<B><font size=3>HighRoller Lures by Mark Bellote</B></font>
Being on Top of Topwater Lures

Being on Top of Topwater Lures

Do you like using top water baits? I have a plug for you! (No commercial pun intended.) High Roller Lures are quickly making some high stakes in the industry. Endorsed by such TV personalities as Roland Martin and Capt. Blair Wiggins, High Roller will soon become as regular of a name as your current favorite top water bait.

At first glance of these wooden baits, my first impression wasn't the best. Once I started looking at the craftsmanship and the color patterns, I could tell that there was more than what meets the corner of my eye. Hand crafted from hard wood and equipped with stainless hardware to withstand the saltwater elements; these baits were originally designed for freshwater use but because of their success and popularity in the estuaries, they were later changed.

There are four basic models to choose from in different sizes. Each lure is hand painted and there are up to 14 colors (depending on model) to choose from. After they are painted, they are then covered with a signature epoxy gel coat that keeps the bait shiny and durable.

The original HighRoller (3.25" and 4.25") is an odd looking bait with a narrow front end and a wide, round back side and walks the dog better than your friend Fido. A few different techniques and twitches will get this lure to dive, jump, wiggle and roll like no other top water.

The RipRoller is a prop bait that comes in 3 sizes (3.25", 4.25", and the monster 6.5"). I have been fishing with a bait called the RipRoller 3.25" for about a year and it still looks good despite the torture I have put it through.

Popper plugs are great noisemakers for getting those frisky fish fired up into a frenzy. The PopRoller 2.75" and the ChugRoller 3.0" will do just that. Spitting and spraying water to mimic scurrying baitfish will entice even finicky fish.

Finally on the list is the crank bait series. The only subsurface plugs in the lineup are the CrankRoller 3.75" and the WiggleRoller 4.25". Used like a twitch bait, crank bait, or even trolling, this plug will dive until you stop it. With most of the bulk in the rear of the lure, this bait will swim backwards allowing you to keep the bait in the strike zone longer..

Recently, Rich Dixon (from High Rollers) and I spent some time together sharing fish stories and compared habitats and habits. I mentioned to Rich that I was going to be doing a write-up about the lures on www.paddle-fishing.com and he turned me on to a couple of other baits; the original HighRoller 3.25" and the PopRoller 2.75". I picked out my favorite color patterns (Steel Shad and Greenback) and I was ready to give them a toss.

Although I have yet had a chance to throw them at fish, I couldn't wait to see what action these lures had so I took them with me to visit my father who lives on a canal. After playing with each of these lures I can honestly say that they look great! The HighRoller is a great plug to throw in conditions when those noisy clacking baits spook the schools off the flats. It bounces back and forth effortlessly without the clatter of the other well known top water baits. Don't get me wrong, I love those baits too but there is a time and place when they are not appropriate.

Speaking of noise, the PopRoller makes a great imitation of scattering baitfish. It spreads a shower of spray about 18 inches in a nice fan shape. It looks just like the burst of glass minnows I have seen so many times as feeding snook pound the school. The RipRoller also makes some racket when it is stripped across the surface. The prop churns the water like a fluttering tail of a wounded or scared mullet and it drives fish crazy.

The first time I used my RipRoller (a year ago) I was not giving the bait very much credit. I just wanted to give a new bait a try. The second cast was exploded on by a 15 lb snook. The third and fourth cast was exploded on as well. No manufacturer can guarantee that kind of action but it was quickly guaranteed a place in my very small tackle box.

Looking back on everything this "one person" has said, it sounds like one big commercial. Well, there is a price to pay and the price on these baits is quite higher than most of the other lures on the market. Right around $10 each sounds like a lot at first until I started thinking about how much I have spent on soft baits just in the last month. Now I don't think of the HighRoller Lures to be that expensive.

Check out the HighRoller web site at www.highrollerlures.com or look for them at your favorite tackle depot. And if they don't already have them on the shelves, ask them "why not?"

Permission to post this article was given by Jay Brewington from Paddle-Fishing.com

High Rollers can be purchased here, at www.hookmupworldwide.com

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