When Sam called to tell me he had some new Exude lures he wanted me to try, to say I was pumped is an understatement. I have been a big fan and die hard Exude user for some time. My personal favorites being the RT Slug. I have caught more redfish using the RT Slug in Arkansas Shad color than I can remember. In the past year I was turned onto the Exude Dart and it has quickly become my new favorite. Using the Gold Dart, I won a tournament sponsored by Paddle-Fishing.com last year and caught some of my personal best fish.
Exudes have always had that slimy feeling when you get them wet and these new lures were no exception. They are made with the same process designed to produce a scent trail while in the water. The new 4” Cigar Mino comes in 17 different colors, with the main feature being the over sized tail. My first thought while looking at that over size tail was this would be like other “swim” baits. I haven’t used those much, but the ones I have used I had great success with. Designed to be retrieved with a steady or stop and go action, the vibration of the oversize tail would provoke a strike. Most swim baits that I have used in the past are shaped quite different, usually very thick in the front and tapering down to the paddle tail. These new Cigar Mino’s are shaped more like other Exude lures, with an extreme oversize tail.
I did have somewhat limited success at first, but I attribute most of that to the fact we were just coming out of one of the worst winters on record. I was catching trout, but the redfish would not hit it, I think to the fast retrieve. At that time they were, and in some cases still are, keyed in on small crabs and shrimp, so chasing down a quick moving lure just wasn’t in the cards. But as the water has started to warm up and more bait is showing up on the flats, the redfish have been a bit more receptive. Casting out in front of this cruising redfish, it turned and quickly chased down the Cigar Mino in “Chicken on a Chain” color.
While the idea of a swim bait is very appealing, I have to say I was just a bit disappointed in the action of this new lure. With that oversize tail I thought you would really feel more action on the retrieve and that was not the case. I gave a few to some friends who also made the same comments. I even trimmed one down to see if it made any difference and the results were the same. However, I would use this lure a bit more in the coming months as the water continues to warm and the fish in our area key in on greenbacks and sardines.
If you haven’t tried any of the saltwater Exudes before, you need to try them.