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Lure Review


Surface gurgling with the Panther Martin WeedWing
 

Date: 2/12/04
Tackle type: Lures
Manufacturer: Panther Martin
Reviewer: JIP






Total Score: 8.33

Introduction: Panther Martin opened the vault and returns their popular WeedWing to active duty. This spoon-buzzbait-like lure can be used to target different types of fish in a range of situations, either retrieving it for some top water action, or slowly dragging it along the bottom for less aggressive fish.

 

Panther Martin WeedWing Specifications

Material Metal
Colors 5 available
Sizes 1/4 and 1/2 oz
MAP $3.99 and $4.49

   
Impressions: The WeedWing is by no means a new invention, Panther Martin has actually been selling these bass lures in the pre-buzzbait days. But this year they are bringing them back from the past with 5 exciting new colors and a few improvements to further enhance your catch ratio.

 

The Panther Martin WeedWings is a spoon-buzzbait hybrid

  

Complete Rig for WeedWing Tests

Rod GLoomis MBR783C
Reel Quantum Energy PT-XMetal
Line 12 lb. Sufix ProMix

  
Field Tests: Over the years fishing the top water has become one of my favorite techniques to target big bass. We field tested this lure primarily on bass, but fish such as pike, muskie, stripers, and others will also attack the WeedWing when worked properly.

 

Casting: We weren't surprised at all that this Panther Martin lure can be tossed extremely well. At 1/4 and 1/2 oz in weight, the WeedWing rockets through the air with 12lb ProMix. Even though the blades will rotate in midair, there weren't any noticeable loss in casting distance as a result of friction, as the main body of the lure has plenty of weight to help catapult this lure far afield. Aside from nice long casts needed to kick-start the top water action, the WeedWing is well balanced and easy to direct to targeted zones. While using a side-arm cast and thumbing the baitcaster, the team was able to easily hit targets in open water and precisely drop the lure in-between tight spots without snagging.

 

Its solid spoon design is smooth and tough, and aerodynamic shape help the lure cast great distances

  

Retrieving: Top water fishing is all about how you work the lure to create fish attracting motions and sounds to entice fish to come up and strike. Learning to control the speed of retrieve is probably the hardest thing to do, and must be practiced to effectively fish any top water lure. By using a high gear ratio baitcasting reel like the new Quantum Energy PT-XMetal, it already gives you an edge over anglers who use a slower setup. Throughout the field tests, this new exciting lure always created a nice V-shaped wake as it ran at the surface of the water. Its "Wing" turned everytime and created a churning or gurgling sound somewhat familiar to those who enjoy fishing buzzbaits, but the WeedWing emits a sound that is different but just as effective at taunting fish to strike.

 

The use of wide gap hooks on the WeedWing is a plus especially when fishing top water. Having this type of hook made it much easier to hook into a fish during the retrieve than a smaller sized hook that I've used in early prototypes.

 

A big part of the this lure's action comes from the "Wings" that produce quite a commotion on the waters surface

 

Long time users of buzzbaits know that by tweaking the blade, one can achieve different sounds, speed, and actions. The WeedWing's blades can be bent in or out to control the amount of force that is required to turn the blade, allowing you to control the speed you require to keep the lure afloat at the surface. I also tried drilling holes into the blade which resulted in the generation of a different sound and as the Weedwing broke the surface of the water it actually created a bubble trail. Overall the effectiveness of the lure remained the same.

 

With double weed guards, the WeedWing can be fished in heavy structure and cover without easily snagging. Because the weed guards are made out of two metal wires, they can also be adjusted. When fishing open top water I would push the weed guards down, to further expose the hook for a greater chance of getting a solid hookset.

 

While this Panther Martin lure is effective on top water action against aggressive fish, the WeedWing can also be fished in other ways. Fish it mid-water or drag it along the bottom of the lake, this lure can be effective at a variety of depths and speeds. We attached a trailer to the hook which added more action, making the WeedWing even deadlier when retrieved slowly.

 

A wide gap hook helps provide solid hookups

 
Durability:
 Durability isn't even a concern when it comes to the WeedWing. Panther Martin went with using filled metal into the underside of the spoon to attach the hook, at first I thought it might not hold as well as a screw.  But after many drop tests on solid concrete, the hook remained intact.

 

Aside from that, the only other parts that can take on damage from extreme fishing is the blade, weed guards, and the paint on the models that are not a solid color. The weed guards are made to be bent, and can be constantly adjusted with no damage to the lure. We tested them on fish and in the lab and even put the lures through extreme stress.  We took a lure and bent the wire until it broke off. If you bend the wires down onto the body of the spoon it is very difficult to break. If you bend them away from the lure, upwards or to the sides about 1 inch maximum from the hook, the wires still didn't break. Now, if you bend them completely perpendicular to the lure, it is possible to break them after a few tries. This will not occur unless you accidentally bend them during transportation or in an event of an extremely unusual hang up.

 

Double weed guards prevent the WeedWing from easily snagging when fishing in and around cover

 

If you only fish the WeedWing as a top water bait, you'll never run into problems with the paint. But if you choose to drag the lure along rocky bottoms you will definitely put scratches into the finish. But even after intentionally scratching up this lure it still remained effective.

 

Price: The MSRP of the Panther Martin WeedWings aren't all that bad, but could fall into the higher price range for some anglers. The great thing about online shopping nowadays is that we can do a quick price checks before buying anything. For these lures, if you look around on the web, you will be able to find them strategically priced below MSRP.

  
Ratings:

Panther Martin WeedWing Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Solid construction using bendable blade material that can be tweaked many times without breaking 8.5
Performance This lure worked good as a top water lure or underwater, and much more effective if you add a trailer to it 8
Price The MSRP is ok, but we have found incredible deals online 9
Features A pretty basic lure that works and sports a wide gap hook and weed guards 8
Design (Ergonomics) Designed smooth to glide nicely at the surface and the blade can be bent to either slow or speed up the retrieve.  Double weed guards placed in the correct place to prevent snags 8
Application A lure that's designed to catch many species of fish such as bass, pike, stripers, and more 8.5

Total Score

8.33


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Effective at different depths L Weed guard can be broken off
J Blade turns everytime L Painted patterns will get scratched if dragged on rocks
J Overall lure is quite durable  
J Catches many species of fish  


Conclusion: Good products often stand up to the test of time, and the reintroduction of the Panther Martin WeedWing is one such example.  The WeedWing is designed to run as a top water lure providing good action and sound to entice top water bites, and can be fished as a spoon below water. We found that by adding a trailer, the lure became even more deadly. The lure proved quite durable and our test results proved it to be a quality bass catcher, and we are sure it'll work just as well for other aggressive species that commit to boisterous topwater lures.



 

 

 

 

 

 
 





 

 



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