Rudolph's Reel Adventures

Review of the slow sinking Madpumkin

Hi guys, here is an old review I did some time back on the slow sinking Madpumkin. It also cover how to fish them effectively. Enjoy.

I have decide to write a thorough review of a lure which I catch 80% of my barbel on and which has come through for me on various occasions

Review of the Lume Slow Sinking Madpumkin:

These lures are marked “slow sinking” on their packaging and on each lure it is also market with a “S” at the bottom of the lure just behind its hook. This lure works well in various situations, like when barbell are turning on the surface, when barbell cruise/hunt in the shallows or on the surface or when working good barbell habitat blindly (not on sight fishing).

What makes this lure so effective for targeting barbell is that it sinks at just the right speed and makes the right noise when hitting the water. Barbell rely more on hearing and the feeling of vibration than on sight. As they like to prey on birds or scavenge on bird droppings, it is no surprise that when they hear/feel a noise on the surface that they will swim to the surface to the origin of the noise/vibration to investigate. When they spot or feel the vibration of a potential prey they instinctively launch themselves to the prey and try to swallow it. When considering this it is therefore important that for a lure to catch barbell reacting this way the lure must make a decent sound when hitting the water and should sink slowly as to remain in the strike zone as long as possible. Both these attributes are found in Slow sinking Madpumkins, with some additional important attributes which include that the lure must be tough/durable to withstand the vicious assaults of various barbell, the lure must have a strong hook as barbell bend open most hooks with ease and that the lure must be available in a variety of colours so it can represent the barbell bait of choice at any venue. Lume Madpumkins are made of a synthetic material that has the same buoyancy and characteristics as wooden lures, except that they can withstand more punishment. The hooks used on each lure are VMC trebles, some of the strongest hooks available. These hooks perform very well when considering the strain put on them by barbell. Madpumkins are available in cocktail, bream, carp, white and yellow colours. The lures also have quality split rings and wiring inside its body, thus insuring that you don’t lose a big one due to something bending open. One slow sinking madpumkin caught 56 barbell before the hook needed to be replaced, after putting on a new hook it was back in business – now that is what I call durability!

Preferably there must be a sufficient number of barbell turning on the surface to effectively target them, it also helps if they turn ‘slowly’ and remain on the surface for a while and don’t just rise and then immediately shoot down. The ideal is when the barbell ‘double-turn’, thus they turn on the surface and then turn again on the same spot. Your chances are also improved when targeting turning barbell in shallower water. Thus the shallower the depth that they turn in, the better your chance is to catch one. Another tip is to find a concentrated area of rising barbell instead of targeting barbell that turn far from one another. Also if you see barbell don’t rise when you cast on their turn’s you must at some point try different tactics as they do not always come back up to investigate the noise made by your madpumkin.

Barbell can also be targeted successfully with slow sinking madpumkins when cruising in shallows or deeper water. Usually when barbell cruise slowly in the shallows they are more interested in lures presented to them and will strike anything that is casted close to them. When they lay suspended in the shallows they are not actively hunting and thus often spook when you cast a lure at them (better to use a jig/leadhead in this situation to trigger a reaction strike). Sometimes barbell cruise on the surface in deeper water. Usually these barbell will also be interested in a madpumkin casted at them. When targeting cruising barbell it is very important to determine whether they prefer that you cast the lure on them or that you rather cast the lure a short distance in front of them, this will depend on how aggressive the barbell are that you are targeting. Whether targeting cruising barbell deep or shallow, both methods require sight fishing and thus the cleaner the water is that you are working the better you will be able to fish using this technique.

Lastly barbell can be targeted effectively with madpumkins by fishing the right structure for them. This structure may include rocky points/shores, submerged trees and reeds. Usually a good indicator is if you see that the structure is covered by bird droppings, the more bird droppings visible the better your chances to catch a barbell there. Some spots carry barbell right through the year and if you are the first person to work this structure in the morning or afternoon you are guaranteed of catching a barbell. These spots also have the potential to recover quickly and often if you caught barbell there in the morning and wait a few hours before fishing it again, you will be rewarded with another barbell at the same spot when fishing it later in the day. It is also good if you see barbell turning in the area which you are going to work, especially when the barbell turns next to the structure you are planning to work with your madpumkin. You can fish these structures by casting your madpumkin as close as possible to the structure and then letting it sink at the spot it landed. You will know for certain if a barbell hits your lures as they hit these lures hard, therefore you don’t need to keep tension with your line – to be honest I fish with zero tension on my line. As soon as you tighten your line to increase the tension with your lure, you cause your lure to move thus pulling it away from its point of impact and thus away from where the barbell will rise to investigate.

A good method to fish when targeting barbell blindly via casting structure is buddycasting. This works well as the first cast next to the structure causes the barbell to rise and investigate what fell in the water and the second cast on the spot is often hit as the barbell then grabs the lure which is now in the strike zone. The only requirement for this technique to work is that both anglers must be able to cast accurately on the same spot. A general rule of thumb is if you have not caught a barbell via buddycasting within 8 casts on the same spot, then you should move on to a next structure to target. Usually barbell will show their presence within 3 casts.
So what is very important to remember when fishing with slow sinking madpumkins;

  1. You need to cast accurately whether sight fishing or fishing structure
  2. You need to ignite your drag as fast as possible after your lure has landed on  the swirl or next to the structure
  3. Do NOT put tension on your line after your lure hit the water, let it sink where it landed
  4. If you see that there is a barbell close to your lure, but it can’t find your lure you can either reel in your madpumkin slowly which will cause the pumkin to give of a vibration or you can work it on the surface like a popper causing it to make a noise on the surface, otherwise reel in as quick as possible and cast on the barbell which is searching for your lure
  5. Your drag must be as tight as possible when targeting barbell in structure, so you are able to winch barbell away from structure as they will try to wrap you
  6. When fishing rocky structure a thick fluoro leader is recommended as barbell cut braid on rocks with ease
  7. A medium heavy to heavy action 7ft rod is recommended when casting for barbell
  8. I recommend using 40-60lb braid on a low profile baitcaster with a strong drag and fast retrieve speed. A strong drag is required as these fish are very powerfull and will wrap you if you give them the chance and a fast retrieve speed is required as you often need to reel in your lure quickly make a second cast on a barbel interested in your lure

Hope this is informative, tight lines:fishn

Some of the colours available

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