Introduction: Wigston Lures manufactures an exciting lure that has steadily gained popularity from it's first introduction in Australia and the surrounding region. The Tasmanian Devil, or Tassie, is a lure that can be effectively fished a great variety of ways, and is effective on numerous species of fresh and saltwater fish.
Wigston Tasmanian Devil Specifications
Plastic Shell, Lead core
7, 13.5, 20, 26 gram weights
Variable to 6ft
$2.99-5.00 (depends on size)
About Wigston Lures: Eddie Wigston first opened a retail store in 1934 in the town of New Norfolk in Tasmania where he sold radios, firearms, and tackle, until he was joined by his sons Ian and Garth. Together the family began experimenting with a variety of homemade fishing lures...and over a glass of beer one Friday evening in the late 70's the concept of their first mass production lures was born. In 1979 the production of Wigston branded lures commenced.
Impressions: When we first received the Tasmanian Devil from Wigston Lures we were not exactly sure what category of lure this curious product resided in. With some of the characteristics of a spoon, jig, and trolling lure, this product also displayed unique characteristics like a removable steel center insert. We soon agreed that the Tasmanian Devil was unlike any other lure we have tested to date.
The Tassie is imported from Tasmania Australia and can be bought in single or multi-packs
The Design: The Tassie consists of a hollow weighted lead torpedo core that is surrounded by a plastic molding that includes two curved wings. The lure comes with a wire loop and treble hook that can be easily pulled out of the core. While various colors and designs can be applied to the exterior of the lure it is important to note that the main design attractors are encased beneath the plastic surface. This makes it so that no matter how much structure or fish assail the lure the chief patterns and vibrant colors remain just as vibrant as the day they first hit the water.
The Tassie comes with one stainless steel insert and treble hook which can be removed easily. The lure can then be fished in a variety of rigs
The Material: In the lure's humble beginning the outer shell was 2 pieces pressed together and constructed with polystyrene and various acrylics which painted very well but ultimately proved to be too brittle. Since 1985 Wigston has been injection molding a much more durable one piece design, like the one that we tested. While the Tassie's physical design has not changed since day one the advance in technology has made the lure more user friendly, UV and impact resistant.
After surviving pounding with various hammers we decided to put the Tassie through the ultimate test...a smash test from underneath a 3,500lb Land Rover!
To put the Tassie to the test we dropped it from a height of 6 feet, then struck it numerous times with a rubber mallet, then a steel hammer...still no damage to the core of the lure or the plastic molded casing. One of our other editors joked that we should run the lure over with a car to see if it could withstand a couple thousand pound load. Needless to say in a few minutes we found ourselves rolling a Land Rover over the Tassie!
While temporarily flattened the lure suffered no damage to the plastic casing or inner core...that's durability!
When I got out of the car I expected to see a shattered, or at very least, a crushed lure on the pavement. The entire team was absolutely amazed that while the Tassie had been pressed straight it had suffered no physical damage to the casing or core whatsoever! How many lures do you know can be run over by a 3,500lb vehicle and still remain intact? With some pressure we were able to bend the lure right back to its proper curved position. We now knew this was among the most sturdy lures that we have ever tested, but would fish strike it? We set out on our field tests for the answer.
For the tests we used:
Complete Rig for fishing the Wigston Tasmanian Devil
Kistler Helium LTA (6'9")
Shimano Chronarch 100A
10lb Sufix DNA
Targeting multiple species: While originally designed around a pelagic species in Tasmania the Tassie has been used to fish many species of both fresh and saltwater fish. Key to the Tassie's flexibility as a lure for many applications is the combination of the ability to provide the lure with so many size and color combinations coupled with a unique rocking motion that appeals to many predatory fish. For our tests we targeted Trout and Bass to see just how well these fish would react to the Tassie.
The inner core holds the painted pattern so that it looks as good as new no matter how much damage the outer shell takes
Fishing the Tassie a variety of ways: Just as Tassie can be used to target a variety of fish the lure can be fished with a wide range of configurations and techniques. The lure can be cast and retrieved, trolled, and even jigged with success. The rig that you will choose will depend on the conditions of the lake and your understanding of where you believe the fish are residing at the given time. For example if you are fishing in a large lake with a lot of area to cover then it would be a good idea to first troll the lake with the Tassie to locate the aggressive and hungry fish. We had a great deal of success trolling the Tassie in a number of various configurations for Trout, while we had more success casting and jigging the standard out of the box rig for Bass. For very detailed information on the various rigs that you can fish the Tassie go to Wigston's illustrative "Rigging Information."
While it does take a lot of pressure you can actually tune the Tassie to rock very quickly by further bending the lure
Casting Tassie: Casting the Tassie can be done simply by tying your main line directly to the stainless steel insert which is attached to the provided treble hook. For quick color and weight changes we recommend using a swivel. The Tassie casts very well and is easy to control with a good baitcasting rig. We fished the Tassie with medium to fast retrieves with success. After the lure hits the water we allowed a few seconds for the lure to sink, then we would retrieve through the strike zone. This method proved very effective on largemouth bass which probably view the fast rocking Tassie as a darting baitfish. Flicking your rod tip sends the Tassie lurching and diving, which can help incite more reluctant bass to strike. Because the Tassie is a very aerodynamic lure it can also be fished quickly, good for burning the bait over structure.
A rod with a very sensitive tip is a big plus. The action of the Tassie feels like a constant pulse on the rod tip. If the pulse is erratic set immediately, if the pulse ceases or feels deadened it is possible that you have fouled the hook with weed. Anglers that fish the Tassie should be careful not to allow the Tassie to sink all the way to the bottom before beginning your retrieve. During our tests we did snag up on a couple of weeds, but in most cases was able to work out the hooks with patient tugging.
Hook up the Tassie to trolling attractors makes the lure even more productive in trolling applications
Trolling Tassie: While the Tassie is a good lure for casting, it is an absolutely fantastic lure for trolling! The Tassie is great for trolling for trout of all sizes by itself or rigged up to additional trolling attractors. Because the lure is on a free axis the Tassie will never twist your main line making it a trouble free for even high speed trolling.
Have you ever had a large trout jump out of the water once it is hooked only to have your lure dislodge? This is usually due to the fact that the fish is able to shake the hook because it is directly attached to the weight of the lure. To avoid this you can fish the Tassie without the steel insert by putting the Tassie on your mainline followed by a bead and your choice of hook. Now the lure is free to run up and down the line when in the air.
Another interesting trick that works for high speed trolling is what Wigston calls the "high speed rig." All you need to do is turn the lure around so that it becomes even more arrow like, reducing resistance in the water. Sure enough you can still generate a nice motion while fishing faster for more aggressive fish. The Tassie works wonders in trolling applications and should also prove effective in large lakes using dodgers and downriggers.
While good for bass, the Tassie is a excellent lure for trout of all sizes in even the clearest water where fish spook easily
Jigging Tassie: In addition to casting and trolling we had success on our bass boat jigging the Tassie like a spoon over suspended fish. The lure can be quickly dropped down below the target zone and flicked back and forth through the strike zone. Once you feel a strike simply set the hook by pulling up on the rod tip. The Tassie is not as flashy as some gold and silver metallic spoons but seems to work well when fishing on top of easily spooked fish. The Tassie is good at enticing less aggressive fish to investigate and consequently strike.
Wigston Tasmanian Devil Ratings (?/10)
A good design using flexible yet durable materials that can really take a beating....it survived being run over with a SUV! The sealed casing makes this lure very environmentally friendly.
A good lure to target bass and especially trout. An excellent choice for clear water applications where fish may spook easily
A reasonable price for a unique lure that most fish in North America probably haven't encountered too much before
A simple setup that can be fished many ways, but doesn't have many features other then a design that works
A good design that offers unique action, easy to fish. Just make sure not to fish near heavily weeded structure as the lure can snag up
Good for so many multiple techniques that include casting, trolling, and jigging
Pluses and Minuses:
J Many ways to fish Tassie
L Not Weedless
L May be hard to find locally
J Good Performance
J Many color/size choices
Conclusion: Wigston may not be as well known on this side of the Pacific...but the Tassie is definitely making a name for itself with each passing month. Ever since the first lure rolled off the production line in 1979 Wigston continues to add more colors and sizes to its already robust lineup. One of the most exciting new designs are the new Sparkler Lures which now offer a flashier element to a proven design. While still somewhat difficult to find in many local stores anglers that cannot find the lures at local shops can always order the lures online from Cabelas. In all of our tests the Tassie performed very well, and proved to be a proven fish catcher for both Trout and Bass. While lure pattern and size selection is important, it is good to know that you have over 90 patterns to pick from. The Tasmanian Devil has come a long way since it's early roots in a small Tasmanian town, and truly does deserve a good look if you are looking for a unique lure that you can fish many different ways for a variety of gamefish, on both sides of the pond.