A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME
By Rich Johnson
No ones ever accused me of being a literary critic or a reader of
great literature and some say if it doesnt have fishing, the New York Yankees or NY
Jets in it you may not find it on my desk. To go as far as quoting Shakespeare in a
fishing article may also be slightly askew. However, as the man himself once said "A
rose by any other name would smell as sweet." Well in fishing the same could be true
of the most versatile artificial lure and thats the bucktail. The bucktail is such a
versatile lure on most species; the Military services deploy bucktails as the lure of
choice in survival kits
because they catch fish.
The bucktail is a lead head lure that comes in a variety of styles and colors. It is a
fixed hook lure, which is put in place within the mold before the lead is poured. However,
there are bucktails that have a free-swinging hook as part of the lure. This hook is
attached after the pouring process, to a preset eye that is molded into the bucktail head.
The bucktail gets its name from the hair or "dressing" it receives to give
color, body, texture and profile. Its real deer hair from the tail of a deer; hence
the name "buck" tail. These days, bucktails are dressed with all kinds of
natural and synthetic fibers from natural materials Marabou and saddle hackle feathers to
synthetics like flashabou, bozo hair and tinsel type materials. A tip for our readers:
Use white on clear sunny days and yellow on cloudy days with pink or chartreuse in stained
water. Use either squid strip or tip with spearing, but not both at the same time.
There are many types, but Ill take you through just a few of them.
SMILIN BILL. This bucktail is the standard and most common item found in
anglers tackle boxes. Its called a Smilin Bill because the front of the
bucktail head looks like an open or "smiling" mouth, usually painted red. You
depart most of the action to this one by lifting and dropping your rod tip on the
retrieve. In hard running currents, it will swim itself.
LIMA BEAN. Has a thin and narrow head in the shape of a lima bean and is my
choice in a slow moving current because the shape of the head will slice through water and
tide giving the lure extra side to side action. Very good when fishing very small
CANNON BALL. This is self-explanatory as well. The lead head is round like a
cannon ball. However this type has a free-swinging hook and is better for bottom fishing
on a hard tide because of the density and shape of the head. In the last couple of years,
these cannon balls have undergone a major new look, exploding to become the hottest thing
on the market today by adding one major change
manufacturers have chromed the cannon
ball. The ball is now solid chrome and very shiny, almost to a mirror finish and comes
under a variety of names that includes, but are not limited to, West End Tackle
manufacturers Fluke Bullets and a variety of other Chrome Bullets
type cannon ball bucktails.
These are a must have in your tackle box and in the Amityville to
Lindenhurst area, the only place to find these Chrome Bullets is Bobs B&T
(842-7573) in Amity Harbor. You can go further west to Hudson Point
(867-9608) in Freeport or Bay Park Fishing Station (766-3110) in Oceanside.
The Fluke Bullets can be found in Causeway B&T (785-3223) of Wantagh and
West End B&T (889-4393) of Long Beach or Jacks B&T (718-885-2042)
in City Island and Bernies B&T (718-646-7600) in Sheepshead Bay.