Want a unique and improved spinnerbait on your side when you go redfish fishing for pleasure or for money?
You cannot go wrong with a Hildebrandt Drum Roller designed by Bernie Schultz of Gainesville, Fla., for the Yakima Bait Company.
It’s all about the tin that makes up the spinnerbait that was used to win a major saltwater tournament several months ago in South Louisiana.
Schultz is proud of the relatively new artificial lure that is quickly making a name for itself.
During his 30 competitive years on the water, Schultz fished inshore saltwater fishing tournaments and as a pro bass angler in the Bassmaster Elite Series.
And he has been involved in the fishing industry one way or another since his college days at the University of Florida, where he graduated with a degree in drawing and illustration in 1979.
He applied a lot of what he learned in classes and on the water to the design of artificial lures.
“I started working with tin as an alternate to lead in the early ’90s,” Schultz said, remembering the fuss over lead in artificial lures. “I designed a tin spinnerbait (for bass) for clear water with Hildebrandt.
“I didn’t realize at the time, but tin has 10 unique qualities that created some advantages.”
Schultz recalled that at the time most spinnerbaits were made for bass in dingy water and designed to create vibration.
“I wanted to develop a spinnerbait for fish that live in clear water like we have in Florida and you have in Louisiana,” he said.
His Hildebrandt spinnerbait for bassin’ had fish gills, protruding eyes and was a popular model for Hildebrandt.
Because he had experience in inshore fishing, he also designed a tin jig for Hildebrandt.
The 60-year-old outdoorsman included those qualities and advantages of tin in the Drum Roller.
“The tin spinnerbait evolved to where I finally got to see the need for a tin spinnerbait for saltwater.
Schultz built prototype after prototype, and had one ready for the 2013 ICAST. The Drum Roller hit the streets in January 2014.
Floridians Geoffrey Page and Rick Murphy found out about it and stocked up on the Drum Rollers, the artificial lure designer said.
They won money with them on the 2014 IFA Redfish circuit, and then cashed in big time Oct. 25 when they captured the IFA Redfish Championship in Houma.
Page and Murphy’s two-day, four-fish limit weighed 35.29 pounds, good enough for a new Ranger 220 Bahia/Yamaha 150 package valued at $41,000, plus $3,990 in Anglers Advantage cash.
They used the Hildebrandt Drum Roller to pick off redfish piled up along the shoreline of a brackish bayou in the Venice area, 100-plus miles from their launching point. There was an abundance of forage fish present, they said.
“There were five different species of bait(fish), literally, on one shoreline,” Murphy said. “We knew there was so much protein there that if we could catch a (slot) fish, he was going to be really big.”
Schultz believes the spinnerbait’s unique tin makeup is the reason it’s so effective.
Pure tin, he pointed out, weighs approximately two-thirds as much as lead of the same volume, which makes a big difference when fishing in super-shallow water where redfish feed.
“By combining its unique head design with the right-colored soft-plastic trailer and Premium Hildebrandt Blades, the Drum Roller’s flash and profile will match just about anything a redfish feeds on,” he said.
In other words, it’s relatively easy to keep it off the bottom, even with the same profile of a lead spinnerbait.
“It stays up in the water column better,” he said.
Tin also is extremely durable.
“Another advantage is tin is much, much harder (than lead),” Schultz said. “You can beat tin against jetties, riprap, etc., and it’ll keep its shape. They don’t chip or dent.”
Features of the lure include a lifelike baitfish profile, with 3-D eyes and accentuated gills. A Z-Man soft-plastic trailer made with Elaztech is the crowning touch to the 3/8-ounce Drum Roller, he said.
And Hildebrandt’s Colorado blade in gold, black, nickel, copper or silver can’t be beat anywhere, he said. Copper, by the way, is a huge favorite.
Another positive for the tin spinnerbait is that it is very castable because, even though it’s lighter than lead, the soft plastic adds a little bulk.
“You can throw it a long way. Nothing compares,” Schultz said. “You can retrieve it and keep it off the reefs, etc. Even at a high-speed retrieve, it keeps vertical.”
The Drum Roller also has premium components, such as Sampo ball-bearing swivel, .450-gauge stainless steel wire, an extra-strong harness in the safety pin design and ultra-sharp quality wide gap hook, he said.
Everything on it is rust resistant, too.
“I’ve caught BIG red drum on it and never had a failure,” Schultz said.