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By Mack's Lure Pro Staff Nick Harrington | Lip Ripper Fishing
The versatility of the Smile Blade® makes it a critical part of every walleye anglers' arsenal. In fact, the Smile Blade 0.8, the smallest version offered by Mack's Lure, makes for a perfect added attraction for a live bait rig without stealing the show.
The Smile Blade excels when trolled slowly, as they require hardly any speed to make the blade turn correctly. Since they're able to spin at speeds as slow as 1/4 mph without any loss in action and flash, it makes them a perfect early and late season option for waterbodies, such as the Missouri River reservoirs, as well as small sloughs or natural lakes.
As the forage availability increases throughout the summer, the larger sizes, including the 1.1, 1.5 and 1.9 options, shine because they capture attention in areas already filled with other forage opportunities, which prompts active walleye to strike aggressively.
While walleye love the Smile Blade, the anglers love them even more. One of the main reasons why walleye anglers love them so much is because they are simple to fish with and easily allow for fine tuning to take place on the water in no time at all. The Smile Blade can easily slide over a standard Double Surgeon's knot, which allows for fast changes on the water and enabling walleye anglers to quickly find the color and sizes the fish prefer that day.
Another benefit of each individual Smile Blade is that it can be tuned to fish multiple ways. Utilize a wide blade angler for a slow, rolling wobble or tune it with a narrow blade angler for a more aggressive shake and spin that walleye can't resist. Tuning these blades can be done with an angler's fingers and adjusting takes just a matter of seconds.
As a guide on the Missouri River reservoirs, I deploy a set of Smile Blades every time I hit the water. Typically, I like to have half of the rods fish with only a single bead (without a blade) setup, while the others have a single blade and various Smile Blade colors. When it comes to sizes by season, I follow this rule of thumb:
As each day goes on, I pay attention to whether the fish are favoring the bladed or plain setups. If they are in a passive mood, they often prefer the plain rods. Alternatively, if they are neutral or aggressive, they often prefer the blades.
On days they are favoring Smile Blade setups, I also pay attention to the top colors. My favorite colors include Hot Pink/Silver Tiger, Chartreuse Scale, Silver Scale, Hot Pink Mirror and Gold Sparkle.
Once I've determined the best colors for the day, I will then fine tune the blade anglers (between wide and narrow) from there. Due to the Smile Blade's ability to be changed quickly, this is a quick and efficient process.
Generally, I keep the same snells on all day, but if coaxing bites proves to be difficult on all setups, I will begin to experiment with snell length, as well.