By Billy “Hawkeye” Decoteau

FLW Tour Angler and National Guard Team member Michael Murphy is by far one of the most educated and knowledgeable Professional Bass Anglers in the United States! A Purdue University graduate, former College Team Bass competitor, Murphy’s determination for perfection may only be outdistanced by his extraordinary understanding of behavioral life in the underwater aquatic world of the Black Bass. (

“Although, realistic appearance is imperative to enticing bass to eat your bait, there are other natural instincts shaped by biological necessities utilized by bass for survival,” lectures Murphy. Listening as Murphy preceded, factors such as the inner ear, lateral line and a bass’s olfactory glands for its sense of smell were all imperative to his design and research in developing both his signature series ima Flit-120 and his newest ima lure Murphy’s Flit-100. (

While most designers might start sketching lure configurations, Michael Murphy turned to the most common baitfish forage for bass, the Herring. “Most people do not realize the Herring family includes Gizzard Shad and Threadfin Shad incorporating the huge family of all shads found throughout America.” Murphy’s design goals included, mimicking the most realistic action possible, developing a high pitch sound resembling that of the Herring, while echoing a sign of distress. And, of course his design required the ability to be cast long distances with precise accuracy, while keeping the bait at the optimum depth.

With his ima Flit-120 introduction successfully paving the way with positive tournament results, Murphy’s research and design regained its momentum. “Sometimes it’s the little temptations that are deadliest. This is the primary reason why ima Lures made the decision to add the ima. Flit-100-sized bait in eight-colors to our wildly successful Flit 120 series,” revealed Murphy.

Professor’s Murphy’s seminar continued, “Herring are flat sided with wider back sections as opposed to being round sided as found in most jerkbaits on the market, the ima Flit-100 has the same flatter sides in a triangular shape similar to Herring as does it’s bigger brother the Flit-120. Thus allowing the Flit-100 to track with realistic Herring precision movement during the snapping jerkbait motions applied by an anglers rod.”

“With water being displaced down the Flit-100 and Flit-120’s sides then off the tail sections, Murphy’s ima Flit’s incorporate a walking the dog action much harder, tighter and better than any other jerkbait,” reports Matt Paino of Optimum Baits, ( an expert on Japanese baits.

Murphy adds, “In situations where most anglers are working soft plastic jerkbaits with a single hook, the ima Flit-100 with its tighter walk, two treble hooks, and ability to turn 180 degrees face-to-face with following bass, day-in and day-out will entice more bites!”

While the 120 outperforms its competition and can be used in an exceptionally wide range of circumstances, Murphy said that its little brother adds to its versatility. He wouldn’t want to be without either one in the boat at any time. “Together, they’re a dynamite year-round combination ready to put fish in your livewell under almost any condition!”

“Here’s the lowdown,” he explained. “The ima. Flit-120 is a typical, popular three-hook design. It’s made for fishing on the highways bass utilize, like migration routes and channel swings when bass are more aggressive. The ima. Flit-100 on the other hand is a smaller two-hook design for less aggressive bass………..the ima. Flit-100 is a jerkbait for every situation all year long!”

The ima. Flit-100 has two triangular BB chambers, one less than the ima. Flit-120, a smaller profile mimicking smaller forage, with a shallower diving capacity of 3-5 feet verses the ima. Flit-120’s 6-8’ depth range. “In order to achieve the high pitch sound resembling that of the Herring, we developed a triangular internal chamber to hold the small BB style weights. This system maximized the sound by ricocheting the round BB style weights at constant angles. Thereby emitting a controlled realistic consistent baitfish sound,” reports Murphy.

Although, the ima. Flit-100 has a softer more subtle sound than the ima. Flit-120, both models still utilize a bass’s lateral line to stimulate and increase strikes. “It’s possible to have too much sound at times, especially when bass are skittish or follow your bait but not eat it! This is when the ima. Flit-100 will out perform it’s bigger brother, and also the reason it is so important to have both models on your deck rigged and ready at all times,” instructs Murphy. “This combination gives an angler the most realistic presentation possible,” claims Professor Murphy. (

In a joint effort with ima Lures, Michael Murphy spent over one and half years researching and designing the ima Flit-100 to perfection. “Since the body of the ima Flit creates all of the baits action resembling the shape of a Herring and creating the perfect swimming cadence, it was imperative that the bill design not take away this natural realistic movement,” says Murphy. “To accomplish this we placed a smaller skinner forward pointed bill on the nose of the ima. Flit-100 similar to the ima. Flit-120.”

Murphy also suggests his smaller pointed ima Flit-100, as with the ima. Flit-120 bill design not only produces the perfect Herring suspending depth, it is more user friendly resulting in a less tiring jerkbait technique presentations for anglers.

“With the ima Flit-100 and ima. Flit-120, anglers will achieve more positive results and maximum depth, by simply turning the handle on their reels once or twice to straighten their ima. Flit jerkbait and get it heading in the right direction!”  Murphy advises, starting and stopping with a slack-line jerking retrieve, verses trying to crank the bait to its maximum depth then start their jerking motion. In addition Murphy suggest anglers work their ima. Flit jerkbaits with soft twitches of their rod tip and keep their rod tips close to the water to maximize depth.

Not only does Michael Murphy’s ima. Flit-100 match the hatch perfectly, but also anglers can walk it back and forth six or seven times within a three-foot pull. “It’s that type of torture that often pulls in the biggest fish in the area,” says Murphy. Stating, “The strikes are sometimes subtle – just a “tick” or a slow swimming away – but when you rear back the fight is on.”

For Professor Michael Murphy, setting the hook, working the ima Flit jerkbaits properly and making long precise accurate casts were all active factors when it came to balancing his tackle for implementing his ima. Flit-100 and ima. Flit-120 jerkbait techniques. Murphy’s yearn for balanced performance perfection, turned to Scott Estes of Denali Custom Fishing Rods, located in Mountain Home, Arkansas. (

The problem with ‘Rack-Rods’ (Mass produced for retailers) is that no two rods are exactly the same, especially from different manufactures. Knowing he had designed the most unique, perfect performing shad imitating jerkbaits available, Murphy’s years of research and design held a foregone conclusion……………… He needed the perfect Jerkbait-Rod for implementing the technique!

“Scott’s ability to combine today’s most technologically advanced rod building materials with Denali Rods ‘Old World Craftsmanship’ is second to none,” says Murphy. “His patience and zeal for perfection during our many tedious hours on the water field testing mirrored my own perfectionist personality!”

“Denali Custom Rods has designed the ‘Perfect Jerkbait’ technique specific rod! I am honored and flattered to have my own signature Custom Rosewood Series Michael Murphy Jerkbait Rod,” announced Murphy.

According to Scott Estes, Murphy’s signature Rosewood Series Jerkbait Rod is available in both baitcast and spinning models, measures 6’10”, designed with a limber tip for precise accurate long cast, and a medium-heavy backbone furnishing anglers the power to land lunker bass. “Besides being feather light, extremely sensitive, and durable,” Murphy says, “Denali Rods has developed the perfect tool for maximizing the ima Flit’s effectiveness!” (Murphy recommends his signature series Denali Rosewood Series Jerkbait spinning rod with the ima. Flit-100, and his signature series Denali Jerkbait baitcast rod for the larger ima. Flit-120)

Be sure to log unto to keep up with Michael Murphy’s National Guard wrapped Ranger as he travels across the county competing on the FLW Tour Series. And, if you happen to be at one of the tournament locations stop by the Denali Rod booth spend some time chatting with Scott Estes, look at his complete line of high quality Denali Rods and I promise you’ll be glad you did!

God Bless and Best Bass’n