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TESTED: Savage 2.5-inch Manic Shrimp

Amazingly Lifelike!

MOST, if not all, estuary and inshore sportfish like eating prawns. A live or fresh prawn bait will catch plenty of bream, flatties, whiting, jewies, bass and EPs in southern systems plus barra, jacks and salmon up north.

Plenty of prawn style lures have been developed over the years but in recent times some ultra-realistic models have become available. One of the most impressive examples I’ve come across is the Savage Manic Shrimp.

This 2.5 inch soft plastic (also available in 3.5 and five-inch sizes in a range of colours) is one of the most lifelike lures I’ve ever seen. Savage is a new brand on the Australian market. Established by a Danish angler named Mads Grossell, the company focuses on producing lures for what the Europeans call “predator fish” – namely pike, perch, zander, salmon and trout.

Savage uses 3D scanning technology in an attempt to create extremely realistic lures. In the case of the Manic Shrimp, this involved scanning an actual shrimp and then using a process called “TPE” for the plastic body construction plus nylon webbing in the flexible tail joints. When I test cast a sample in my backyard pool I was taken aback at how realistic this lure was. It looked just like a real prawn! After a long career in journalism, you can take it as read that I am fairly sceptical about marketing hype – and there is always plenty of hype in the lure industry – but the initial examination of this little lure, plus research on how the Savage guys design their lures, resulted in me being pretty keen to see how it worked out on the water.

I gave the Manic Shrimp its first run on the Shoalhaven late last year. Flathead, bass, EPs and a dirty big 10-kilo carp were early victims (see story HERE).

I found the lure worked well when wafted down vertical rock faces, alongside weedbeds and over flats. A dead stick retrieve, accompanied by subtle twitches and pauses, worked well for all target species.

I fished the Shrimp on my favourite light tackle outfit – a custom Samurai 1-2kg rod, a 15 sized Quantum Exo threadline, 3lb braid and 4lb leader. The lures, although light, casts well and the pre-rigged belly weight and hook is very snag resistant. To me, the appeal of the Shrimp is its ultra-realistic “glide” – it seriously looks like a prawn slowly descending through the water column. A few twitches sees it “flick” and when it hits bottom the belly weight makes it sit naturally on the sand, rocks or weed. I know I’m repeating myself – but it just looks so much like a bloody real prawn! The legs and feelers are longer and more flexible than other prawn patterns I’ve seen and the colours, especially the glow tips on the feelers, work well as bite attractors.

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Fisho’s Jim Harnwell has been using the Shrimp to good effect on his local estuary perch.

I’ve been using the 2.5-inch Manic Shrimps over the entire summer. We’ve had a great run of prawns here on the NSW South Coast and I have been catching some quality fish, including a couple of really nice EPs, casting the Shrimp around boulders and rocky drop-offs in the lower Shoalhaven.

I’ve got two of the smallest Shrimps – one I bought at my local BCF, the other was part of a test pack of Savage lures sent to Fisho for review – plus a couple of the larger models. So far both have caught multiple fish. One lure has lost a feeler after being eaten by a tailor but works well regardless. To be honest, the larger models don’t appeal as much as the 2.5 inch one – if I was specifically targeting jewies, or was up north chasing barra and jacks, that might change. At this stage, the 2.5-inch version is perfect for the southern estuary species I’ve been targeting

As I write this, Fisho photographer Shane Chalker is doing a series of shoots on the Savage Manic Shrimp, plus various other prawn brands, for an upcoming feature. He’s just emailed some cracker shots of bream caught on the Manic Shrimp – the image with this story is one of the “rejects”. The ones for the magazine are top class.

Stay tuned for this feature as Chalker has some great images and the article will feature plenty of useful tips. Meantime, you can check out the Savage range of lures, including the Manic Shrimp, at your local BCF store. See HERE for details. BCF is the exclusive retailer for Savage gear in Australia. If you want to find out more about Mads Grossell and his team at Savage Gear, see HERE.

As well as various soft-bodied lures (including some nifty yabbie imitations), Savage makes a wide range of hard-bodies, rods, line, hooks, clothing, luggage and accessories. Many of the Savage lures are designed specifically for fish in Europe and North America but from what I’ve seen BCF has selected a good range for our conditions and target species. The Manic Shrimp is certainly the standout from what I’ve seen so far …

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