Anglers are in for a treat this season with the release of Northland® Fishing Tackle’s new Rumble Shiner. Based on an original design by Ugly Duckling Lures’ creator, Aleksandar Veselinovic, and refined by Jarmo Rapala, this premium minnow-style hard bait should be a big hit with just about any freshwater predator species.
“Simply put,” says Jarmo Rapala, “fishing with balsa is better, and we have the best balsa plugs on the market today. All of Northland’s Rumble Series lures – our Shiner, Shad and Stickbait – are hand-crafted using a unique heat compression molding process (HCM) as opposed to a one-piece lathing procedure. With this method, we can create and seal together two full-length halves of the lure body, allowing us to position the weights more precisely for optimal center of gravity, superior flotation at rest, better overall balance, longer casts, and a nice, tight action with just the right amount of roll to drive predator fish crazy. It also allows us to through-wire each lure and finish it off with a light coating of lacquer that’s strong enough to protect the body while adding almost no additional weight.”
HCM also allows Northland’s Rumble Series lures to track true on the troll and emerge from the molding process to meet exacting specifications; there is no variation from one lure to another in the same size and profile. With traditional balsa wood lathing methods, there can be slight inconsistencies between one lure body and the next. HCM production virtually eliminates this, and Northland is one of only a couple manufacturers worldwide with the technical know how to put it to use on a large-scale basis.
“I’m really happy with how the Rumble Shiner turned out,” continues Jarmo Rapala. “It has a high profile with a wider, bulkier body than most other shiner imitations, which should turn on more big fish. We also tweaked the lip angle to get an especially sensitive action that rolls slightly even on a slow retrieve. It also casts exceptionally well for a shiner profile balsa lure.”
Northland pro-staffer Brian “Bro” Brosdahl, is already sold on the Rumble Shiner’s potential. The multi-species expert got a chance to try it out last fall and hooked up almost instantly. “This lure has a real tight wobble you just know is going to score some serious strikes,” he says. “I’ve pitched it through schools of walleye and they just attacked it. That heat compression molding process makes the body real tough, so it’s not going to crack if you cast it against a rock. With a through-wire design, it also stands up to the occasional big pike and trophy largemouth, both of which sometimes mix into my walleye catches.”
Brosdahl also likes that all Rumble series crankbaits come in 15 different color patterns. “I fish a lot of glacial lakes where the bite can be tough if you don’t match the hatch,” he reveals. “But these lures have natural perch patterns that will trick walleye even on the most discerning of waters, plus a selection of brighter colors for places like the Great Lakes where it often helps to spark the bite with something that really stands out.”
Joel Nelson, also on the Northland pro-staff, says he enjoys tossing the Rumble Shiner in rocky shallows during spring and fall. “The Rumble Shiner runs a little shallower than most diving plugs,” he notes, “and you can fish fearlessly because it has great buoyancy at rest. That means you can bump those rocks and just ‘pop’ it free should you hang up. It’s amazing how many times that lure gets smacked after you jiggle it free of the bottom. I’d suggest you try the Rumble Shiner after a stiff wind has had some time to push predator species into your favorite rocky hot spot. It should catch both day and night.”
Nelson adds that shiners are an important food source in the spring because there isn’t any young-of-the-year prey for walleye, bass and other gamefish to target. “When the shiners go shallow, so do the predators,” he states. “Throw that Rumble Shiner and you’re likely to stick anything thing from a walleye, largemouth or bronzeback to a pike, white bass, channel catfish, or freshwater drum.”
That, says Jarmo Rapala, is one of the prime reasons for the success of shiner profiles. “These lures work great for just about any gamefish,” he surmises, “and while Balsa is Better is the rule, just remember that Northland’s Rumble Shiner is definitely the best.”