Despite the proliferation of fishing lures during the past decade, there are still a few cult baits around. These lures have a fiercely loyal following, strengthened over time and born of success. The Silver Buddy is one of them.
"I've used them on Dale Hollow for over 20 years. You don't see them as much as you used to though," says Dale Hollow professional smallmouth guide Bob Coan (www.bobcoanfishingguide.com).
"I don't know why because they imitate a dying shad better than any lure ever made."
11 Tips for Silver Buddy Bass
1. The best vibration comes from the 1/4-ounce model. It works best with a 6-foot, 6-inch, medium action All Pro spinning rod. Any good reel will do if it's spooled with 6- or 8- pound-test Seaguar fluorocarbon.
2. The best blade size is the 1/2-ounce model. It works best with a 6-foot, medium action All Pro casting rod. Any good reel will do if it's spooled with 12-pound-test Seaguar fluorocarbon line.
4. Throw them straight toward the bank. You don't want to lose them if you can help it. The company that makes Silver Buddies recently went out of business. It's still possible to find them, but they're getting scarcer by the day. Bringing them straight off the bank will cut your hang-ups in half, says Coan.
5. If you do hang up, don't pull. If you snag, move the boat right over the top of it and shake it on a slack line. It'll almost always come loose.
6. Snap and drop on the retrieve. The only reason to pull this lure up is so it'll fall and imitate a dying shad. Snap it up about 18 inches with a hard jerk to get their attention and then let it fall on a slack line.
7. Keep a sharp eye on your line. The only way you'll know he's on is when your line twitches during the fall.
8. Match the hatch. On Dale Hollow, I always throw silver. But in waters where there's a little more color or the baitfish look yellow or copper or green, give the gold ones a try.
9. Bend the blade. If the bite is slow, bend the blade into an arc. That'll give it a different action on the fall.
10. Adjust the weight. I cut the lead belly down on the 1/2-ounce size. That gives me better vibration but a bigger blade size. Make sure you follow the original belly shape exactly; otherwise the lure won't vibrate and fall right. When you get done it should weigh about 3/8 of an ounce.
11. Add a Daiichi Bleeding Bait hook. Sometimes you'll get more bites with a Bleeding Bait hook on the front. Put it on with a split ring. Don't cut the eye. That'll weaken the hook and cause it to break.