Fishing lures can be expensive.
I have seen some lures that cost as much as $100 apiece. Don’t believe me? Check out a previous post on the most expensive swimbaits.
However, the idea of spending that kind of cash for a single lure makes me, as well as others, quite nervous.
Now I am not discouraging anyone from spending a lot of money on fishing gear. I understand that in most cases a higher-priced lure is most likely going to perform better than a cheaper option.
The part that makes me most nervous about fishing with such an expensive lure is what comes next. After buying a lure we attach hooks to it and then we proceed to launch it into the unknown.
Yes, we target areas where we know there will be laydowns, brush piles, structures, etc. All the while hoping (sometimes praying) that our lure doesn’t get snagged.
So it is not so much about making that initial investment that makes me nervous, but rather it is the idea of losing that money in a brush pile or a laydown. Not to mention the time spent trying to get it back or going to the store to find a replacement.
So what can be done?
Well if you are tired of losing lure after lure, you can have come to the right place.
In this post, we are going to talk about a simple tool that could save you hundreds of dollars a year in fishing gear. It is a lure retriever.
What is a lure retriever? Which lure retrievers are the best?
Let’s talk about that….
What is a lure retriever?
Lure retrievers come in many different sizes and shapes, but they are all designed to do essentially the same thing.
They are designed to ‘retrieve your lure’ in other words to free your lure from a snag. To do this, some are weighted, weighing as much as 8 ounces, some have chains or hooks and yes, some even come on a pole to give you better leverage.
When a weighted lure retriever is dropped into the water, oftentimes the contact between the retriever and the lure is enough to back your lure out of a snag.
Another option that you will find on the market is also weighted, but in addition, it is equipped with chains or cords. After the initial contact is made, the chains can get caught up in the hooks and give you more leverage to help retrieve your lure.
Lastly, there is the rod lure retriever. This one is designed with an extension pole. This works great for bank fishermen who can’t get in the best position to send down a normal weighted retriever.
It also works well in situations where you can clearly see your lure, but a weighted retriever just doesn’t cut it.
What is the best lure retriever?
Here is a quick preview of our top 6 options:
- The Pocket Knocker
- Daiwa Lure Catcher
- VGEBY Bait Saver
- Davidson Snag Buster
- Lew’s Get Back
The Pocket Knocker
The first one that we are going to take a look at is called the Pocket Knocker.
As the name implies it is a small weight that will knock your lure free, but small enough to keep in your pocket.
It is basically a 5-ounce weight used to knock out jigs, crankbaits, and any other lures that might be snagged up. Keep in mind while most lure retrievers come attached to a line or nylon cord, this one does not.
With that in mind, in order not to lose your lure retriever as well, I recommend attaching the pocket knocker to a nylon cord and the cord to a buoy or the boat itself. For example, one like this would work Eagle Claw Marker Buoy (75 feet of line).
While others have used a 60-100lb test line with an old fishing pole. This approach works great because once you are done using the pocket knocker you can just reel it up and store it on the boat. The only negative is that it will no longer fit in your pocket.
How to use it: First, you want to position the boat directly above your snagged lure. Once you are in a position you want to attach the line of the snagged lure to the Pocket Knocker by passing it through the metal coil on top.
While keeping the line tight slowly lower it into the water. When you get about 2 feet away from the snag you want to release the Pocket Knocker, so it drops down faster.
Just before it hits your lure you want to put slack in the line. Hopefully, if you have done it correctly, the combination of the weight, the momentum of the lure retriever, and the slack in the line will push your lure free.
If it doesn’t work the first time you may have to try again, or possibly change your angle of approach.
Daiwa Lure Catcher
The next one on our list is the Daiwa Lure Catcher. This device works in a very similar way to the Hound dog.
As you see in the picture above this one comes already attached to 45 feet of cord. It also comes with a reel making it very easy to store.
The biggest difference between the two is the chains that are attached to the weight.
These chains work very well in rescuing lures with treble hooks. Sometimes when the retriever drops down the initial knock or initial knocks aren’t enough to free your lure.
With chains in place, when the lure retriever drops down the chains will get caught in the hooks giving you more leverage to pull your lure out.
VGEBY Bait Saver
Another to add to our list is the Vgeby Bait saver. This is 129 grams (or 4.5 ounces) option that comes already attached to 30 meters of PE line. This works the same way as the two already mentioned.
The biggest difference you will see is the metal forks in front. These forks will act very similar to the chains on Tournament Choice.
The idea is to get your lure hooks tangled in the forks or to get the metal forks to go under the lure. This will hopefully allow you to have more leverage and be able to pull the lure out.
Davidson Snag Buster
Sometimes when in a snag all we really need is a heavy-duty weight to bust our lure free.
That is exactly what the Davidson Snag Buster is designed to do.
Does it really have enough weight to break your lure free? Yes, it does. In fact, it weighs 11 ounces in total. That is plenty of weight to free just about any lure.
How to use it:
First, use the ring located in the front to attach the snag buster to a cord or another fishing line. Next, use the rings on top to attach the weight to your fishing line. Hold the line tight and let it rip.
If it doesn’t free your lure on the first try, use the cord to pull your snag buster back and let it rip again.
Remember the tight you hold the fishing line, the more momentum you will have to free your lure.
Lew’s Get Back Lure
Let’s face it crankbaits are expensive. Not only are they expensive, but they also catch fish. How disappointing it would be to lose one on a snag.
A lure retriever specifically designed for crankbaits is the Lew’s Get Back Lure.
This is an 88.9-ounce option with a unique triangle shape specifically designed to free most crankbaits.
It comes with 28 feet of cord and it works very similarly to the Hound Dog mentioned earlier.
Simply put coils around your fishing line. Drop the fishing lure retriever at the same time tightening up your line. Just as the retriever is about the hit the lure allows slack.
This should free your lure. If not, try again.
Frabill Lure Retriever
What do I do if I snag a lure and I am fishing from the shore?
The Frabill Lure Retriever is the answer!
It is a strong lightweight pole that extends 15 feet. At the end of the pole is a metal coil. This lure retriever is a must-have when working in shallow waters and it is simply the option out there.
How to use it: Spiral the metal coil around your line and follow the line down to the lure. As it reaches your bait continue to spiral, this will work the hooks out of the snag. If the initial attempt doesn’t work you may need to use a combination of spiraling and pushing to get your lure out.
Once I saw a fisherman get snagged up fishing around a laydown.
He then proceeded to remove the reel from its reel seat and then send his 100 dollars plus fishing rod down the line with the hopes to knock his inexpensive crankbait free.
The worst part of the story is that he ended up breaking the tip of his fishing rod making it useless.
Not smart! Don’t be that guy!
Always carry a lure retriever in your tackle box!
Yes, there is no doubt about it, lure retrievers work! The best part is they can save you money. So make sure the next time you go fishing to always make sure that you have one on you or in your tackle bag.
What do you think is the best lure retriever? Please share with us your thoughts in the comments below.
mike wlat says
Its definitely not the lews. the line gets hung in the ring and when that happens it will break your line. I have lost more baits because of the retriever than i have rescued. On the other hand the knocker is great i have knockee free jigs without the line but i will take your advice and try tieing it to a line and dropping it on my crankbaits.