Keep Hawaiian Eye Lures Looking New

Prevent the skirts from getting tangled after use
removing tangles from lure skirts
Downy fabric softener helps remove tangles in lure skirts. Capt. Jason Walcott

Almost every single billfish boat on the Eastern Seaboard from Florida to New Jersey pulls at least one blue-and-white Ilander lure/ballyhoo combo or one of its clones. (The original Ilander lure is known as the Hawaiian Eye.)

These simple, bullet-head lures with a double row of hair skirts account for a good number of blue marlin (and other species) catches every year. You’d probably get kicked off the boat if you tried to fish a marlin tournament without one in North Carolina.

One of the shortcomings that comes with pulling Ilander lures is that their hair skirts, which add so much life in the water, get tangled up and matted if they aren’t cared for properly. Recently, Capt. Brian Speedy from Speedy Dredge Systems showed me an excellent way to care for tangled Hawaiian Eye lures. First, he soaks all his lures in scentless Downy fabric softener for a day. Then, while the lures are still wet, he combs the knots out of each lure with a thick hair comb. He then places the lures in the sun to dry completely before stowing them away. If you follow this procedure after every trip, your lures will look brand new for many trips to come.


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