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there is a very unique sound being produced by it that the fish haven’t heard before. One last benefit of the 2 #10 blades is how well they go through vegetation. These blades swing so wide and move so much water that they will blow most vegetation away from the hooks during normal to high- speed retrieves. About the only modification that I make to a Double Cowgirl is that I will take a split ring and attach it to the wire just above the sinker. To this I will attach about a 3/4oz. Dipsey style sinker to give me longer and easier casts. Ok, so how do the guides throw these hard pulling baits day after day without killing themselves? One option is lots of good painkillers so they can’t feel the pain! The better option is to get the right tools for the job. For rods, 8’ to 9’ heavy or extra heavy action rods work the best. Popular rods are the Shimano Calcutta CLC-X80H, the St.Croix Tournament TM80MHF, and a custom built rod made on a G-Loomis Steel SW96-20 blank. If you are on a budget, look at the Shimano Compre CPC-M80H. These long rods make easy casts, give you the length to do big figure 8s and have the power to drive the big 7/0 hooks in and control an angry 50”+ giant. As far as reels, this is really where you get what you pay for. In the past, I’ve always thrown them with a Shimano Calcutta 400TE spooled with 80# or 100# Western Filament Tufline Plus and have never had a problem with slow to medium speed retrieves. If you want to go high speed, then that is where it is going to hurt! A lot of the guides would throw the Abu Garcia 7000 in the C3 or HSN models as they were faster and less fatiguing. The only bad thing is they would only last a month before they needed service. Most people aren’t going to the abuse on a reel that a guide will, so the 7000 is still a good option if you are on a budget. So, what haven’t the guides broken, that will go fast, have lots of power and doesn’t kick their butt? Saltwater reels that are designed to cast. Specifically, the Shimano Trinidad 14 and Trinidad 16 Narrow. The Trinidad 14 is the most popular as it is the size of a Shimano Calcutta 400TE and easily fits in your hand. They have extra large and tough saltwater gears that produce a ratio of 6.2:1 that take in 36” of line per crank of the handle. This produces your speed. Because of the extra beefy gears, Shimano is able to put a longer handle on the reel that reduces the torque and makes it easier on you. This gives you the power. Sound like the perfect reel? Well, it is—in the right situation. That situation is baits that you will crank in with out any jerks or twitches. It is a saltwater reel and therefore has no line guide, pawl or worm gear to lay your line back on your spool evenly. Won’t all your line pile up on one side? Yup, but here’s how you solve that problem. First, use a superbraid line that is more round and larger in diameter. This will help the line lay itself evenly on the spool. Cortland’s 80# Masterbraid is what most people are having great success with as it is round, has a larger diameter and is soft and easy casting. The other thing that really helps is to only fill the spool ¾ full and not to the top. The last thing is to point your rod at the bait and keep your shoulders square to the bait. If you’re turned sideways while cranking, the line will pile up on one side. If you are facing the bait, the line will lay evenly and you’ll be in the perfect hook setting position when that monster eats your Double Cowgirl! To complete your perfect Double Cowgirl combo, add a 15” 130# fluorocarbon leader. If you’re going to be fishing after dark, slide a 5mm Owner Soft Glow Bead on your line before attaching your leader. These beads are soft and protect your rod tip from being jammed by or broken by your swivel at boatside and, being that they glow, they let you know visually when to start your figure 8. Ok, these baits have been out for a couple of years—how is this cutting edge??? Well, all Cutting Edge “Mayhem”

the principles and equipment for the Double Cowgirls apply to Musky Mayhem’s two latest creations—the Double Cowgirl Jr and the Super Model. The Jr is the same as the Double Cowgirl but has #9 blades instead of #10s and it is a ½” shorter. They still puff out the tinsel skirt like the big blades, but pull easier so you can go a lot faster with them. This will be a bait you will want to burn during the hottest part of the summer or if you have a reel that just can’t handle the #10 blades or if the #10s hurt you too bad. The Jr is 9-1/2”, weights 2.5oz and comes in (skirt/blade colors) black/nickel, black/ orange, black-red/red, black-chart/chart-black flame, blue-silver/nickel, brown-orange/orange, pink/pink, gold-orange/brass, purple/brass, rainbow/nickel and red/red. If you want to catch the biggest ‘mother’ in the lake (or if you’re too macho for the #10 blades!), then the Super Model is what you are looking for. It is a big bait at 13” and just over 4oz, but what really makes it unique are the blades—they’re BIG!!! So big that they have to be custom made just for Musky Mayhem Tackle. If you had to put a size on them, they should be called a #13 size blade. The Super Model is a big, deeper running bait that is ideal for use in late summer and all the way until the lakes freeze. It has two perfectly spaced 7/0 treble hooks, is built on beefier .062 wire and comes in black/black nickel, black/nickel, black/orange, blue/nickel, gold/brass, purple/brass and red/ flame. Looks like I’m going to have to pick up the pace. I only got through 2 new baits and there are over 50 new baits this year (and that doesn’t even count the different sizes!). The Double Cowgirl has just dominated everything and made such an impact on our sport that they needed to be featured. In the future, we’ll get through more baits, techniques, mods, etc and keep you on the cutting edge. Brett Erickson is the buyer at Thorne Bros Custom Rod & Tackle Thorne Bros. / Fly Angler 7500 University Ave. Fridley, MN 55432 763-572-3782 Musky Mayhem Tackle Co. owner Brad Hoppe with a NOT SO THIN Mayhem muskie.