Soft plastic lures, the best soft plastics for fishing
Soft plastic lures : it is a category of lure with a wide variety in shapes, colors, rigging options and applications. Soft plastic lures are rigged on a jig head adapted to the depth or current in order to fish the proper depth in the area.
We fish with soft lures at slow speed for winter time when temperatures drop and the metabolism of fish slows down. The soft lures allow to adapt to most of the fishing conditions by selecting the size and swimming action fitted to the targeted fish.
In case of short bites, you can add a treble hook behind the main hook. You take care to place the treble hook in the right place to avoid the tip of the hook getting stuck in the tail and preventing your lure from swimming properly.
For freshwater fishing for predators, the speed of retrieve of the soft lure must be taken into account according to the temperature of the water. This is the case for pike fishing with a soft lure in winter. We fish with paddle tail shad with a deliberate slow action to stick as much as possible to the lethargic mood of pike in cold water. As for rigging, we use different types of jig heads according to the depth and action chosen (darting head for windo fishing, round head the most versatile, shoe head for pike in vertical presentation).
Let's talk about soft lure fishing for predators !
Category of soft lure: shad, finesse, swimbait
First of all, to define the choice of a lure we start by choosing a predator, depending on the fishing techniques available to us to make our approach. We can fish all depth of water with soft lures, from the surface to the bottom. Here is the presentation of the types of soft lures that will allow us to talk about fishing techniques.
Paddle tail Shad
This soft shad lure is the most widespread model in the boxes of fishermen. It has a fishy shape, elongated, with more or less belly depending on the type or model. What characterizes most a soft shad lure is the shape of its tail, also called a boot tail, or paddle.
Generally it is rounded, sometimes in a V shape or in an inverted V shape, other times it is undersized to emit finer vibrations. It is the most versatile lure in the soft lure category and is suitable for a wide range of fishing techniques such as drop shot, vertical fishing, linear fishing and bottom dragging. In the sea it is ideal for sea bass in traction.
It is used with rounded jig heads, although most jig heads shapes can be adapted. Some models have a slot to facilitate the use of an offset Texas hook, allowing you to fish in dense cover without getting snagged.
What differentiates one shad from another is the hardness of its rubber, for certain types of fishing. We choose soft rubber for slow or linear fishing but also for drop shot fishing allowing to work it in a static way.
The hardest rubbers are preferred for sea fishing for sea bass. In fact, a high hardness ratio is chosen because when fishing in traction, the speed of the current and the movement of the lure must be combined. A soft rubber is quickly over-worked in strong water currents and will be more attractive.
This soft lure finesse shad is a category of its own, very useful for finesse fishing. There are times when the soft shad lure emits too much vibration and can turn into a repellent on apathetic or moody predators.
It is a lure that can be used in linear fishing, it is the king of vertical fishing for zander and other predators such as black bass, pike and perch. In order to keep a finesse rig, we use a jig head as light as we can get away with.
In this way the fine vibrations of the finesse shad, added to a light weighted head does not offer any resistance when a fish bites, it offers the best combination when fishing conditions are difficult. There are different shapes of lures more or less figurative. Some finesse have no detail on their head and present geometrical shapes similar to worms which are the soft earthworms.
The tip of the tail is a crucial element of the finesse shad. There are conical tails that move with the slightest movement of the water, others have a horizontal or vertical V-shaped tail. Other finesse shads have a rounded shape on the terminal tip to add weight for a dynamic action.
Grub also called Twist or curly tail
The soft grub lure also called twist, or curly has a characteristic shape composed of two parts. The head/body part can be uniform or with details such as rings or bulges to increase the vibrations during the retrieve. The terminal part, which defines the swimming action of the grub, can be oriented up or down with a sickle-shaped tail.
The grub's tail kicks at the slightest movement of the lure on its jig head. It is a specific swimming action, complementary to the shad and finesse shad; it emits its own vibrations. We can observe an undulation of the tail which generates medium to high frequency vibrations. The length of the tail is a key element, according to the models it can be equivalent to the length of the body or voluntarily shortened to have a natural and discrete action.
The soft plastic grub, in small size of 3 to 4 inches is also an excellent trailer to increase the size of the bite by threading it on the hook of a chatterbait or spinnerbait. Its fishing is essentially linear but a retrieve on a drop shot rig makes it a fast prospecting lure for large bodies of water. It is one of the best soft lures for zander, perch and black bass fishing.
This is the worm shape originally designed in the United States for black bass fishing. Sizes 5 to 6 inches are the most interesting for fishing, this length allows a great mobility to the soft lure. Most worms have a slot for use with a Texas hook, it is a lure to be preferred for fishing in heavy cover. The worm is not used for fast prospecting but for precision fishing for zander, perch and black bass. These types of spots are often very dense, which is why the worm is used 90% of the time on a Texas rig.
It can be rigged in different ways, wacky, texas rig with weight or weightless. It can also be used on a carolina rig or simply on a drop shot rig to work it around wood or vegetation.
Crayfish (soft lure craw) and creatures
The crayfish and creature category presents soft lures featuring creatures and crayfish. This is a lure originally designed for black bass fishing in grass cover with a carolina rig capable of piercing the weed mat to be worked in this black bass heaven. This soft lure can be used on a Texas jig head or with a carolina rig with an offset hook.
It is a lure that has no equal to be used on a drop shot for the search of zander and black bass. The big perch are fond of creatures and crayfish, we work them on a straight retrieve on a rounded jig head.
In small sizes of 3 to 4 inches these soft lures are excellent trailers, threaded on the single hook of a chatterbait or spinnerbait. Some models have salt impregnated in their gum, which increases the realism of their texture and allows the fish to keep it in its mouth longer before spitting it out. This allows the angler to have a few hundredths of a second more time to set the hook.