Bass pro tweaks his namesake lure to make it even better
Imagine reaching for a Gene Larew Biffle Bug and wishing it was built a little more for flippin’ and pitchin’ around the heavy cover you’re fishing at the moment.
The well-known soft plastic’s namesake, Tommy Biffle, had that feeling multiple times. So he did something about it a few years ago, soon after PRADCO Outdoor Brands bought Gene Larew Lures.
“They said, ‘Do you have anything you want to make?’”
I said, “Yes Sir.”
Actually, the Wagoner, Oklahoma, pro bass fisherman whose winnings total more than $3 million, was tweaking Biffle Bugs for a while before that exchange with PRADCO. He had been cutting them up, fusing pieces together to add to the Biffle Bug’s original shape.
Biffle, who celebrates his 65th birthday this month, headed over to Gene Larew Lures’ test tank to pitch the new soft plastic’s design and from there, the Gene Larew Flipping Biffle Bug was born in Oklahoma.
Flipping bug was born
After “quite a few prototypes,” Biffle’s baby was introduced two summers ago. The Flipping Biffle Bug still has the original’s signature shape with kicking back legs, flat, gliding tail and a ribbed, hollow body.
Biffle added a solid head that gives it a creature bait-like appearance and adds size (4.5 inches, ¼-inch longer than the Biffle Bug), plus firmly holds a flippin’ hook in thick cover. Also, a pair of swimming front legs replace the smaller legs of the Biffle Bug and the back swimming legs are enlarged.
The leg configuration creates consistent swimming action and generates more vibration in and around branches of bushes or laydowns or among roots of trees, according to Biffle.
The end result pleases Biffle, first and foremost. The bass fishing nation has made it one of their favorites, too.
The 2022 Bass Fishing Hall of Fame inductee got what he wanted and proved it right away during a video shoot at Lake Tenkiller in Oklahoma.
The Flipping Biffle Bug on the business end of his fluorocarbon line triggered strike after strike from largemouths as he worked bushes.
Biffle said one of the film crew wished the 34-year veteran bass pro could catch a big smallmouth on it. He didn’t know about that but flipped and pitched more bushes to eventually coax a 4-pound smallie into the boat.
A pro favorite
How many bass pros tie on the Flipping Biffle Bug?
“On our side (MLF BPT) quite a few are using it … but they’re not saying much about it,” Biffle said with a knowing chuckle.
He fishes the new soft plastic creature bait on a 4/0 straight shank flipping hook tied to 25-pound test Sunline Shooter Fluorocarbon line spooled on a Quantum Smoke S3 100 Baitcast Reel seated on a 7 ½-foot extra heavy flipping stick.
Biffle’s favorite colors include Smoke and Silver, Sooner Run, Okeechobee Craw and Green Pumpkin. Smoke and Silver? It’s No. 1 in his book.
“I tell people across the country, if the bass are chasing and eating shad, they’ll eat it,” he said.
Sooner Run, based on a watermelon/red flake color with a dark color across its back, was named after the color he flipped and pitched to win a Bassmaster Elite Series AutoZone Sooner Run in June 2010 on Oklahoma’s Fort Gibson Lake.
For more information on the Gene Larew Flipping Biffle Bug and other Gene Larew Lures, go to www.genelarew.com or call (918) 949-6291.