Why use UV?

Why Use UV?

Every once in a while, something will shake the fishing-tackle business and change the way it presents its wares to the angling public. Sometimes it’s a new style of lure, and sometimes it is a new material. The latest potential thing is the use of ultraviolet pigments in lures – not the light itself, but instead the finishes that reflect ultraviolet light, or UV as it’s popularly known.

To get scientific, UV light is that end of the light spectrum just beyond violet; it has a wavelength of 400 nanometres or less. It is the invisible-to-humans. It’s the stuff that makes us burn in the sun and is mostly reflected by the ozone layer. Humans can’t see it, with a few exceptions, but – and here is the big thing for the industry – many fish can. In fact, many fish use it to find food, mates and identify predators.

Fishermen are becoming aware of the fact that lures that reflect UV light catch fish and, in some cases, more fish than similar lures that don’t.

Big Brand companies like Rapala, Savagear and numerous others have come out with a series of UV coated lures. Most of these are used on bright fluorescent colours. UV Bright finish reflects more light energy, strengthening the lure’s visibility. Rapala’s UV finishes are a unique combination of fluorescent paints, reflective surfaces and optical brighteners that make the lures more brilliant in any light.

The best time to use the UV finish or twitch-baits and crank baits like the Tail Dancer is either under low-light conditions, in murky water, during strong algae blooms and especially during cold-fronts when fish are not necessarily feeding, but because of the strong UV colours they can still be teased into striking. If you have not fished the UV finish body baits or spoons, you may want to give them a try. It’s no gimmick, they really stand out and are very visible to fish! Rest because we add Fish Attractants to our

According to Zack Jud, a fisheries biologist at Florida International University, there are two reasons why fish have developed the ability to see reflected UV light. First, perceiving UV-reflective patterns on fish skin helps them recognize a mate or an enemy. The other reason is because food sources such as transparent plankton are much easier to pick out when they’re reflecting UV light.


UV light penetrates murky water, just as it does clouds. While baits may not look any different in your hand, the UV reflective properties make them more visible at any depth or in any water condition than similar baits without UV enhancement.



From the September 2013 issue of Field & Stream magazine.
Canadian Sport Fishing. Tackle Trade World Magazine