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What does a $410 fishing lure catch? Suckers

Larry Woody, Outdoors Writer • Updated Oct 23, 2013 at 9:33 PM

A Japanese company is marketing a new fishing lure called “The Mother” that carries a $410 price tag.

One lure: $410. My first fishing boat didn’t cost that much.

The Mother is 12 inches long and weighs 10.5 ounces. It resembles a big plastic perch. A Japanese fisherman reportedly caught a world record-tying bass on The Mother, and now (naturally) every fisherman wants one.

Not me. I draw the line at casting out a car payment and risking getting it hung on a log.

Fishermen are suckers for new lures that are “guaranteed” to catch fish. Every year a hot new lure hits the market, each with a higher price tag, and anglers scramble to get their trembling hands on one.

When I was a kid fishing in farm ponds, the Rapala was the hottest thing in plugs. Hand-crafted and imported from Finland, the balsa-wood Rapalas initially were rare and hard to find. Most tackle shops had a waiting list.

Rapalas were expensive – about $5, which for a teen in the early 1960’s represented a lot of lawn-mowing and hay-hauling.

I saved up and bought a Rapala, and I fished with it until the silver finish was worn off and the balsa wood chewed to pieces. It caught fish. But so did the other, cheaper, lures that I used back then – ABU Shysters and squirrel-tail Mepps spinners, Hula Poppers and Jitterbugs, all of which cost a fraction of a Rapala.

I was always a tad nervous when I fished with my Rapala, a surface lure that dived below the surface on the retrieve. What if it got snagged on a stump? What if I hung a big bass and it broke my line?

Every time my Rapala bumped something, my heart stopped.

As kid with limited finances, I had to be a frugal fisherman. For example, I used both ends of a 50-yard spool of monofilament line. After fishing with 25 yards of the line until it became worn and frayed, I’d take it off the reel and re-wind it back on in reverse. That would give me 25 yards of fresh new, unused line that had been stored on the reel.

Incidentally, that line-saving tactic still works today if anglers are willing to take time to do it. But most of us are in too big a hurry; it’s quicker and easier simply to strip all the line off the reel -- including the unused portion – throw it away, and wind on a new spool. (That wasteful mindset probably explains a lot of today’s financial problems.)

But throwing away some fishing line is small potatoes compared to shelling out $410 for a fishing lure.

Far as I know, The Mother hasn’t hit the shelves in most U.S. tackle shops yet. When it does it’ll be interesting to see how it’s received. If just one fisherman buys one and catches just one giant bass, it’ll sell like hotcakes, despite the outlandish price.

If you come across a fisherman casting one of the $410 lures and he suddenly lets out a yelp, it could mean one of two things:

He’s hooked a big fish.

He’s hung his Mother on a log.

If it’s the latter, no wonder he’s hollering – chances are he hasn’t paid off the mortgage on his snagged fishing plug.

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