If you looked through the tackle bag any fisherman who fishes for walleyes more than once or twice per year, chances are you are going to find some sort of crawler harness and blade rig. This is one of the most commonly used and widely successful rigs, proven over years and years of walleye fishing. In fact, I have dozens of different walleye blade rigs in my personal tackle bag. And that’s just it right there, EVERYONE has them and EVERYONE uses them.
Now, don’t get me wrong, they can be and are in many cases extremely effective. Let’s take a look at a different take on the walleye spinner setup, the Northland Butterfly Blade Super Death Rig.
I recently spent four days fishing on Lake Sakakawea located in central North Dakota. I spent a year living very close to the lake and quickly realized just how special of a walleye fishery it is. So what better place to try a variety of walleye setups and write a review with what I found.
We started the day off fishing deeper, in 20-25 FOW (although we ultimately settled with better success in 10-15 FOW) pulling nightcrawlers and leeches behind a variety of set ups. We pulled Lindy Rigs with leeches and crawlers, crawlers with colorado blades, and I went for the Northland Butterfly Blade right off the bat. First fish of the trip came on a green spinner and crawler being pulled right around 1mph. Good eater walleye, right around 18″, and more importantly our first fish of the trip.
I was the next to get on board when I picked up a FAT 24″ walleye on a purple Butterfly Blade Super Death setup. This would be the start of what quickly became an obvious trend.
Over the next three days we fished hard and caught ALOT of walleyes. I convinced my brother to drop the spinner rig and to try and Butterfly Blade. Once he did, it didn’t take long for him to be convinced of it’s appeal to the fish, on this given trip anyways. I can say with certainty that it increased both our numbers and size of walleyes boated over the course of three days. Here are the reasons why I think this happened.
1.) We started fishing slower. The Butterfly Blade seemed to spin well enough going about .6mph that we could really slow it down and hammer each spot we knew was holding fish. And the bait still kept it’s action when some of our spinner rigs failed to operate correctly.
2.) The small plastic blade gives a little, but it isn’t too much. There isn’t any big flash or huge blade to scare off weary fish. Our water is pretty clear up here and sometimes less seems to be more. The colored blade gives just a hint of added flash to the slow death rig, but doesn’t overdue it.
3.) The corkscrew action of the Super Death hook. This one, in my opinion, is the biggest reason for the success of this rig. The Super Death hook really gives the crawler an enticing and unique presentation. Slow death fishing is becoming more and more popular in the walleye fishing world and I think a lot of it has to do with the unique appearance of the presentation.
When fishing a typical blade setup, our fish seemed to average anywhere from 13-17″ and the numbers weren’t huge, but they were consistent. Our biggest fish caught on a typical blade rig was 19″
When fishing the Northland Butterfly Blades, we fished much slower and hit areas of fish more thoroughly. I would estimate we doubled to tripled our numbers and the average size increased to 16-20″ with all three of our fish 25″ or bigger coming on this rig.
When we switched away from the Butterfly Blade and went to just a slow death rig with no spinner and no beads, the numbers decreased slightly, but the size was still there.
Lets be honest, the fishing on Lake Sakakawea is fantastic. The numbers are incredible and the fish are fat and healthy, thriving on the large numbers of smelt and available food sources. The water is high and the fish are taking advantage.
We did, however, see a trend over the course of the fishing trip. We noticed our larger fish all came on a slow death rig of some sort, nothing too flashy, just a nice slow presentation with the unique corkscrew action. The Butterfly Blade seemed to help bring in stronger numbers than the plain slow death hook and both seemed to significantly increase the size of fish we were boating.
Hope you enjoyed our review of the Northland Butterfly Blade Super Death Rig. As always, we would love to hear any feedback from you. If you would like to see a specific product review or even see us add to our current product review, send us an email!