Capt. Jack, who we mine as well call "The Fish Whisperer" at this point, is back again to reveal more important tips that will help us catch more fish. This time he gives us the low-down on the RONZ, a versatile lure that and be used to catch just about everything.
hi i'm captain jack springel
i'm here to talk to you today about the ronz fishing system before i get into the individual ronz fishing systems and the different ways you can offer them i'd like to explain the difference between what makes a ronz lure different than most other lures the ronz was initially designed by a commercial rod and reel bass fisherman on cape cod ron poirier he was looking for a live bait alternative it's no secret that plastic lures or soft plastics offer a much more lifelike feel and action than most hard baits do but ron looked for something that he could do much more passively he wanted a lure that he could basically dead stick off the side of his boat and if you look at the action of ronz lure you can understand quickly he had his act together when it came to understanding hydrodynamics and the way that soft plastics would react to friction moving over the surface of their bodies the initial lure was this one here it was the six-inch original series ronz this six inch original series rounds was designed to mimic sand deals what ron would do was put six of them over the side of the boat leave them in the rod holders and nothing more than the current the hydrodynamic head would kick and the tail would follow appropriately in the action and he would have rods going off left and right he initially designed these not even to be sold he just made them for himself but it wasn't long before the commercial fleet started getting on his case and you know you got to sell me a couple of those things over time he began to change the size of the baits so you got the original series lineup would start off with the six inch which then went to an original series eight inch bait this bait here which is the 3x815 or the original series two ounce bait has an ounce and a half head a half ounce tail but you sometimes find that you want a little bit lighter head to fish it closer to the surface or you might find you want a little bit of a heavier head so the eight inch tail is also offered in what's called the 3x802 which is a two and a half ounce bait and it's also also offered in the 3x 801 which is an ounce and a half bait it's a one ounce head and again the half ounce tail so this bait's designed to fish a little closer to the surface this heavier head compared to the original eight inch gives you a little bit of a better hold and deeper current also allows you to hold bottom better when you're drifting faster now he came up with an additional bait almost as a novelty it was designed as an ice fishing bait but it's become a sensational lure for false albacore video spanish mackerel and even striped bass when they're on a smaller rain bait also this bait is also used for a dropper loop bait fishing tandem for black sea bass or as a teaser when flounder fishing this is the 3x414 which is a quarter ounce four inch bait so amongst them you have the lineup of a four inch a six inch and three eight inch options for the original series they come in six different colors you can get them in a green glow which has phosphorus in it which will glow not like a traditional kind of fluke glow allure it actually has just enough phosphorous in it that it gets a really nice ambient glow to it it looks very natural like a squid you also have pink fluorescent black pearl white pearl silver metallic olive metallic and root beer metallic now in the 10 inch size which is the largest of the replacement tails and the largest of the lures you also have two additional colors you have blue metallic these cater more to the offshore market and you now have purple metallic as well in addition to the original series which is basically a bait that's rated for inshore species of fish it has a fixed hook a standard jig head they also make these in a 10 inch size to give you a larger profile but without having to spend the money in what we call the big game series which i'll get to in a minute so now in the 10 inch size you have a standard three ounce bait you have a four ounce bait with this option head and you also have a five ounce bait all of these are still considered original series because they have a fixed eye and a fixed hook but now you have the option of putting one of those 10 inch tails on there for a larger profile giving you the same action as the original series rons but with a larger profile overall next we'll get into the big game series which is something that evolved from an accident that happened on cape cod next up in the series is the big game series ron's lures i said it came as a result of an accident on cape cod it wasn't anything tragic it was simply that guys would go up under the cape they'd be dead sticking a bait for striped bass and something would hit one of their rods and next thing you know their senator was spooled instantly it's because bluefin tuna even were starting to hit even the smaller six inch sized baits so what ronnie did was he came up with a heavier duty version of the bait larger in profile with big heavy hooks on him and fixed eyes and guys started being able to hook up with these fish on bigger gear but at the time we were just learning jigging and casting we were just learning basically the principles of learning how to put the pressure of fish on braided line and what was happening was the systems were failing within the infrastructure of the bait the hooks would snap the eyes would straighten out you name it we were having trouble with it so ron came up with this head it was revolutionary changed the way we fished for tune on spinning gear today especially with soft plastics this was what he called the z series head or the big game series head and what you have here is a 300 pound class swivel you have a 500 pound rated cotter pin on the inside and then you have a 9-0 hd gamakatsu live bait hook but what you have is a completely dynamic interchangeable system here that swings and swivels there's no point on this bait with the tuna or any large game fish of any size including striped bass there are many people that still use this head for stripers as well they cannot get leverage on this bait in order to break any of the hooks inside of it would take a tremendous amount of force to get this hook to break from this lure different variations were born to give you a lot of different opportunities to present differently first there were still people that wanted something for smaller tuna so they didn't quite want that beefier hook and they didn't want a swing hook so he came up with this version here which is exactly the same size it weighs two and a half ounces and it's poured in tin all big game series ron's lures which you can notice when you look at the package will have a almost tin looking label on them it'll say hd or it'll say big game series on them they're all made of tin and that's why that sticker is also reflective metallic so you can identify them quickly you'll also notice they're priced accordingly the big game series nothing was done to make these a more affordable lure everything was done to make them have the components they needed to do the job they had to do so if you're looking for something inexpensive in short original series but we're talking big game series so you're getting the best of the best available this bait which is the same size as the original hd big game series has a swivel eye the 300 pound swivel lie but it's just slid over an 11-0 owner ballyhoo hook and then molded into place so you have you still have a very stiff straight sharp hook point here but you have the the benefit of the added dynamic swivel eye so it's less likely to get any uh torque or pressure on it but you are going to have a little bit of resistance here when you put any leverage on it on a much larger fish so for me if it's fish under 150 pounds i go with the mhd the medium heavy duty big game series rounds once they start getting over 150 pounds i go to the hd series originally these were made of lead before ron switched them to tin and some of the anglers that got used to fishing them dead sticks tile especially deeper water off of chatham or fishing further south off rhode island the gully or further down wanted a little bit heavier heads so that when they were dead sticking this bait it could scope out at a distance but hold deeper in the water column they didn't want it up near the surface all the time so in addition it came out with this version this is the hd 5.0 it's called the 5.0 because the ounce and a half tail married to this three and a half ounce head weighs total of five ounces and this bait will give you the exact same deep water presentation it'll give you additional casting distance it'll also drop a little faster to the bottom so you can use this in the same scenario where you might drop a heavy metal jig because you're marking tuna or a large game fish on the bottom but it also has the same hydrodynamic performance that all ron's heads are accustomed to having with the matching tail system now some anglers wanted to be able to fish this more like a topwater lure so new this year is the 4x101 okay the 4x101 is basically just a lighter version of the big game series head but now you can fish it up higher in the water column it's not going to sink as fast and you can twitch this along the surface much like you could the smaller or the lightest of the eight inch original series heads this is kind of a super evolved version of the the stubby or what we call the 801 series original head but now with the big game heavy duty rigging system last sometimes the fish are on a micro feed they're feeding on much smaller bait and they're more selective and they tend to resist the larger profile baits of the 10 inch big game series so an 8 inch big game series was created this is an example of an 8 inch big game series bait has that dynamic swing hook has the dynamic swivel lie has the heavy duty tin head this comes in two different sizes this is the standard big game eight inch hd and then now new this year is the big game hd 3.0 3.0 meaning three ounces so this bait now weighs three ounces rigged which is what the original 10 inch weight rigged so it'll hold deeper it'll cast further and it'll drop faster as the ron system gained popularity it started to expand beyond its original home in new england it moved down to the mid-atlantic it moved down to florida it even moved on to the west coast and different parts of the country this very large presence in both europe uh in the north atlantic and also even in australia and because there's different species in different environments they wanted to be able to offer that ron's tail system with that crazy lifelike action but you needed a variety of different heads to be able to present that or you needed some additional rigging or skirting to slow down or change the presentation up so from that was born a couple of different series one of those series is this series the shallow water series the shallow water series is just the ability to present the ron's head but closer to the bottom you'll notice that the head design on the shallow water series which is offered in both red or white is able to be fished along the bottom and won't hang or tip over it like the original hydro head which was designed for that mid water retrieve drop cast or dead stick so shallow water series heads came out you can get them in white or red in all the traditional colors and those are fished exclusively with the six inch tails you won't you won't put these on any other tail size these are specifically designed for the six inch tails evolving from the shallow water series or giving you an additional way to fish the ron's tail system but in a different place in the water column has come a newer series called the z hawk the z hawk was designed because of the demand for many of the hawk style or skirted style bucktail jigs that are very predominant through the mid-atlantic down to south florida what this does is it gives you the added action of the traditional ron's hydro series head and the tapering swimming action of the lifelike tail but it also gives you that puff and that resus reduced spall speed that's going to give you a little bit more uh delayed fall and pulse of the skirt so by adding a skirt system to the traditional this is basically an 815 series head on the traditional original series eight inch tail you now have the z hawk the z hawks available in this green color it's available in a chartreuse it's available in traditional white and it's also available in pink fluorescent seahawk is an extremely effective lure here in the northeast for striped bass and even smaller school tunas but it's a very popular for redfish cobia and as you head further south is an excellent snook lure next up in the new product lineup is a specialized product it was developed by captain mark dicabia and myself to bring the ron's lure paddle tail or swimming tail action to the offshore market for years and years if you're gonna add some kind of attractant to the back of a popular lure like the iconic joe shoot or a sea witch or any other type of skirted offshore trolling lure you were basically doing your best to get your hands on some fresh ballyhoo salting the bellies freezing them just right it was a real hassle it didn't take long for especially a lot of the commercial fishermen down the mid-atlantic to come up with the idea of replacing that with what they nicknamed the worm if you've heard the worm they're talking about the 10-inch series ron's bait tail but the idea of getting that onto a standard j hook looked simple when you first put it on but as you put that resistance trolling those tails would begin to back off so a lot of different innovations started rubber bands were used to hold them on rigging floss but eventually that would cut into the bait then in addition to that they would take and wrap copper wire down the shank of this hook and back to give it a little more bite attach that and put some kind of rubber band or even a zip tie on there but even that in time again would either do damage to the tail or eventually it could back off so we came up with the simplest of ideas creating this product here called the bait keeper the bait keeper they're sold in a pack of six and it's basically a series of reverse shaped ribs that can wrap around the shank of a hook and it'll allow you to hold this rigging system tight to the hook fixed slide it up to the top of the head and immediately put the bait in the water no more salting bellies no more trying to do a bunch of additional rigging steps i'll do one live feed just so you can see the simplicity of this process you simply take one of them out of the package
you'll notice that the ribs on this and there's a arrow point on one end you want that arrow point to face toward the bait you want the ribs of that to face the eye of the hook because that's the resistance in the direction you want that hook held this will snap onto most of the popular types of hooks you would be using trolling off store one of the biggest advantages of being able to do this is if you're in an igfa tournament now you can fish j hook still because if you're fishing ballyhoo you have to fish circle hooks so if you want the extra hookup and protection of using a j-hook you're still igf-a-compliant using a 10-inch ron's tail behind a joe shoot or other weighted trolling head without having to switch over to a circle hook so you place these on you'll notice there's two tabs here and you can fold those two tabs over by hand just like that and then this doesn't have to be pretty what you want is this fixed tight to the hook so you just take a basic pair of pliers you crush those tabs down you work your way down the actual shaft of the hook crush the other tab down and as long as this guy is not sliding you're in good shape and then all you have to do is just like you were rigging a ballyhoo you match up the eye to the top of the head see where your bait would come out make a little hole there by poking it with the hook there's your exit hole and then you simply place this in the center of the tail with the hook facing down work that on to the shank of the hook until it almost forms like a an l shape an upside down l go for your exit hole you want to work that up to the top of that and then you're going to put your palm on one side just push it on no more belly hoo rigging no more salting bellies no crazy over the top gimmicky rigging it's just a simple simple process that's going to give you a lot of action on your tail and that head will slide up there and it depends on which head you use whether you're using the yellowfin series or whether you're using a big game series you can control the size of your loop on here to keep it tighter i actually leave mine back i like a lot of articulation behind mine but you can also marry this right up in tight and you can also fish the yellowfin series where this entire rigging system will go up inside the head if you prefer a closer fit but drag this behind the boat next to a ballyhoo and tell me it's not money last for new products in the ron's lineup is an exciting product that i helped design to kind of answer an issue that many fishermen were having it's no secret that paddle tail soft baits are an iconic lure that have been a staple of all fishermen from snook fishing and striped bass to even now with the heavier duty rigging and the ability to throw with spinning gear tunas one of the issues that many anglers had is some of the more popular products on the market one you have to fish very hard you got to put a lot of input on it to get it to swim another one on the market if you fish it fast it just loses its rear end so you have to fish it very slow there's nothing kind of give you that in the middle so we designed the body of this lure called the z fin off the original different taper of the 10 inch original series ron's tail so you'll see there's a very similar contrast a very similar taper effect on each of them and from there we experimented with a lot of different tail designs and ultimately we ended up with this tail design where you're getting input from both the top and bottom of the tail which keeps it stable and that little bit of a kick off there at about 45 degrees lets you control your speed very easily without overworking it if this tail were to face straight down it's very easy to overwork if it faced too far back you have to put a significant amount of force on it to give it the right amount of input to get a swim on it additionally we placed because of the action of the head on iran's hydro head all of these baits are designed to fish off any of the 10-inch series ron's heads you'll notice that it has these additional fins so now what ends up happening with this is these fins stabilize the bait and rocket so when this bait swims it'll shutter and it kicks his tail at the same time and you can do this extremely slow in a circle at the rod tip of the dock almost like a figure eight for muskie or you can cast this thing in the tuna let it fall fast or burn it and it's gonna swim and stabilize beautifully it doesn't destabilize when you're reeling it quickly and it still has a significant amount of action while you're reeling it slow it's offered in six colors you'll notice they have them in a green mackerel a white bone a blue over white a silver metallic a pearl white with a chartreuse fire tail and my favorite sand deal this one looks great during the bunker bite and it also works very well during the sand bite you'll notice that i have two heads when you purchase one of these they're going to come in a package that looks very similar to this and you're going to get one bait and one replacement tail and just like with the traditional ron lures you'll notice that one of these will have a sticker that says hd so the hd sticker is the heavy duty rigged tin head which is designed for fishing for big game it's got a much more expensive rigging system on it designed for the bigger fish and then you'll notice that the other one will not have the big game sticker that's the original series z fin this one is designed to be much more cost effective to go for inshore species striped bass snook redfish you name it this one's going to be able to be used just about anywhere but what's exciting about it is you can use any of these heads so all of the pre-rigged z fins are going to come with these traditional smaller heads but i could go ahead and fish this with a medium heavy duty 10 inch head for the big game series i could go ahead and fish this with a much heavier four ounce head of the original series if i were fishing say the canal and wanted to be able to get down quickly or be able to hold in heavier current so any of the 10 inch series ron's heads both big game and original series can be fished with the z fin baits but they will only come rigged with these traditional size heads for them the 4x 101 and the 3x101 so all of the pre-rigged z-fin series baits are going to come rigged with these two heads standard but they're completely interchangeable with all 10-inch series ron's baits both original series and big game one last thing you'll notice is you can buy replacement tails replacement tails will come two to a pack and are sold as is that way so you can buy them either rigged with one replacement tail or buy a double pack of replacement tails and those are now available at tackle shops near you and coming here to the saltwater ridge everything i've shown you so far from the ron's series system is a pre-rigged bait so you can buy these ready to go head and tail matched up specifically to the size and system that you want to fish depending on the species you're fishing for and where you're fishing for them but you have an additional option of being able to purchase the ron's heads separately the smaller heads like the four inch and six inch come two to a bag and then some of the larger heads for the eight inch series or big game comes individually in the bag and reciprocally you can purchase tails the placement tails come in four inch size six inch size eight and ten inch size it's a good idea whenever you purchase even one rigged bait say you purchased this eight inch size to purchase an additional bag of tails of the same size because now for the price of basically two lures you end up with about seven or eight lures so it's a good idea to make sure you always have some kind of replacement tail maybe you're running the toothy fish or maybe you're having a killer day and you're banging away one of the sacrifices of lifelike action in soft plastics is that they are vulnerable to something sharp over time so it's a good idea to get a little more bang for your buck by having a bag of replacement tails speaking about the system separately ahead and a tail a lot of people ask how do you rig a ron's lure i mean it's a simple concept you're putting a hook into soft plastic but doing it right does make a big difference in how straight the bait is rigged how well it runs and how effectively it fishes i'll show you with both the big game series and an original series here's an original series eight inch head and here's an eight inch replacement tail you'll notice on every rods that there's a couple of different exit holes on them one of the things you want to do is match the bait up like this and see which exit hole your hook would line up with it's very obvious if you looked on the opposite side of this bait there's two holes it does not line up with and then here on this eight inch bait it lines up perfectly with this hole you want to have the tail facing up and the hook facing down just like this you want to make sure you're putting that point directly in the center of the bait so i'm placing that hook in the center of the bait and then what you want to do is not push the hook through the bait like you might have with the traditional soft bait i actually will work this up keeping the hook in the center of the bait pushing the tail onto the hook until it makes this 90 degree turn once it makes the 90 degree turn if you go exactly for the exit hole with the point of the hook and then push it up until you get to that 360 degree retaining collar get it up as close as you can before you push hard and then push with everything you got from the back a little further back don't do it right on the head straight towards the head and the reason for that process is you're going to end up with a very very strong bait that can handle a lot of aggressive jigging or movement which you don't want to do with iran's remember iran's fish dead sticked just dropping it or casting and reeling the less you do to iran's the more fish you'll catch but if you look here i've got a nice straight bait okay it's in the middle it's sitting straight it's not kicked way down because it's been rigged too far back or it's not kicked way up because it's been rigged too far forward you'll notice that you're not getting any of that uneven and you got a nice straight rigged bait and you can do the same thing with the big game series which can be a little intimidating for some folks because there's a lot of moving parts what i do is i'll place this in my right hand if i'm right handed left hand if you're left-handed and you want to basically just palm the head and pinch the hook like so these have one exit hole because there's only one place to come out on them all right so again i'm going to look at that exit hole i'm going to place that hook point directly in the center of the bait and instead of trying to push the hook through the bait i'm just going to advance that tail keeping it in the middle until it makes about a 90 degree turn and then i'm going to go straight for that exit hole with the point i'm going to push that up to that 360 collar until it's nice and tight and then from further back not here at the front i'm going to push from both ends match those two together and again you got a perfectly rigged bronze that way nice and straight in the middle not kicked up high and not kicked down low ready to go and that's the ronzee lure fishing system as you can see there's a lot of different ways to present these to different fish a lot of different rigging options to adjust to the size fish and they've got a full selection down here at the saltwater edge stop by and see them today