HTO Stink Pots & Go! boxes

 Issue 16 (May-Jun 2017)     Off the Scale magazine  

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We were kindly sent a box of lure fishing goodies from the Tronix stable recently to check and test out, and good they certainly are. First up are the aptly named Stink Pots, small egg cup-sized pots of scented soft plastics for ultra-light and LRF styles. The range comes in 3 patterns – ragworm, heart tail and paddle tail – each in 4 colours, white, pink, red and motor oil.

Both the paddle and heart tails are a little over an inch in size, with the hearts being of a more streamlined profile. The ragworm variety measures approx. 3”. You get over 50 baits in each pot (15-20 of the larger rag) which offers great value for money especially when you consider that these baits are made from a highly durable, stretchy, almost indestructible plastic. They last extremely well and you can expect just a single pot to last a very long time. As with other lures of this material, it is advised not to mix them with other plastic/rubber baits as they can react with each other and physically melt; a good thing then that HTO provide them in a handy, re-sealable screw top jar.

The near-everlasting nature of these small baits is good enough reason to have them in your tackle box or bag but their real standout characteristic is the fact that they are also scented. As you may have seen, even in previous issues of Off the Scale, scented lures are giving another valuable dimension to light lure fishing in recent years. No longer are you solely relying on making your bait look realistic to induce a take; if it also smells like natural food then surely your chances are that much increased. Whilst the exact recipe of the infused scent is obviously a trade secret, the pots certainly smell strongly of some sort of fishy concoction – in fact, they stink!

One of many hard-fighting Atlantic ballan wrasse caught whilst testing the Stink Pots. If they can cope with these fellas, they’ll survive anything!

“Made from a highly durable, stretchy, almost indestructible plastic, they last extremely well and you can expect just a single pot to last a very long time”

The quality of the lures is beyond doubt, but do they actually make a difference to your catch rate? That’s the million dollar question. In testing we have found that the answer may well be yes. Fishing for a range of species in both fresh (perch, trout) and saltwater (wrasse, pollock and mini-species) the scented lures have generally out-performed un-scented types, especially in coloured water or low light conditions. We must make note of the ragworm variety, which seems particularly effective for LRF fishing in the sea – they absolutely made a difference!

If you are looking for baits for light jigging, drop shotting or even fishing as a substitute for real static bait (i.e. ragworm), then you should really check these out. At around €4.50 a pot, they are great value for money.

As the name suggests, these kits are just made for on the go!

The Go! Boxes from HTO are a really great little idea – a small flip-top box containing just enough baits and jig heads to grab at a moment’s notice and get light-lure fishing. There are 5 often flamboyantly-named  boxes in the range – Excalibur (basic worm imitation, 4 colours), Mace (heart-tailed worm, 4 colours), Knightworm (scented 2” twin tailed worms, 3 colours), Bug (2” creature baits, 4 colours) and finally Dropshot (1.5” paddle tails, 4 colours). It has to be said, the dropshot baits are a work of art! Incidentally, you get 20-30+ baits per box, depending on the pattern.

Unlike the Stink Pots, these soft plastics are not made from an ever-lasting material and so aren’t as durable but are more than good enough to catch you a lot of fish before you exhaust your supply. Of course, you could always supplement the Go! Boxes with some Stink Pot contents or buy replacement lures separately.

“These ready-to go boxes are perfect for stashing in your box or tackle bag just in case, or keeping hidden in the car so you can have a sneaky cast as and when the opportunity arises”

All boxes come with 4-5 size 6 or 8 Maikuro  jig heads (depending on lure type), whereas the Dropshot boxes come with 3.5g tungsten dropshot weights. The scented Knightworm boxes also feature dropshot weights in addition to the jig heads. One thing bearing in mind is that the dropshot weights are not coated and are quite reflective, which may work for or against you in certain situations. In testing, aggressive wrasse were overly keen to attack the drop shot weight but on the other hand perch and small pollock definitely seemed attracted to the bait as a result.

These ready-to go boxes are perfect for stashing in your box or tackle bag just in case, or keeping hidden in the car so you can have a sneaky cast as and when the opportunity arises. They are pocket-sized so you can carry them with you without noticing, even on long walks. These kits are great for youngsters or beginners as well, and will catch (as we have proven to ourselves) all manner of different species. Grab a rod and a Go! Box and off you go!

Other than some coated dropshot weights, it would be nice to see a Go! Box offered with dropshot hooks or even small weedless jig heads in the future. This would mean all your bases are essentially covered wherever you happen to fish. For now though there is more than enough in the range to get you started and catching.

Prices retail at around € 9 for most of the range, with the Knightworm and Dropshot boxes being slightly more due to the inclusion of dropshot weights.

*reviewed May 2017