Part of Patrick Sebile’s knack for lure building is recognizing innovative and productive designs, then improving on them. That’s been the driving force behind many of the new lures offered by A Band of Anglers, such as the long-casting Ocean Born series, the versatile DartSpin family, and the finesse-fishing Engage lures. However, there is now one lure family in the Band of Anglers that was not originally designed by Sebile: SpoolTek.
SpoolTek was created to overcome the unique challenges faced by snook fishermen in Florida. These fish can be extremely finicky, forcing fishermen to downsize their leaders to get a bite. But, snook are also equipped with razor-sharp gill plates and sandpaper-rough lips. These features, coupled with the violent headshakes of a hooked snook, can quickly saw through leaders of 80-pound test or lighter. As a solution, SpoolTek’s original creators devised a swimbait with a built-in steel leader that deploys after the hookset, providing a buffer between the leader and the fish. This allowed anglers to fish lighter leaders to get more bites while also improving their chances of landing the fish.
The lure caught on quickly in Florida, and became popular beyond the Sunshine State, all the way up to Northeast striper fishermen, who appreciated how the retractable steel leader made it less likely for big striped bass to shake the hook.
Sebile saw the value in this design, but also knew he could improve it since one of the chief complaints about the first SpoolTeks was the durability of the tails. Not only did toothy fish damage them, but even a missed hit from a striper or snook was enough to lop off the paddle. Sebile had an easy solution to this, replacing the traditional soft plastic of the SpoolTek tail with his Softough material. It is the same material that makes up the body of the DartSpin. It is an extremely tough, tear-resistant soft plastic that can survive many encounters with fish such as stripers, fluke, and weakfish, and can even withstand bites from bluefish.
In addition to improving the tail’s durability, Patrick created several new tail styles that can be easily swapped into the SpoolTek body, making the bait much more versatile. These include a curly tail, a fluke-style tail, and even a bladed tail.
The SpoolTek is available in two models: the short and stout Fatty, and the long and slender Skinny. Both are available in several sizes from 5 to 9 inches.