From time to time, we’ll put a new angling-related product through its paces and share an opinion about its quality, appeal and performance. This review addresses a hot new lure from a respected manufacturer.
MirrOlure (L&S Bait) is a Florida-based company that has produced quality lures for decades. One of their latest offerings – the 19MR, or “MirrOminnow” – is a slim, streamlined lure designed to loosely mimic any number of small bait fish that are favored snacks for coastal gamefish. I recently tested one on a trip far down into the Glades.
The streamlined design appealed to me at first glance. It’s my long-held opinion that many topwater plugs on the market are too large for shallow-water settings. Conventional thinking seems to be that bigger lures equal larger fish, and there’s a kernel of truth in that. But gamefish often target smaller baits, and in my experience it’s medium-to-smallish lures with lively action that catch the most fish – especially in skinny water where fish can be easily spooked.
Because of it’s smallish profile, I assumed the MirrOminnow would be tough to cast with anything but very light tackle. Despite it’s relatively light weight, however, I could zing it with authority on a respectable-sized rod/reel combo using braided line and 25# leader. Pitching it into tight holes along shorelines was easy, as was launching long casts across open flats. I also assumed the lure would list about and lose it’s action if it broke the surface, but I was proven wrong again. To my surprise, the MirrOminnow flicked about on and just under the surface, but, if allowed to rest for a second or two, also twitched and flared about under the surface. In short, it seems to combine the qualities of a sinking plug with those of a floating plug, so anglers can fish it a bit deeper or right on top. Wow.
Another appealing aspect of this lure was the two sets of treble hooks. For about two decades the 7M, a venerable plug produced by the same company, was my favorite plug. But that lure’s three sets of treble hooks always struck me as overkill and an unnecessary danger to gamefish. For the past decade or so I’ve removed the middle set of trebles on 7M plugs, which can be a time-consuming process. The MirrOminnow, by contrast, features only two sets of hooks right out of the box. I noticed no adverse effects in terms of hook-setting, and the gap between the hooks makes it easy to unhook and release fish.
The MirrOminnow 19MR features a rattle that, when retrieved with a flicking motion of the rod tip, “clicks” audibly. I’m convinced it draws gamefish from many feet away. I’ve used both the standard and “R” versions of other MirrOlure offerings, and the “R” versions seem to trigger more strikes in aggressive fish.
Proof is in performance, though, and I was anxious to see if gamefish agreed with my assessment. On the trip into the Glades, the lure produced redfish, ladyfish, jack, snook and even largemouth bass, and several of the fish moved to the lure from up to ten feet away, attracted by its flashy, flicking action and light rattling sound. I am certain it will also be deadly on smaller tarpon, bluefish and striped bass.
Conclusion: There are hundreds of plugs on the market, but only a handful seem to be consistently endorsed by seasoned skinny water anglers. And that group of lures tends to be deadly on any number of species, including snook, redfish, sea trout, smaller tarpon, striped bass, bluefish, and more. Given what I’ve seen, I’d say this plug has the qualities required to quickly move into that elite list. If you fish shallow saltwater on a regular basis, the MirrOminnow should be in your arsenal.
Rating: Five fish (out of five)