If there’s one lure that has been slaying the local Pollack this year it has been the Savage Sandeel, I’ve lost count of how many fish we’ve caught on them but on each occasion they have easily out fished everything else we’ve tried. The only trouble is that at £5.99 for one head and a couple of bodies it can soon get expensive so I’ve spent the last 4-5 weeks looking for an alternative and I’ve finally found something that works just as well.
I don’t know why the Savage Sandeel has been so good this year, last year it was the Sidewinders that were all the rage (Mackerel or White guaranteed to catch on any given day) but this year they’ve fell well short. Yes, you can catch on them but nothing like the numbers as the Savage lures. To find an alternative I had to find something that worked in a similar way, basically a swim bait, the Savage works so well because of the soft material it is made from and the paddle tail, slow retrieving is deadly for inshore Pollack. In terms of colour we only use the Natural Sandeel colour so that means finding something green. This is what I came up with.
Savage Sandeel Alternative Jig Heads
The AGM Saltwater Dart 4/0 in either 10.5 or 14 grams. If you’ve got any Savage Sandeel body’s left over then this is the perfect cheap (5 for about £2.70) jig head to attach it to. We’ve fished them side by side with the authentic Savage head and believe me it makes zero difference to the fish! The 10 gram can be even more effective in shallower water than the 14 where it sinks slower. I will never buy another set of Savage Sandeel jig heads.
Savage Sandeel Alternative Bodies
The real guts of these lures and “why” they work so well. If you read up about them you’ll hear stories of different densities of jelly used and how it produces such a life like movement. I don’t doubt for 1 minute that these are hugely effective. However after ordering and trying no less than 17 alternatives I’ve got 3 that work just as well and in case you are wondering are equally as soft if not softer. This can be an issue with them lasting but at these sort of prices it’s not half the problem it is with the originals where if you’re anything like me you’ll be using them well after their best.
Big Hammer Glow Shad – 4.5 inches long, 14 grams and fits fine on the cheap jig heads above. 4 for £3.99 means that you don’t have to be so precious with them, a good job because these hand poured lures are very soft.
Big Hamer Steves Shad – 4.5 inches long, 14 grams and the closest thing to the colouring on a natural Savage Sandeel that I’ve found. In every circumstance I’ve fished in (cloudy, sunny, ebb, flood) either this or the Glow Shad has fished equally as well as the Savage Sandeel or on occasions even out fished them.
Zoom 5 Inch Super Fluke (Arkansas Shiner) – You think £3.99 for 4 is still expensive? Then how about 5 for £3.65. These lures work just as well as the other 2, the only issue being that they can be a bit fidly to mount on jig heads. However, they do have a channel in their belly which fits the weight and hook from a six inch Sidewinder perfectly. If you’ve got Sidewinders falling to bits keep the hooks and use them with these, the ultimate cheap alternative to the Savage Sandeel. Honestly if you think the action of the original is impressive wait until you see these in the water!
If you’ve got any other cheap alternatives I’d love to hear them, I’m always up for giving something new a go?