Flying Lure Turns 20: A Q&A With Alex Langer
By Jay Kumar
Now - Inventor of BassGold.com, the world's best patterning tool and B.A.S.S. partner, Publisher of BassParade.com, the most-read blog in bass fishing, Publisher of BassBlaster, the only daily e-newsletter in bassin', Bassmaster.com contributor.
Then - BassFan.com founder, Co-host of ESPN's Loudmouth Bass, with Mark Zona, Bassmaster/B.A.S.S. Times senior writer
Itís been 20 years since the Flying Lure exploded onto the national and then international scene, the start of its astronomical flight to becoming the No. 1-selling fishing lure of all time. Whatís been going on? Whatís happening with the Flying Lure now?
To find out we sat down with Alex Langer, the Flying Lureís inventor, and asked him a few questions.
Q: Itís the 20th anniversary of the Flying Lure Ė how does that make you feel?
Old! I canít believe itís really been 20 years. So much has changed and yet so much hasnít. Whatís great is that new people are discovering the Flying Lure now as the powerful tool itís always been.
Bassmaster Classic champ Mike Iaconelli recently gave the Flying Lure unsolicited praise in his book on finesse fishing.
ďIt (the Flying Lure) was the first lure to have such an action (glide-away), and it caught all types of fish in both fresh and saltwater because it appeared completely natural gliding into places the average angler could never reach with a normal cast.Ē
From Mike Iaconelliís book, Finesse Fishing (2011), page 67
Bass Fishing Hall of Fame writer Steve Price of BassMaster Magazine recently wrote a book, to be published soon, in which he documents the Flying Lure phenomenon.
Glen Lau, the legendary filmmaker who produced the seminal bass fishing film ďBigmouthĒ, featuring legendary writer and angler, Homer Circle and narrated by The Twilight Zone TV show's creator Rod Serling, himself, talks about the Flying Lure in his latest book about his life in fishing.
ďThe Flying Lure is not just a gimmick or something to attract people who donít know a lot about fishing. Itís a remarkable bait with a unique action...There are lots of times when the fishingís tough that the Flying Lure will dramatically outperform deadsticking or any other soft plastic technique. You can get somewhat the same effect by tail-weighting a Yamamoto Senko or other stickworm, but nothing does the job quite like the Flying Lure.Ē
From Glen Lauís book, Bass Forever (2010), page 117
All the original supporters of the Flying Lure are still using it Ė the Hibdons, for example. Guido Hibdon once said on camera ďWhen they told me there was a guy with a lure that backed up, I thought I was going to meet some idiot.Ē. Needless to say, Iím very, very glad he changed his mind.
And maybe the biggest Flying Lure believer of all-time and its most proficient user, Don Meissner, called me the other day. He excitedly told me he had just been fishing in upstate New York with a group of notable people and the Flying Lure was the only thing actually catching fish. Don is currently shooting a brand new TV fishing show on PBS that focuses on stories of our troops coming home from the Middle-East. He always said, before anyone else even discovered it, ďWhen nothing else is working, the Flying Lure is the one lure I can count on.Ē Iím glad thatís still true.
Even Rick Clunn, perhaps the greatest bass angler our time said of the Flying Lure,
ďAlex Langer is a true innovator in the sport of fishing. He has challenged pros and beginners alike to open their minds to a totally new concept of fishing.Ē
From the book, Flying Lure Fishing (1993), rear cover
Some things havenít changed at all in 20 years. The fish havenít changed. The Flying Lure still catches fish as well as it ever did. New people and new generations are discovering it for the unique and powerful tool that itís always been.
Q: The Flying Lure hasnít been for sale for a while. Where has it been?
The Flying Lure has been off the market for over a decade. I sold the brand to the infomercial company, which hired a new team of professional managers shortly after they bought the Flying Lure. These new people didn't really understand or personally experience the Flying Lure at all. They farmed out the Flying Lure to another company that really didnít understand it, or even fishing. The Flying Lure went from being the toast of the fishing world to ďthe Flying Who?Ē Basically, they wrecked the brand and it disappeared.
But fortunately, I now own the lure once again and itís back!
Q: Great! Where can we buy Flying Lures?
Right now, the FlyingLure.com & AlexLangerFishing.com websites and TV are the only places you can buy the Flying Lure. We have a warehouse to clean out, so weíll be selling kits as well as bulk lures that we still have. Keep checking the website for specials.
We do plan to reintroduce the Flying Lure to retail stores in the near future.
Q: Is it still the same design or have some changes been made to it?
The design is the same as itís always been. In fact, most of the people who call us ask for the original Flying Lure. We get lots of calls for Crawtails too, which is basically the original with 2 curly tails, which give it a lot more action.
What people may not be aware of is that our worms, snakes and lizards in 4- and 6-inch sizes work exactly like the original Flying Lure. They are a different and exciting take on the original Flying Lure concept. In certain situations you definitely want a worm or a lizard profile to make fish strike.
Q: What else have you been up to over the last 20 years?
I have been inventing stuff that catches fish! And itís never an easy or quick process because I like to fish the baits, then change things, then fish with them, then change things Ė it takes years to perfect, just like the Flying Lure.
My latest creation is a lure called the RotoTail. Itís a revolutionary plastic worm with a completely new weedless soft spinning tail. A spinning lure that you can pull through weeds Ė now thereís a contradiction! The RotoTail lets you explore the unexplored underwater jungles where big fish really hide because itís nearly 100% weedless thanks to a unique swivel thatís actually hidden inside the worm and protected from the environment.
Itís the loudest soft plastic ever made because the tail spins unencumbered with a velocity never before possible with a soft plastic lure.
Itís really a logical addition to the Flying Lure because both the RotoTail and the Flying Lure let you penetrate cover where ordinary lures canít go Ė where the big fish live.
Q: The RotoTail definitely looks exciting, another unique bait. Which one would you rather fish, the Flying Lure or the RotoTail?
It would depend on the situation. Iíd pick the Flying Lure if I was trying to get to fish under undercut banks or docks Ė places you absolutely canít get under with a conventional lure. In those situations itís an indispensable tool.
Iíd use the RotoTail mostly if I was fishing a weed jungle, or if the water was stained or muddy. The RotoTailís rotating soft-blade tail does something no other soft plastic in history has ever done: It generates vibration.
The end of the tail is basically a soft blade shaped like a Colorado spinnerbait blade, so the RotoTail is like a cross between a worm and a spinnerbait. But unlike a spinnerbait, it just slides through weeds and obstructions.
Fish feel the vibration and are attracted to it from long distances. That greatly expands the strike zone for a soft-plastic lure. And the vibration you feel on your rod tip is just amazing.
Alex is also the host of the biggest outdoor radio show in the country, Outdoors This Week, which is syndicated across America on the USA Radio Network. And yes, heís still inventing lures!