I saw this spoon for the first time early in 2001 when I received samples of Lindroos products for testing. The strange configuration of the bait was striking. I had already seen a similar device, though that one had been home-made. My teacher in winter baiting of perches, Valera Parfyonov, had used such a Kuningatar, too. The hand-made Kuningatar was called an "airplane" and was very efficient in shallow waters on the first ice.
Kuningatar, the Hit of 2001
It was a little lighter in weight, wider than the company-made spoon and equipped with soldered-in hooks. Equipment of Finnish spoons with hooks deserves a separate discussion, for it was not so long ago that hooks on chains came to us, and they have not become so popular as yet. The more interesting it was to test a new spoon, the more so that it had new equipment.
Actually, Kuningatar is the name of a series of spoons, not a just single spoon. This series comprises 8 types of spoons, and only 4 of them have "wings". But the fact has always been that it is winged spoons that all my acquaintances call Kuningatars. It is about the technique of fishing with these spoons that I want to tell you.
I equip them in two ways - either the native chain with a hook, or a suspended colored belly triple hook. The more intensive the biting, the more desirable the triple hook, paradoxical as it may seem. Generally, when the perch is caught with a spoon and when biting is intensive, many people try to use spoons with soldered-in hooks; moreover, they file down the hooks' barbs. All that is done in order to take off the fish as soon as possible and to lower the spoon back to the hole to keep the perches' excitement and not to let them "creep away" to the neighbours or just shift aside. The quicker the spoon is near the bottom after the fish is taken out, the better. And in our case, everything is vice versa. Instead of a single hook, I suggest that a triple hook be used for intensive biting. Why? The thing is that, in case of weak biting, the perch practically always, with rare exceptions, prefers a coachman (mormuska - a micro-sized balanced jig) to a spoon. Here the suspended colored belly hook helps us very much. And when biting is intensive, the perch beats the spoon itself and in some cases, when the beat is on the upper part of the spoon, the hook cannot get in the fish's mouth.
For those who have not understood the above phrase, I shall provide a more detained explanation. Unlike the pike, the perch does not rush upon the prey with its mouth open, sharply opening the mouth instead when already near the victim and sucking in water, and small fish gets in with water. Therefore, if the beat is on the lower or middle part of the spoon, the hook on the chain gets in the fish's mouth, especially when the perch grips the coachman itself. And when the fish beats only the spoon (intensive biting), it does not make sense to use the chain, and here the triple hook is much more efficient. Though, of course, it is substantially harder to take off fish from a suspended triple hook than from a couple of soldered-in hooks. However, it should be noted that by 'intensive biting', when soldered-in hooks are better than suspended pieces, I mean a daily catch exceeding 15-20 kg. Only in this case will the soldered-in hooks spoon be more efficient than the suspended pieces through the speed of taking off the fish.
Now about the Kuningatar play methods. There are two options. So far, I have not seen how Finns who have created it work with it, however, I proceed as follows:
- When lowered, the spoon shifts far aside. As soon as the line is taken out (it is tightened), the spoon will start going back to the vertical. You either hold the rod without motion, or slightly moving its tip. The bite often starts at this moment. When the spoon returns to the vertical, we start drawing. Knocking on the bottom with the spoon several times (this should be done in fact with any spoon and even with a bob), we smoothly, but quickly lift the spoon by 30 centimeters, slightly accelerating the motion at the very end, and then sharply loosen the line. At that moment, the following happens to the spoon: when being lifted, it slightly goes aside, tumbles "over the head" during acceleration, and when the line is loosened, the spoon sharply goes aside, "waving its wings". Then we pause a little, normally 2 to 6 seconds. During that time the spoon returns to the vertical, without forgetting to "wave the wings". It is at that moment that most of the biting takes place. After the pause, the spoon may be lifted a bit, and then the next drawing will be done in a new water horizon. Thus you can go upwards and look for a perch at a somewhat higher level. In certain situations (depth, line thickness, flow), with this type of drawing, the spoon overlaps, which is typical of all chain-like spoons. I think it acceptable when the spoon does not overlap more than once in 30 to 40 strokes. If overlaps are more frequent, then acceleration at the final stage of the stroke should be omitted. In such a case, the spoon will not perform a tumble, but will just go aside.
- In the second option, initial actions are the same, but the drawing itself differs a little. When the spoon has come back to the vertical, make a fast 5-10 cm strike and make a pause of 2 to 4 seconds. Each time slightly lift the spoon, doing so until the height of up to half a meter over the bottom is reached. It may be even higher, if a perch goes up suddenly.
I do not know, which of the two drawings described above is better. I use the first type, my mate uses the second, and even more frequently we combine these two types of play. And the results we achieve are not so bad. However, anglers are little interested in the fact that the bait CATCHES fish, they are more interested in the fact which bait CATCHES more fish.I can say that of the entire range of Lindroos products, Kuningatar is the best bait for the following conditions: a depth of 4 to 9 meters, no flow, biting intensity from medium-low to high (the daily catch being from 5 to 20 kilograms), with actually any size of the perch.