The wobbler is one of the artificial lures used in spin fishing. Like the majority of other artificial lures, it imitates prey fish very realistically and thus lures predatory fish to bite. The fish are imitated from wood or plastic and usually provided with realistic colors. The target fish are lured by pressure waves, movement and often also by sounds. Wobblers – also known as crankbaits – are among the underestimated lure variations.
While spoons, spinners or rubber fish are widespread in Central Europe, plugs are rarely used. However, they imitate the prey fish better than almost any other lure. If you are good with the wobbler, you have unique possibilities. Hardly any waters in this country are considered to be overfished with the wobbler, so that even fish can be outwitted with a wobbler when spoons and rubber fish have not been successful for a long time.
Construction of a wobbler
One of the components with which almost every wobbler is equipped is the diving shovel. This is a blade-shaped structure which is attached to the front of the wobbler. This scoop provides the draught of the lure. The bigger and shallower the scoop, the deeper the lure will run when the line is pulled in. You can differentiate between sinking, floating and floating plugs.
With one/two hooks
Wobblers are usually equipped with two triplets – in the front to middle area, as well as at the rear end – which ensure that no matter from which direction the bite comes, the fish can be hooked safely and then landed. Smaller plugs can also be equipped with just a single triplet, which is often at the back of the lure, but in rare cases it can also be placed directly behind the diving scoop and hang down from there. Very large plugs can also be equipped with three or more triplets to cover the whole area.
There are plugs that have a rattle integrated. This is used to give an additional impulse to the bite through sounds. Especially in less fished waters this can have a good effect and help to attract fish in a larger radius. However, if a water body is heavily overfished, the rattle can have the opposite effect, scaring and scaring away the fish.
Wobblers come in many different shapes and colors. The most common forms are the elongated but thin plugs, as well as the shorter and compressed looking rather thicker specimens. In their behaviour the shapes only differ if the shape of the blade is also different.
The sizes of the wobblers can also be selected according to personal wishes and needs. Small plugs are especially interesting in spring when there is a lot of fry in the water. However, in most cases larger plugs are used because the basic rule is: the larger the lure, the larger the potential fish caught. Because especially capital pike bite mainly on big lures:
The colouring of the plugs is often very close to reality, but there are also specimens in bright and unrealistic colour combinations. As an aid to decision-making one can mention: The clearer the water the more realistic the colour should be. The cloudier the water, the more striking the colours should be.
One-piece / multi-piece wobblers
Most wobblers are one-piece lures. This means that there is a rigid body to which the hooks are attached. But there are also wobblers which are made of several pieces which are connected by a joint. These usually perform more extreme movements and also provide acoustic stimuli with their clacking.
types of wobblers
Depending on their weight, the wobblers can float on the water, hover just below the surface or sink to the bottom after being ejected. In combination with different diving blades, this results in different variations of the lure.
The wobbler sinks to the ground after ejection. Usually these lures are also equipped with a large and flat shovel so that you can fish at greater depths. Caution: These lures tend to get stuck in obstacles above the bottom very easily.
The wobbler is so light that it floats on the water surface. Often these lures are made completely without a diving shovel, so they float on the surface. This variant of the wobbler is often called popper. If floating wobblers have a diving shovel, this is usually small and steeply attached, so that the lure runs flat when pulled in.
Floating plugs sink very slowly. The scoop is usually made for flat running. By sinking slowly, the depth at which you want to fish can be better determined.
Leading plugs correctly
Even the best lure works only to a limited extent if the angler doesn’t know how to use it. Therefore we will briefly describe the most important ways of guiding plugs:
Twitching is mainly driven by jerky, repeated movements of the rod. The line hangs slightly loose. The lure jumps from one side to the other. Especially floating wobblers are very suitable for this kind of bait control. This is a perfect imitation of a wounded prey fish.
Even when jerking, the lure movement comes mainly from jerks on the line. These jerks are slower and less frequent than twitching and are combined with line hauling. This is because plugs which are called jerkbaits do not have a diving blade and have to be brought to life by the movements over the rod.
Craning is the simplest and most widespread variant of fishing with plugs. It also gives the name to the English name of the lures (crankbaits). Here “only” the bait is caught. Of course you should also take care to give the lure extra life by additional rod movements, variations in speed and short stops.
Target fish for wobblers
Wobblers are an excellent bait for a variety of predatory fish in fresh and salt water. In the following we would like to give a short overview of the most common native predatory fish that can be caught with wobblers.
When fishing for zander, rubber fish have generally established themselves as the best bait for spin fishing. However, especially in waters that are heavily treated with rubber fish, plugs can be an excellent alternative. The size should be between 8 and 15 centimetres. Depending on the season, deep running or shallow running plugs can be preferred. Especially in spring and summer, pike-perch migrate to shallower waters at night and hunt there on the surface. This provides a unique opportunity to outwit them with surface plugs or shallow running lures. The zander prefer a slow and rather passive catching motion, so even beginners can easily succeed with this variation.
Pike are considered to be the number one target fish when pike fishing. In spring they tend to hunt in shallower water and can be caught with shallow running lures, whereas in summer deep running plugs are the order of the day. A special tip: even if a pike is not hungry at the moment, a rival can encourage it to bite. Therefore pike coloured plugs are an insider tip! As far as size is concerned, it’s better to be big than sticky: with small baits, more fish can be caught in some cases, but the average size will certainly be smaller.
(River) perch are also hot for action: especially in summer, a moving plugs can provide bites. Twitching in particular is a good tip for perch. In the transition periods, perch tend to be deep, whereas in summer they tend to be on the surface. Concerning the size applies here as well: perch like big prey. Lures of 8 to 10 centimetres in size are preferable. The black bass is less common in the domestic waters. But especially in Southern Europe and of course also in America, large quantities of black bass can be found in almost every lake. Especially when the waters are fished to death with rubber fish, large plugs can still outwit capital black bass. Especially in spring, when the fish get into a feeding frenzy, swimming surface plugs can provide a lot of action.
Asp hunt with preference near the water surface. Therefore, especially surface wobblers and jerkbaits are an excellent choice. The size is not extremely important here – what counts is a varied and moving bait. Especially in summer you should look for current edges and fast flowing water to outwit capital asps.
Setting up the snap, leader and knots on the main line
A wide variety of methods can be used to attach the wobbler. The most common is to attach a carabiner or swivel to the main line with the knot of your choice (or in a knotless compound). There the leader is hooked in. The plugs are attached to this leader with a snap carabiner.
Removing the snap ring
Usually plugs have an eyelet on their snout to which an additional ring is attached. This is to make it easier to attach the lure to the line. But many plugs run better when this ring is removed. Also the bite rate can increase in many areas. With a snap, which is mounted directly on the eye of the wobbler, the lure can still be easily mounted.
Proper equipment for fishing with plugs
Many anglers swear by having their own special rod in their pocket for every activity. Let’s take a quick look at what is important when fishing with plugs.
Most average spinning rods have proven themselves when fishing with plugs. A softer rod gives a good indication of whether the plugs are running well, but also whether weeds are already caught. The strength of the rod should be adjusted according to the type of fish you want to catch. Lure size and casting weight may also have less effect on the choice.
As a basic rule, the thicker the line, the flatter the bait is guided. The thinner the line, the deeper you can fish. Therefore a braided line is always a good recommendation. Because with the same thickness it has a higher load capacity than monofilament lines. Moreover, braided lines can keep the contact to the lure better on tension, so that the stroke can come faster and safer.