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Road Runners: Which Blade for Different Conditions?

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"Among the many questions I field during my travels; I’m often asked why we offer different blades on the various Road Runner heads and lures."


Let’s take a look at the two major blade designs first; the original Indiana blade and the Willow blade.

  • The original Indiana blade is wide and features a heavy “cup”. This blade bites a lot of water for its size and generates a good “thump” vibration and sound as it turns. This means it’s the best blade choice for s-l-o-w presentations. It’s my favorite for fishing shallow, Shellcracker beds for example. The additional sound this blade produces makes it a great choice for dirty or darker waters. What you can’t see is important too. Our original blade is nickel-over-brass construction for maximum sound while many cheaper, knock-offs are just steel. (You get what you pay for.)
  • A willow blade bites less water and thus has less water to throw. This means the willow blade is a better choice for deeper or swifter waters. While the willow makes less noise; it still produces sound, vibration and flash. It’s ideal for deeper presentations.

Gold or silver colored blades?

Because shad and minnows are mostly silver in color; nickel colored blades are still the number one choice of most anglers. However in deeper or darker situations the silver color of most baitfish, takes on a copper or gold hue. This is especially true in cypress-stained waters. Darker conditions warrant a darker or perhaps a larger blade as well.

Why have a blade at all?

Attracting fish by sight alone is okay, but wouldn’t it make sense to appeal to more senses? In addition to sight; blades offer contrast, sound, flash and vibration. Vibration is not to be confused with sound. It’s truly a different sense. There’s more too. Gill-flash is a phenomenon that simulates feeding, to other fish. Thanks to the blade’s position on a Road Runner, gill-flash is built in. It looks pre-occupied, feeding.

Now that you’re an expert in blade designs and their materials, you’ll make better choices on the water and catch more fish.


Author:  TJ Stallings.  One of the world’s leading experts on fishing-tackle design, T.J. Stallings acquired a deep interest in sportfishing while working as a youngster in Tim’s Tackle Box, a popular hangout for Florida anglers his father established in 1971 to sell jigs he designed and made himself. Before he was a teenager, T.J. was tying jigs, building custom rods and studying fish behavior. His in-depth knowledge of fishing led to positions with big-name tackle companies such as Shimano, Bass-Assassin and Hildebrandt. He currently works as Director of Marketing for TTI Blakemore Fishing Group, which utilized his concepts for Daiichi Bleeding Bait, Circle Chunk and Circle Chunk Light hooks. He and wife Doreen have three beautiful daughters and four grandchildren. T.J. still studies photography, biology and the mystery of the band Metallica.

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