I would retrieve a larger spinnerbait or chatterbait.

As with all lures, I prefer to retrieve them as slowly as I can for redfin and golden perch, and speed them up for trout.

Attaching the line to the back hole will allow you to slow the blade right down, and still get strong vibrations, but the compromise will be lure depth. There are ways around this however. What I usually do is retrieve the lure about 2-3m, then let it sink, then retrieve it another 2-3m, then let it sink again, and continue this process which allows the best of everything, slow retrieve, strong vibrations, and keeps your blade close to the bottom.

With the trout, where it is OK to have the blade close to the surface, I often pull back on the rod tip to speed the blade up, then lower the rod tip to slow it down, so that the blade is retrieved in a fast/slow type motion. Strangely enough, most fish tend to hit the lure on the decline, when it is moving slowest.

I hope you have a better understanding of these awesome little lures. Blades are a definite must have for any serious trout and redfin angler, and can come in very handy on golden perch.

Good luck with your next blade fishing adventures.

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