Soft Plastics 101

Soft Plastic Lure Super Long Tail
Soft plastic bait has certainly advanced over the years, and there are many advantages over traditional hard bodied lures. Soft plastics better resemble live bait and real food for the fish, so when the fish bites, it feels more natural and will stay in the mouth longer, giving more time to set the hook. People often forget that the fish do not have hands to check out the potential food source so they rely heavily upon the initial feel in the mouth. Here are just a few key pointers for fishing with soft plastics:
  • Using braid as the main line is the go to option because it does not allow any stretch and increases the line’s sensitivity so you can feel when anything touches the lure. Fluoro-Carbon as the leader is also beneficial because it is virtually invisible while in the water and less susceptible to breaking around rocks oysters or sharp teeth.
  • Weedless rigs with worm hooks are also advantageous because the hook can be hidden against the body of the soft plastic which makes it more difficult for snags to occur which means you can get in the thick the hiding places within snags without worrying about getting stuck (or worrying much less anyway).
  • Always be sure that when you rig your soft plastics, you are making sure that they are straight, so they won’t spin or tilt. When they spin or tilt, the natural action of the lure will be lost and fish can sense something is up. Companies spend big bucks on getting the natural action of lure so if they are not on straight you will lose many of the key advantages.
  • Soft tip rod to allow the lures the natural swimming action to prevail.
  • Good reel with smooth drag to manage the fight.
  • Vary the speed, duration, and pattern of your retrieve. Keeping the retrieve the same every day may not be helpful. Switch it up between going faster and slower and twitching and stopping, and you will see that what might have worked one-day last week, will not always work the next week. General rule of thumb is you are retrieving too fast! So slow down and enjoy.
  • Practice casting as much as you can and you will see the difference accuracy can make to your success. Getting your lure right in close to the snags or shadows is sometimes critical, for example, your sensitive fish like bream are often in the shadows of the overhang from the shoreline sometimes only grass, and if you cannot get your lure into that thin shadow you are making life very difficult for yourself.
  • Work out where the fish are feeding in the water column to determine the weight you want to fish and retrieval rate.
  • Match the hatch use the plethora of resources to determine what the fish are eating in the area.
  • Finally get amongst it! Soft plastic lure fishing eliminates much of the fuss that people associate with fishing; no smelly bait, no preparation time, no need to go and get the bait. Also it is easy to clean up, you are not stuck in one spot, more active as you are, always on the lookout for bits of structure or what other people are doing, and the list goes on.  You can walk down to any body of water and flick a soft plastic anytime, who knows you might even catch a fish!
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