The Frozen Tree Company was named in honour of a centuries-old frozen tree that stood on the shore of Scotland`s northern beaches. As a boy, luremaker Jim Dunsmore would visit this tree before every tuna season to carve off a little timber to create his own lures for the ensuring run of bluefin in the North Atlantis. His success with the fish was determined by his ability to craft an effective lure. It`s a skill that he has honed every since. Jim is a perfectionist and an originator, something that is demonstrated in the Frozen Tree Company`s lures.
The Gill Thruster lure is certainly unique in its appearance, and has been evolving since the first one was created in 1979. The Frozen Tree Company is confident that they now have it just right, and I would tend to agree. Originally, the lure was designed as a teaser for bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean.
They used them to draw the fish to the back of the boat, where a fly fisherman`s attention to detail, that has influenced the making of these fascinating pike fishing lures.
The lure tested for this review was the 9-inch version.
-they range in size up to a 15-inch model. It`s made from good-quality resin that has the tiniest fleck of glitter through it. The minute particles add to the visual appeal. The head is stubby, with a significant taper to the front and rear. The leader runs through a brass tube that is centred at both the front and rear of the lure.
The lures uniqueness stems from a hole in the lower section of a cup in the face. This hole is jetted out the side of the lures head where the gills on a baitfish are located. The angle of the face, the cup and the jet holes play significant parts in the lures action and profile in the water.
As one would expect, Gill Thrusters are red, just like the inside of a baitfishs gills when flared open. The eyes are movable”joggle” type; however, looking at them from the top or bottom of the lure resembles a fishs eye in profile. That is, they have the same bubble appearance, something that is not achievable with a flat eye- as found on many other lures. Although you might not notice it in daylight, the heads also have a dim glow under certain light conditions.
The Lure`s skirts are of good quality and there is a huge range of color combinations available. I found, to enhance the lure`s action still further, it helped to extend the splits in the skirts all the way to the back of the lure`s head. By using a pair of sharp scissors and snipping carefully, the long cone at the top of the skirt can be transformed into longer skirt legs. This creates more action by making it easier for the head to pivot on the more flexible cut strands.
The rigging for this lure is simple and flexible. Single or double hooks made little difference to the action- although it should be noted we only tested it with fine-gauge hooks and 150lb leader. The 9-inch Gill Thruster is recommended as a light-tackle lure and would fit in well within a spread chasing striped marlin.
This is a very versatile lure and one that performs differently depending on whether it is run from an outrigger or off a flatline. The flatlines see this lure cycle with a diving, side-to-side motion after each “breath” at the surface. The dives would put it under most prop washes.
An interesting aspect of this lure is the size of the bubble it creates around its head. This is a direct result of the Gill Thruster forcing the air to the side of the head, rather than (as with other lures`jet) through the head and out of the skirts. The cycle rate, between breaths at the surface, was around seven seconds. The lure works at speeds up to 10 knots, at which time it started to tumble.
When run with a steeper towing angle from an outrigger, the Gill Thruster threw up a rooster tail out of all proportion to its size. It cycled more regularly and its dives were shallower. This position was my preference for this particular lure.
Prior to running the Gill Thruster, I had never seen one of the Frozen Trees Company`s lures. I can honestly say that I am now a fan and will include them in my regular fishing tackle. Do not let the unusual name fool you; there has been enormous amount of research and development put into Jim`s range.
Lure review by Matt Gross