I was one of the few lucky musky anglers that were able to get their hands on the new Musky Innovations Quad Dawgs before they are released for sale. There has been a lot of talk about this bait and I was eager to see what all the hubbub was about. It only took a few seconds after opening the box of sample Quad Dawgs from the Musky Shop that this lure was not what I had imagined or others has “guessed” that it was. Please be aware the following observations are solely my own, but these are my thoughts on the new Quad Dawg after being able to spend time on the water with it a put a few muskies in the net.
While the Quad Dawg could easily be misconstrued as a “tip of the hat” to another well-known multi-tail musky lure, this comparison ends once you have one in hand. Like many other anglers when pictures of the Quad Dawg where released I imagined it would simply be a Bull Dawg with four tails. I can assure you that is not the case. The first feature of the Quad Dawg that jumped out at me was its body shape and how divergent it was from a Bull Dawg. The Quad Dawg has a narrower body than a typical Bulldawg and features a sharp contour at the nose of the lure which quickly tapers to the “dive lip” of the bait.
This “dive lip” is where things start to get interesting with the Quad Dawg. The afore mentioned narrow body is encompassed by the lures thick flat protruding bottom edge which tapers to the lures tail section. While many anglers will be in awe of the shear number of tails this lure is packing, from a design perspective what this edge design achieves in the water is far more impressive. Before we talk action however it seems mandatory to talk about those tails.
While many anglers guessed that a four tail Bull Dawg would have two vertical tails with two more tagged on horizontally we where simply wrong. The design implemented regarding the tails is far more thought out that this. The tails of the Quad Dawg are situated with the two bottom tails orientated flat in alignment with the bottom of the body and extending out, while the top two tails are positioned at an angle and extending out. This tail orientation creates an “X” shape layout of the tails where you hold this lure in your hand and also subsequently in the water. After spending serious time on the water with the Quad Dawg I was impressed as the tails never tangled and always where in motion making it abundantly clear that serious consideration was put into the tail design and orientation.
While the tails really grab anglers’ attention water testing and actively fishing the Qaud Dawg the more nuanced design features really stole the show. The afore mentioned “dive lip” had a tremendous effect of this lures action and running depth. Using what would be considered a standard sweep, pause retrieve typically used with big rubber jerk baits the running depth the Quad Dawg achieved was impressive. With a moderate speed sweep pause retrieve the Quad Dawg would easily hit eight to ten feet in depth as confirmed by watching the entire retrieve on my Panoptix Unit.
Observing the Quad Dawg on my Panoptix screen revealed some interesting traits regarding how this lure falls between sweeps of the rod. It seemed to my eye that the lure ran more head down on the fall with its quartet of tails parachuting it down as they undulate through the water. With the added surface area of the four tails, it seemed to “hop” or “pop” at the end of each sweep before falling off at a nose down angle. Again the “Dive Lip” should be mentioned as it undoubtably influences the angle of fall via its added surface area and subsequent resistance in the water.
The “Dive Lip” of this lure also creates resistance in the water via surface area during each sweep of the rod, this is where the added running depth is achieved. As each sweep is made this “Dive Lip” is grabbing water forcing the nose / body of the lure down via surface area resistance. This in conjunction with the drag created by the added surface area drag of four tails slows the forward advancement of the lure compared to its contemporaries.
So, what does this mean in a practical musky fishing scenario?
I think from an on the water standpoint the Quad Dawg fills a huge, glaring void in big rubber presentations. In most scenarios musky anglers have to count down, modify or work a rubber lure slowly to achieve serious depth. Conversely the other option has been super-sized heavy rubber lures with fast rates of fall. These heavy lures take a physical toll on anglers and generally become novelty items in their tackle boxes.
The Quad Dawg allows anglers to hit deeper depths with a moderate sized presentation while still retaining an enticing fall on the pause. This is simply something that cannot be found on in typical deep presentations such as traditional tubes and mag rubber presentations. While the Quad Dawg is not a petite lure by any means it doesn’t take Herculean strength to work this lure effectively.
With the pros of this lure in mind I think that it is best application is targeting zones that are six to fifteen feet. Regardless if you are targeting deeper cover such as weeds or wood or structural elements the Quad Dawg easily hits these depths and is perfect for contouring. If you are already having success with deeper rubber presentations such as tubes and mag rubber, I would seriously consider adding the Quad Dawg to your tackle box. Anglers targeting reefs like those found on Shield Lakes should also take advantage of this deeper rubber presentation.
If you generally fish shallow waterways or only comfortable throwing to shallow weed beds ect. the Quad Dawg probably isn’t the right presentation for your musky fishing style.
These are my personal observations regarding a lure and I have most likely missed an attribute or application. That’s the beauty of musky fishing and musky lures, they are tools with endless ways to use them. Add a Quad Dawg to your tackle box see what ways you can dream up to use it.
Tennessee Musky Fishing
Melton Hill Musky Guide.