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HORNET – Fishing Academy SALMO

HORNET – Fishing Academy SALMO
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Hornet is the name of one of the most world – famous Salmo lure family. How to explain such multiannual, continuous popularity of this typical crankbait? The answer is very simple. Hornet will catch for you anything that moves in water, on any latitude and in almost any conditions!

And it is very simple in use. It neither requires advanced spinning techniques nor the use of special tackle. It simply works well from the moment it touches the surface of the water and both in hands of an experienced angler, as well as in hands of a beginner. Of course, there is few tricks that you should know to make this very good lure the ideal.

We should start our story with introduction of -


The Hornets Family


Hornets are the biggest European wasps. Fast, agile and very dangerous. Their name shows lure character quite well. But it is also easy to tame our hornets to behave as we want them. To make them our „mercenaries” following precisely our orders. The Hornets family consist of cranks of five sizes, from 2,5 to 6 cm and weights from 1,5 to 15g. Each one of them is offered in floating and sinking version. Additionally, sizes 4 and 5 cm have Super Deep Runner (SDR) version. Their compact, stocky body gives them an excellent aerodynamics. Wide lip generates strong, well felt on your rod action. So anglers are given the choice of 11 lures in wide variety of colours. At the moment, our colors choice give you over 20 patterns and each year we are adding new ones. In 2010 Salmo company introduces two new models in the Hornets family. They are Hornet 4X and 9X. First one is „muscled” version of Hornet 4 prepared for catching Sea trouts and salmons. It has much stronger split ring and is fitted with single Owners treble size 6, so it can be used on heavy tackle for fighting those large salmonids in the strong river current. The second novelty is 9cm long model with reinforced construction, stronger split rings and fitted with the strongest on the market Owners trebles – 41BC. This model is prepared for fishing for large predators, mainly for catfish.

My Physics teacher used to say that there are no stupid questions, only stupid answers. But questions like „what is the best pike rod” do not appear to be formulated properly. You don’t chose your tackle for the species you are planing to fish for, but only for the lure that you want to use. Obviously fishing technique is important, but as it is known, it is the lure that influences the way that you fish. That’s why another question -


What is the best rod to fish with hornets?


Seems to be interesting and worth mentioning few words. Of course you choose rods casting weight to suit the mass of the lure. There is not much sense in fishing with the same rod with Hornets 2 and 6. If you cast large Hornet from light rod you will probably break it and certainly you won’t be able to strike the fish properly. Opposites – using too heavy tackle for small lure will often end with breaking your line or straighten the trebles  at the moment of take.

The rod length depends on your personal preferences and the spot characteristics. The most universal, and widely used are rods of length between 2,1 to 2,5 meters. When fishing large rivers, especially those with banks covered with vegetation it’s usually easier to use longer rod of 2,7 to 3metres length. Another important factor when you choose your rod is its action. Here also it’s good to go with your preferences, but keep in mind that anything you choose has its pros and cons. With fast rod you can cast far and accurate, also strikes are easier. But when fighting the fish you have to remember that if your catch is not well hooked you will probably lose it. Slow, „parabolic” rods on the other hand will help you much in such situation – they decrease the impact of anglers mistake and powerful runs of the fish and allow you to land a fish which is hooked only by the tip of the nose.


Also the line

Have to be properly fit to the model and method that you use. Hornets work well even on thick mono. But each size has the best action when you match your line diameter to it properly. And you have to remember that if you choose to use stronger line than recommended both trebles and split rings should be changed for some stronger ones. Recommended line diameters and other Hornets family lures parameters are shown in tables below:

H 2 S tonąca 2,5 1,5 dwie nr 10 0,14 0,5/1,0
H 3 f pływająca 3,5 2,2 dwie nr 10 0,16 1,0/1,5
H 3 S tonąca 3,5 2,6 dwie nr 10 0,16 1,5/2,0
H 4 f pływająca 4 3 dwie nr 8 0,16 1,5/2,0
H 4 s tonąca 4 4 dwie nr 8 0,18 2,0/2,5
H 5 f pływająca 5 7 dwie nr 6 0,20 2,0/3,0
H 5 s tonąca 5 8 dwie nr 6 0,20 3,0/4,0
H 6 f pływająca 6 10 dwie nr 4 0,25 2,0/3,0
H 6 s tonąca 6 14 dwie nr 4 0,25 3,0/4,0
H 4 SDR pływająca 4 3,8 dwie nr 8 0,18 2,5/4,0
H 5 SDR pływający 5 7 dwie nr 6 0,20 3,5/6,0


Data from the table relate to monofilament line. The braid vs mono dilemma is similar to the one with the action of a rod. Braid enables perfect contact with your lure, control on lure’s action and helps you a lot with proper strike. Monofilament line helps you a lot when playing the fish and gives you some extra chances with fish not hooked correctly.


Experienced Anglers


will surely chose a rod to suit perfectly their needs. My advice to beginners is to chose fast action short rod (accordingly to your fishing spot characteristic). And use mono on your reel, it will help you to eliminate any consequences of your mistakes while playing fish. But if you are trolling, it’s better to use longer, slower rods. Length of 2,5 to 2,7m will be especially useful when two of you are fishing from the boat.

When you put rods on opposite sides of the boat you can fish wider part of the water. When trolling it may be a good idea to use braided line. It will help you to strike a fish on farther distance and with parabolic, slow rod will enable the angler to land his catch successfully.

You can use any small to medium size spinning reel with good quality drag and reliable bail.

Another essential part of your set when fishing with cranks, especially like the smallest size Hornets is a snap. It enables fast change of your lure, but most of all a proper action of a crankbait.

Tackle and techniques for mentioned special models – 4X and 9X require individual description.

As it was mentioned before, Hornets, regardless of their size and type are very rewarding lures. Any angler, regardless of his experience will cope well with them. But every fishing spot has its unique characteristics, which determines successful techniques. The main classification will be obviously still and flowing waters.


Fishing the rivers and streams

Allows you to fully appreciate unique attributes of Hornets. Crankbaits from this family work well both fished up and downstream. Proper use of floating, sinking and Super Depp Runner models allows you to cope with in any conditions. Advantages of floating models are obvious. They allow you to fish in places unreachable by a cast. It can be both the distance or obstructions in the water or on the shore – overhanging bushes or tree branches, submerged tree logs etc. In such situations we are profiting from the fact that our lure floats. You can float your lure for a long distance, reach those places with very hard or none access and then start to retrieve. So usually floating models are used when downstream fishing.

On the other hand, sinking version works well when fished upstream. It is cast parallel to the shore, or across – to the other bank, and a moment after it sinks to proper depth, retrieve is started. You can fish riffles and holes both on your and on the opposite side of the river. But there is much more benefits from this technique. Firstly – fish is approached from the tail side, so we can remain unseen for a longer time. Secondly – fish tend to be less suspicious of object moving with the current of the water. Thirdly, striking a fish which took a lure moving with the current is much more effective and usually ends with placing trebles in the scissors. At last – fighting such fish (especially specimen size) is safer and quicker, as fish has to fight both drag from our rod and the current of water.

Of course there are places which are better to be fished “from the top”. Classical example is a pile of submerged tree logs with the  sinking lure  floated underneath. Another situation where sinking models are in use when fishing downstream is on longer stretches with similar depth. We fish them by casting our lure to the opposite shore and allowing it to sink. Then you close the bail of your reel and drift your lure without line retrieve. You should drift your lure as deep and as slow as possible. Generally you have to keep in mind that in any length, sinking Hornet will go much deeper than floating one.

Super Deep Runners (SDR) are offered in floating version only. They allow to reach greater depths faster than their siblings with shorter lips. Additionally, they have unique ability to dodge obstructions with their longer lip. It allows you to retrieve your lure e.x. through the sunken trees almost with impunity. It is best shown when you fish upstream – the “safe retrieve ratio” when fishing in such difficult places, compared to normal, short lip version is as 8 to 2!

But those are only “model”, “showroom” situations. If you have different models and versions of Hornets in your box you will be able to cope  with both small trout stream and with a river of any size.

Of course hornets do their job well also on


Still waters

Fishing on lakes, oxbow lakes or reservoirs do not require such skill as fishing on flowing waters. Here, techniques are quite simple, but also very effective. We fish floating hornets the classical way – in shallower parts, using their ability to dive rapidly and emerge to the surface. This simple way is very effective on shallow, overgrown bays and even on the lilac fields. Very effective trick is to jerk your Hornet fast, to dive it to 50-70cm and then stop retrieve, allowing your lure to emerge. But it won’t be vertical, as it will reach the surface in sinusoid like line. At first phase it looks like the lure is “reversing”, and if an undecided predator is watching, such unexpected movement of its prey will frequently force it to attack.

Floating models are excellent for trolling on sets with extra weights. The best way is to place such weight 50 to 80 cm in front of the lure, on the additional leader. Action of even the smallest of the Hornets is then unaffected. With larger models you can place some extra weight in the place of front treble. With sinking models we can fish on almost any depths, as long as we can still feel their action. You just have to wait patiently till it reaches required depth.


Some anglers find it difficult to choose from


Wide colour variety of Hornets.

And that is true, especially beginners may find it hard to chose proper colours for their sets. Rules are quite simple – if you don’t have much experience with actual location it’s best to supply yourself with, so called, “starter’s kit”. It should contain two natural colours (e.x. Hot Perch and Dace) and two abstract colours (Green Tiger and Black Tiger). After gaining some experience you may extend this kit in the direction proved successful. It is the best to check and exchange bright and dark colours (f.x. Dace and Black Tiger). In low clarity water it’s wise to use fluo based colours – Hot Perch or Green Tiger. Recently, holographic colours gained a lot of popularity, as they imitate the flash from fish scales. They proved their efficiency in almost any light conditions. All the research done on how fish see, suggest that fish perceive colours in a different way than humans. So you shouldn’t rely on with how you see some colours in different light conditions, just experiment. Practice will often bring you surprising results.

Obviously owning many models is also recommended because of


different species

that you can catch with these lures. Hornets has caught almost all of the world’s species, which take artificial lures. Additionally, many of those ones well known not to react! I won’t forget as we were fishing famous Everglades on Florida, we managed to catch 12 species on Hornet 4! Even such ones like Sheephead, which are mainly feeding on mussels. Some time ago I had information from a young American angler, who enthusiastically was telling me about his catches of … common carps! On the Hornets! And there is no doubt about his sincerity, as photos of double figured carps were gaining well deserved respect. Americans use to call Hornets “the hardest working lure on the world”. And over a million of those lures sold there seem to prove their claim.

Also in Europe it is hard to find a species that resisted the charm of the Hornets. Obviously their most common victims are pikes and perches

We all have a lot of very successful lures for pikes in our collections, but there are times that a lure emitting very strong hydroacustic wave is a must, e.x. when fishing in low clarity water. Then is the time to use such strong action lures as Hornets.

Perch is known to respond well to lures with aggressive action. You must remember though, that good results are usually gained by ultra fast retrieve. You can help it by fast jerks of your rod tip – your lure will be working in long pulls then. Perch doesn’t have any problems with chasing such rockets!

Surprisingly in Europe Hornets are very rarely used as a lure for a zander. But in the USA well in the past, Hornets obtained the status of one of the best walleyes (it’s a American sibling of our zanders) lures. That’s why I think that using minnow shaped body lures, with very delicate action for zander in Europe is just a matter of custom and tradition.

Hornets are also excellent lures for all of our cyprynids family predators – asp, chub and ide. It is worth mentioning that, surprisingly, the use of the smallest models (no 2 and 3) is not always the most successful approach, though they are sometimes very attractive as you are fishing for rudd.

Hornet 6 has caught a lot of catfish, as those fish seem to irresistible to lures with such strong action. Obviously when your are planning to hunt for one of them, change of split rings and trebles is a must. Our new Hornet 9X proved itself on first tests, this is a lure dedicated for this fish.

Hornets have attracted all species of the salmonids family that live in Europe.

They work real miracles with trout, but with sea trout and salmon, as well. The smallest Hornets are good for grayling, too.

As you can see Hornets family are the ultimate weapon for any fishing situation. If you own just a dozen of them in your collection, in different models and colour variations, you will be able to cope with any fishing location and any predator species. It is an unquestionable advantage of, so called, light spinning – not restricting and lightweight, small box with a dozen of lures in your pocket and you can start your search for adventure. And who will be interested with your little Hornet today? Small perch or a huge catfish? Can you feel this thrill of emotion?

Piotr Piskorski


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