Introducing…the BWL Sand Pike

Hello Surfcasters!

Happy New Year! To start the year off right, I’m introducing a new lipless pike — called a Sand Pike — to the Big Water product line.

The Sand Pike has the traditional pike profile, is 8” long (to discourage the strike of smaller fish), and weighs in at a little more than 3 oz. One of its distinguishing features is that it is slimmer than a BWL SLIM. It is ideal for catching keeper-quality stripers when they are keyed in on sand eels.

Evolution of the Sand Pike
While I (and many of you) have had great success catching bigger fish with my traditional pikes, I continued to have one big problem: on Block Island, where I do a lot of my fishing, I had trouble catching with the Giants when the fish were keyed in on sand eels. It didn’t matter if there were bigger fish around, I needed a slimmer bait. This led me to develop the SLIM which got me closer — but didn’t completely resolve the sand eel issue.

I toyed with a lipless pike early on when I made a YoYo Pike — heavily weighted, fast-sinking and fished from a boat like you would “yo-yo” a rigged bunker. It was anything but an everyday plug and I didn’t do anything further with the lipless pike until Spring 2010. I was asked to make some tuna plugs for both casting and trolling. One major stipulation was “no” lip as it would be trolled faster than a lipped plug could handle, and when casting, it was to swim fast on top of the water. While test swimming some Troller-sized lipless pikes, I noticed they had an erratic swimming action when retrieved on the fast side. I knew that action — just a little slower — would attract striped bass. I tooled a lipless pike in Giant and SLIM sizes, but these earlier plugs were productive in their own rights, so I wasn’t gaining much going lipless in those sizes.

But I saw real possibilities in a “slimmer than SLIM” version. Through some weight placement, a change to denser wood, and slimming down the body, I came up with the “Sand Pike”. Soon, the full potential hit home: Last Fall on Block Island — on my second cast with the Sand Pike, I hooked and landed a 28-pounder. We had been fishing all night and up to this point, we had only caught teen size fish.

Construction & Fishing the Sand Pike
The Sand Pike is constructed from Alaskan Yellow Cedar and has a single 4/0 VMC treble on the belly and a single 5/0 VMC siwash on the tail.(This is because when I fished my SLIMs around the sand eels, more than a few stripers actually sucked the plug in from behind instead of the usual head strike. And last Fall on Cuttyhunk, when fishing among sand eels, I caught 4 stripers in a row on my SLIM – all on the rear treble.) Finally, the tied tail is also slimmer on the Sand Pike to complete the sand eel look.

When I caught the 28-pounder on Block, I was fishing it like a needlefish, slow retrieve and twitching the rod. Not only does it fish like a needle, but it casts like a needle. You can also “walk the dog” with it or reel it fast on top. I have also caught fish on the Sand Pike by dropping the rod tip and giving it sharp jerks, making the plug dart from side to side. There are endless possibilities with this plug and it will see a lot of water come this Spring.

Colors, Pricing & Ordering
The Sand Pike comes in 6 different colors: White Mac, Blue Mac, Yellow Mac, Block Island Green Rib, Black Rib, and White Cloud. The per plug cost is $35, plus taxes (as applicable) and shipping. For photos, inventory and ordering info, go here.

Wishing you a great year in 2011,


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