Pusher lures are one of most commonly used game fishing lures due to the ease of rigging. They are aptly called due to having a head with a flat or concave face which “push” against the water surface to create an attractive bubble trail and/or splashes when trolled. As multiple lures are generally run at once, it’s important to know how to pick a lure which best suits both the conditions as well as what position to run them in (i.e. directly off the rod tip, from an outrigger, or off some kind of flat-line arrangement).
The main factors which determine the performance of a pusher lure are covered below for easy reading.
Face Size & Shape
Larger concave faces are more suited for calm conditions, as they dig into the water and hold position well, while also creating a large bubble trail to attract game fish. In rough conditions though, they can very easily bounce around and tumble on the waves unless setup just right.
Smaller faces on the other hand, generally are able to perform well in a wider range of conditions but produce less commotion. Due to their large tolerance of running conditions, they’re well suited for beginners, and small faced lures with a long head are a great way to get into the sport without much investment or headache required.
(the bulk OEM lure kits we offer come in a range of sizes and colors, great for starting out or stocking up!)
There is of course countless lures which lie somewhere between the above extremes of the spectrum. Only experience will help in determining what mix of features will offer the best performance for a given day.
WeightThe weight of a pusher lure helps determine what angle and conditions it should be run at. Heavier lures will tend to tolerate steeper towing angles and choppier conditions – a heavy lure is more likely to glide just under the surface of waves instead of popping up and bouncing.
Every lure manufacturer has their own specialty name for a huge variety of skirt color combinations – the industry has essentially devolved into a marketing name game that would put women’s lipstick brands to shame.
The reality of the matter is that choosing the color of a lure is a simple exercise in keeping a broad range of colors in your spread, and picking color combinations which most closely resemble the bait fish preferred by the target game species.
In terms of filling in your color range selection, it’s good to keep in mind the overall goal of standing out - If it’s a dark day, consider running lighter colors overall to stand out. Similarly for a sunny day, perhaps run darker colors. Also to bear in mind is that game fish are attracted to lumo/fluoro colors, which would be especially effective during early morning/late evening times.
Similar to skirt color, skirt length should also be chosen to match the bait fish it’s trying to mimic. This means that if the goal is to mimic a small tuna around 1-3kg, then anything around 10” would be suitable.
Head HardnessA hotly debated topic is whether soft headed lures are superior to traditional hard headed ones.
The reasoning behind soft headed lures being superior, boils down to theory that the game fish being more likely to bite a soft lure again - as they feel more like the real thing and thus don’t deter bites after the initial strike.
Conversely, there’s plenty of people who also swear that hard heads are better as bites to the head area are more likely to slip off the hard head and onto the hooks.
Since there’s no definitive evidence behind both claims, it seems like a choice of personal preference.
(soft head or hard head - why not both?)