One of the best-kept secrets among top tournament bass anglers in the north of the US is out following the takeover of Great Lakes Finesse (GLF) by one of the world’s top lure suppliers.
The acquisition by PRADCO-Fishing has given GLF a huge boost in distribution, dealer placement, improved product quality and the resources to allow it to reach its full potential, says Brand Manager Dan Miguel (below).
“The acquisition was critical for production capacity to meet the insane demand. PRADCO’s world class product capabilities will allow us to release a pile of great products for 2024. We expect to double – if not treble – the SKU count for the brand next year.”
Miguel says that the Sneaky Underspin has been making waves among anglers across the US and gave Angling International an exclusive look into the reasons why. Says Miguel: “We think the Sneaky Underspin is the next big thing in smallmouth fishing. Top tournament anglers in the north of the US have been winning on this bait for a while now, but have been keeping it very quiet. Now the secret is out!”
Says Miguel: ‘This super finesse bait catches the big 6lb-plus fish from the St Lawrence River in NY. The fish above was caught on the 3/16oz Matte Gold Black version with a Crush Shad 2.7” Drop Minnow trailer. The subtle wiggle of this combo gets big fish to attack aggressively.”
“We know smallmouth love black! This matte black combo is a killer on those clear northern lakes – especially the Great Lakes.”
“Great Lakes Finesse has multiple head patterns so that you are covered for all conditions and match your go-to trailer. These pair perfectly with their 2.75” Drop Minnows. The underwire on the Sneaky Underspin that holds the willow leaf blade is intentionally the perfect length to clear the belly of your go-to swimbaits. Too short and it gets hung up on the bait when retrieved. Too long and the fish could miss the bait, striking just the blade. Many different lengths were tested to find the perfect angle and length.
“You fish these like a hair jig. Take a long cast and a very slow and steady straight retrieve. That’s it! They will follow it and suck it in just like a hair jig. Use a long rod, light line and a quality spinning reel. Preferred set-up is a 7’6” to 7’8” fast action medium light rod. A quality spinning reel with 5lb braid to a 6lb fluorocarbon leader is ideal for long casts and to get the maximum vibration out of the bait. This is a super finesse technique and a bait with a fine wire Gamakatsu hook. When you have a fish on, let the rod and your drag do the work. This hook will penetrate well on the hookset with light line but will bend out if you put too much pressure on the fish. A gentle sweep for the hookset is all you need. If you take your time landing the fish, you will land well over 90% of the fish that bite this bait.”
The Sneaky Underspin comes in two sizes: 3/16oz and 5/16oz. The former is ideal for fishing in 15ft of water or less, while the latter is ideal 16ft to 30ft. Super slow retrieve is key.
Miguel: “This is a super small premium finesse bait build to withstand the biggest fish that swim. Features include a Gamakatsu hook, all stainless components, powder coat and baked no-chip paint job and 3D live eyes. Everything about this bait is designed to fool and land the biggest smallmouth that swims. Guys are targeting deep offshore smallmouth with forward facing sonar. They cast past the fish, let the bait sink down a little in the water column, then retrieve the bait above their heads. The key is to keep the bait above the fish. This is a deadly technique that for the most part is untapped for deep smallmouth.”
Miguel: “This is the OG Sneaky Underpin paired with the Crush Shad 2.75” Drop Minnow. This combo is perfect for when you know they are feeding on baitfish.” There is also a gold blade ideal for overcast or stained water. “Some days they just want the gold over the silver.” All Sneaky Underspin’s are powder-coated and baked so that they do not chip when you are fishing around hard targets and rocks.
Adds Miguel: “It’s not uncommon for smallmouth to nearly swallow a Sneaky Underspin. Because the bait is so light, they either inhale the bait or viciously attack it, practically ripping the rod from your hand. The key is to fish it super slow. Almost painfully slow. Expect to fill you livewell quickly on tournament day when you get around some fish with this bait.
The Sneaky Underspin & Drop Minnow
Designed to be fished slowly, with light line, a long rod and ultra finesse plastics, the Sneaky Underspin has a fine-wire Gamakatsu hook and a weed-resistant head design that allows it to come through sparse vegetation. Critical details include 3D live eyes, stainless steel components and an anti-chip powder coat finish. Pairs perfectly with the 2.75” Drop Minnow or your go-to 2.5” to 3” swimbait.
2.75” Drop Minnow
Developed in partnership with Travis Manson (Smallmouth Crush), the Drop Minnow is in a league of its own. It’s extremely versatile – allowing you to drop shot it, Damiki rig it, hop it, swim it or fish it like a Ned. The matte shine-free ribbed body provides a unique vibration in the water and the thin tail gives incredible lifelike action. It’s truly neutrally buoyant meaning when dead-sticked, the bait will sit perfectly horizontal giving it a natural appearance. The smallest amount of movement in the bait will have the tail twitching like crazy.