It’s not everyday that we get an introduction to a new fishing lure from Popular Science, but that’s exactly what happened. The new softbait created by Ben Hobbins (photo) called IronClads are the winner of a 2009 Invention Award for creating a durable softbait lure that uses a surgical trick to prevent getting torn from hooks, and better yet it’s made from an eco-friendly nontoxic material.
In 2006, Hobbins, an avid fisherman, was really just trying to come up with a stronger version of the lures he was using for ice fishing, when the concept came to him. “I hate rebaiting hooks in zero-degree weather,” he says. A former biotech strategist, he speculated that methods used in the industry for skin grafting—using an expandable mesh to ensure that a graft stays intact and in place—could also work for reinforcing lures. The result was IronClads, which stay firmly on their hooks because of a microtube of polyester mesh that lends strength to the plastic, just as rebar gives tensile strength to concrete. The lures can sustain 93 pounds of tensile strain, so only fish with serrated teeth and considerable heft could possibly bite through them.
IronClads: How It Works: The IronClads’s twin polyester-tube skeleton acts like rebar in concrete, giving the lure the tensile strength to withstand anything but a direct chomp from the biggest, toothiest fish Bland Designs
I’ve sent an email to Ben about getting a pack or two of these for a review. Fingers crossed!!