Xorus Patchinko - The Legend
The Patchinko is a bass fishing lure designed by Ultimate Fishing in France for their high-quality brand, Xorus. In the UK it is one of the most successful surface poppers of all time and has been one of the most requested items since The Art of Fishing opened in 2010. The Xorus Patchinko II is one of the longest casting bass lures available because of its size, but the two smaller sizes - the Patchinko 125 (12.5cm) and Patchinko 100 (10cm).
Is this THE longest casting bass lure available?
It's easy to see why this lure is so successful. In terms of lure design it's heavily bum-weighted and importantly for the way it works, that weight is fixed in position - not sliding. This does two things for the lure.
1) Added Casting Distance
Firstly, it ensures long casts as the lure is naturally more prone to travelling through the air tail first. It can also carry more weight at that tail end that most with a sliding weight shifting system as there is no need to make space for complex internal runners of bars. There's nothing to go wrong. The extra weight in the tail is also what makes it such a great lure once it's in the water too - which leads to the second great thing about it...
2) Stability In The Water
The large proportion of the lure's weight that is fixed in the tail is evident when you drop it in the water in front of you. The lure sits with only its nose above the water's surface. Xorus have obviously (intentionally) judged this just right to ensure that the lure is as heavy as possible (for better casting) but also not so over-weighted that it sinks entirely. Although many surface lures today are weighted to the point of sinking (they come back up to the top when you start retrieving), it's always nice to know that a lure will float when you stop winding. This heavy bum-weighting also makes it a very stable lure in choppier conditions. They work great on calmer days too. The weight in the tail creates a lot of drag when you work the lure back which keeps the lure in the water (rather than skimming it along the surface if you get a bit over zealous in the retrieve, or the wind catches your line). The slightly cupped face is a little like a traditional bass popper but not so extreme. It's flat enough to "walk-the-dog" easily, but cupped enough to make a little splash. The weighted tail actually means that it's almost the whole length of the body that creates the attraction here.TOP
How to fish the Patchinko lure?
This isn't actually an easy question to answer. Over the past 10 years I've heard different theories from different anglers all over the country. However, this in itself proves just how versatile the lure is. I'll give you a brief idea of how the Cornish boys tend to fish them though.
This is a lure that lends itself perfectly to a "walk the dog" retrieve. When achieved (by twitching the rod tip and retrieving at the correct speed), the lure will dart itself along the water's surface, breaching left and right in a continuously alternating motion, creating disturbance as it goes. Imagine a sandeel for example, sprinting away from a chasing predator. It wants to get away but can't decide which direction is best, so it constantly changes its mind. Left, right, left, right, left, right along the waters surface trying to evade capture from behind and below. Dodging an almost inevitable bullet so to speak. That's your lure when it's walking the dog and it's partly why the bass find it so tempting due to the natural comparison of a fleeing baitfish. The speed at which this all happens is up to you, although locally there seems to be a preference for a slightly faster retrieve.
Because of the tail-weighting in the Patchinko, it's less of a sliding/gliding lure (as it would be with more weight balancing the belly of the lure) and more of a chugger that creates more drag.
To walk-the-dog with a Patchinko:
- Having cast, pick up any slack line (under tension) and gain some contact on the lure.
- With rod pointing upwards at 45 degrees, with some aggression begin by twitching the rod tip in a short, sharp upwards motion. This should be fast and come from a flick of your wrist, not your whole arm.
- Repeat this twitching motion in a rhythmic fashion, twitching perhaps once every half second (can be faster or slower). Whilst doing this, continue turning the reel handle (constantly) to pick up slack as you go. The frequency of twitches will dictate how fast you need to wind to pick up the slack.
More Patchinko Advice
Keeping the rod tip high whilst retrieving keeps more line off the water and creates a little less drag if the water is choppy and your lure is a long way out (especially with a softer rod). As the lure gets closer to you it can help to lower the rod tip and work it to the side. This will stop the lure from jumping out of the water when the angle between rod tip and lure becomes too great. Many fish take close to shore so you need to be fishing until the closest possible moment, right in the edge. Being less aggressive with the twitches helps when you get closer to shore as well. Technically, the further away the lure is the more harsh you need to be with the twitches to get the lure doing what you want it to.
The Patchinko 2 is the one lure that we compare a lot of Japanese lure rods by. At 25g and with a bulky deign, often the 30g rated rods will struggle to cast and fish it. We advise looking at rods rated to 35g+ if you fish these larger lures regularly. A stiffer tip will make working the lure less strenuous.
If a fish hits the lure, don't strike! Especially if you have just watched a large bass smash the lure it can be tempting to react. Despite the two treble hooks on the Patchinko, you will miss many slashes and hits on any surface lure. Wait until the fish hook themselves.
If you have watched a fish slash at the lure but it has not hooked itself, you can try stopping your retrieve altogether and letting the lure bob about, motionless. By giving the fish a couple of seconds (even up to a minute) and an easier chance at hitting the stationary lure they will often return for another go. In contrast, the opposite can work. Speed it up! There are no hard and fast rules as to how the fish might react.
A good quality, smooth reel will help when it comes to sensing the tension on the line through the reel handle - which leads to the next point...TOP
Top Patchinko Fact
It's not actually the lure itself nor directly the twitching rod tip that creates the zig-zagging motion of the lure in the water. It's the slack line in front of the lure that drags the lure in alternating directions as you twitch the rod tip to pick up this slack.
With every twitch, the lure slides forward/to the side and creates another bit of slack on the opposite side. The next time you twitch the rod tip the lure is dragged by that slack back towards the centre line and beyond, before the next twitch drags it back the other way again. If you wind too fast or twitch too fast and keep too tight a line on the lure then it won't have the freedom to move each way. The slack is essential. The skilful part of the retrieve is in turning the reel handle at the correct speed to maintain enough tension to keep contact for the next "twitch", but little enough tension to allow the lure some freedom of movement. The Patchinko will twitch quite quickly side to side to side if you have this right.TOP
Which colour is best?
While "500G" is officially the most popular colour (it looks like a natural fishy pattern), locals who use a lot of them insist that it's only really the colour of the belly that they take too much notice of. As long as its white or silver underneath, most anglers are happy and confident in catching. For beginners I would actually recommend the "Yellow" option. This is white on the belly but has a bright chartreuse (bright yellow) back. The fish love this lure and it has the added benefit that the angler can trace the lure's swimming action from a long way off due to it being so visible.