Statistics show that number of anglers in the country is growing at a slow-but-steady rate. These new fishermen need help and guidance from experienced anglers to make the jump from enthusiast to full-fledged angler, but one look at “kid-friendly” fishing equipment shows a big lack of quality. Cartoon character rods and low-quality lures with dull hooks don’t win over many hearts.
Ever inspect the “soft” plastic grubs that come in the “Free Tackle Pack!” that comes with those cartoon rods? They’re so stiff they don’t even swim. Many fishing gear companies talk a good game about reaching young anglers, but when time comes to put up or shut up, all you hear is crickets.
Rebel Lures knows kids, and crickets, too, for that matter. The company has long manufactured lures that kids naturally gravitate to, like little crawfish and amphibian floater/divers, small minnow imitations and assorted insect baits, including crickets.
So it’s a natural that Rebel takes the first serious step to creating an industry niche for kids’ tackle. Unlike what’s currently available, though, Rebel’s new kids’ line of lures is not just cheap, downsized versions of larger baits. Rebel engineers looked at the problems kids face when making the transition from worm-and-bobber to artificial lures, and corrected those issues with the creation of the new Rebel MicroCritter lineup.
“Young anglers need lures that are safe for them to use by themselves. That’s what we made with the MicroCritter series – a high-quality line of lures that are fun for kids to use and safer than what’s on the market,” said Rebel Lures general manager Bruce Stanton. “And, they catch plenty of fish.”
The MicroCritter series consists of a tiny MicroCrawfish, MicroMinnow, MicroHopper and a MicroPop-R. One problem with most ultralight lures is the tiny treble hooks, which often require needle-nose pliers to remove from the fish, and can end a trip in a hurry if one sticks in the angler’s skin past the barb. Rebel replaced these barbed treble hooks with a single, barbless hook. Many youngsters want to unhook the fish themselves, and a slippery, flopping fish with multiple treble hooks thrashing back and forth can be dangerous.
“Kids love these baits because they look just like little insects and fish, and adults appreciate how we made them safer,” Stanton said. “The single barbless hook gives anglers an easier hookset, easier hook removal, and no emergency room visits to get hooks unstuck from a youngster’s skin. With barbless, the hook pulls right out. Kids catch more fish, and in a safer manner, all by themselves.”
Rebel’s Micro Critters series catch almost all species of fish, another plus for young anglers who don’t care if it’s a bass or a bluegill. These super-realistic mimics of crawfish, grasshoppers and minnows represent common forage for fish everywhere they swim.
“We talk about these lures being safer for kids to use, but they’re also better for the fish, too,” said Stanton. “With easier hook removal, a youngster can get the fish back into the water faster, ensuring it’s there to help create another angler in the future.”