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Lure styles and categories, Part II

By Staff | Dec 20, 2012

Each marlin lure offers different traits.

One of the first head shapes made, tube lures are nothing more than a cylinder with a slant face. Tubes are a deadly top-water design that create a great bubble trail and make a lot of noise. If you’re not pulling tubes, you’re making a big mistake.

Tube lures exhibit an aggressive swimming action thanks to their relatively small diameter head and radical slant. Tubes work well from the outriggers or as long transom baits, and they pull with fewer hassles than most slanted lures (they don’t require being perfectly rigged).

Because of their big, popping splash and exaggerated swimming motion, tube baits fish much bigger than their size would suggest. Big fish will eat these medium-sized baits.

When most of us think of marlin lures, the plunger or “Kona head” lures come to mind. The term Kona head has been used to describe so many different lure styles that it is now used by most people as a generic term to describe any large, resin-head lure with a slanted face and taper. True Kona head lures, however, feature elongated, severely tapered bodies, offset leader tubes and a scooped-out face.

Kona heads swim with an extremely exaggerated side-to-side motion that makes them hard to rig and nearly impossible to pull at speeds much higher than eight knots. Konas have more of a darting action; they definitely can’t be considered a straight runner.

Fish have a hard enough time eating a lure that’s moving up and down in one plane of motion, let alone darting from side to side.

Plungers are commonly misidentified as Kona heads, probably because they, too, were first used in Hawaiian waters. Slanted faces and tapered bodies typify plunger-style lures.

The plunger’s tapered nose gives the lure a smaller entry and doesn’t make a giant splash. The plunger’s slanted face gives it a good swimming action and is not severe enough to knock it off track, allowing it to swim straight without a lot of fine-tuning.

You should follow one rule of thumb when pulling any slant-faced lure, a rule that particularly applies to plungers. The rougher it gets, the less slant you should have on your lures.