Triple Threat, Michael Murphy, Talks about the IMA Flit 120

Triple Threat, Michael Murphy, Talks about the IMA Flit 120

Triple Threat, Michael Murphy, Talks about the IMA Flit 120

by May 25, 2013


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Triple Threat, Michael Murphy, has diverse strengths as a Fisheries Biologist, Pro Angler, and Lure Designer. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Fisheries & Aquatic Science, has been featured on the cover of FLW magazine, and designed lures for IMA. His design credits are also featured on the packaging of the IMA Flit 120 and the new Floating Flit 120. We recently connected with the 32-year old to learn more about the design and function of these Japanese lures.

Michael told us about how he became involved in designing lures for IMA.Jerk Bait - IMA Flit 120

“I have been a lure designer, not by inspiration, but more by default. I received my start working for SPRO corporation working with the likes of Dean Rojas and Bill Siemental. I was the in-between-guy between them and the factory. Given my background in sales and fisheries biology, my strong points have always been my understanding of what the fisherman is wanting and what the factories limitations and capabilities are.”


April 2009 Cover of FLW Outdoors

IMA clearly recognized Michael’s strong points in designing the Flit series. IMA prides itself as a premium lure manufacturer which is marketed worldwide.

“It was designed to play on characteristics that make various jerkbaits out there good, and improve on that; as well as to more easily carry on the cadence as a baitfish or shad; match the hatch. What we came up with is not new by any means, or by jerkbait standards, but a better mouse trap. It plays on multiple things that trigger bass to bite from a scientific standpoint, instead of just one or two. It is a newer generation, better jerkbait.”

Looking at the Flit 120, I noticed that it has a thinner and longer profile than most other jerk baits, as well as a uniquely pronounced arched back. With its smaller, more subtle hook, it is specifically designed with bass in mind.

IMA Floating Flit Jerk Baits in Flash Bass Bone and Flash Blue Gill Bone

IMA Floating Flit jerkbaits shown here in Flash Bass Bone and Flash Blue Gill Bone

Michael told us,

“One of the biggest keys of the IMA Flit, is that the action is designed into the body. With many jerkbaits, companies will design a round unnatural cigar looking body, and then design the bill to obtain action and depth. Our bill was designed to obtain depth, with an angle to maximize the depth. It looks narrow, but you will notice it is no wider than the body, because it has no need to be, as well not to impair the lures action. The current bill will obtain a depth of 6-8-ft deep on 10-lb fluorocarbon. On 8-lb line, you could get it slightly deeper;  and with heavier lines it will deaden the action a bit. I sometimes use 12-lb flouro when the water is extremely cold, in the 45 degree or colder months. Any mono or co-polymer used will keep it from maximizing its depth.”

Michael’s experience in fisheries biology became clear as he expanded on the Flit 120’s strengths.

” The Flit 120 excels best in pre-spawn conditions for and in the fall when the water is typically cooler than 60 degrees for largemouth. Smallmouth for whatever reason, just love it any time of year. For the Floating Flit, it works best when they are eating top-waters; and it especially excels around the bass spawn and bluegill spawn time frames.”


MichaelMurphy-IMAFlit120-Jerk Bait


Michael explained some of the key characteristics of new Floating Flit.

“Wake it. The Floating Flit is made of a different plastic. It is more dense, and still keeps a similar weight for casting distance. With the lack of internal weights it is also more buoyant. The design is based off of the Flit 120, so it naturally has the same bill angle.”

Lots of pro anglers love to modify their baits to optimize them for specific conditions. Michael explained to us some possible modifications to the Floating Flit.

“Many people are heating up and bending the bill downward to allow it to walk easier.”

When we asked Michael about recommendations for line, rod and reel combinations with the Flit series, we learned that Michael has also become involved in designing rods.

“With a standard suspended Flit, I like my Signature Michael Murphy Denali jerkbait/topwater rod. It is 6’8″ in length. I like to fish it with a Lews BB1 6:1 mid speed gear ration reel and 10-lb ‘Toray’ Bawo Premium Plus High-Grade fluorocarbon. I fish it in a downward jerk pause motion. This length rod is perfect for me to not continually drag my rod tip on the water, and has a slightly shorter handle to not constantly catch clothing when you are bundled up in cold weather conditions. I prefer to use a cranking setup with the Floating Flit. I like a 7’6″ medium action Denali Rods cranking rod, with 10-lb ‘Toray’ Bawo Nylon Polyamide Plus, and a Lews BB1 5:1 low speed gear ratio reel. This allows you to walk it much easier with your rod held in an upward position, and with a consistent reeling retrieve.”

Given all of Michael’s insight, anglers should definitely be giving the Flit 120 a try this season!

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