Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Do you think that putting rattles in your soft plastics catches you more fish?

I made a classic mistake earlier this year and I am still kicking myself. After Steve came back from Ireland earlier in the summer, we were speaking about the heap of bass they caught on white senkos at night, and with the two of us about to do a trip together in late June/early July, we got on to the subject of rattles in soft plastics. Steve had caught a lot of bass off some clean sandy beaches on his trip, and yes, he had inserted little glass rattles into his white senkos - so I did the same thing, and on our first night on the beach we caught a few bass (check here) - and I have been kicking myself ever since………

Don’t get me wrong, I was over the moon with what happened, indeed catching some decent bass at night on those innocuous looking white senkos has I believe done a lot for me and my lure fishing for bass. Steve and I had a pretty blinding session on a clean beach last week over in Ireland in fact, but why oh why did I go and put rattles in my senkos the first time I really tried this technique at night? My mistake was that I really shouldn’t have put any rattles in my lures and then fished with Steve and seen if there had been a significant difference in our catch rates - but I didn’t, and because I caught bass with rattle-rigged senkos, of course my confidence levels in them are now wrapped up with rattles as an important part of the lure.

But is a rattle important in a soft plastic lure? I know a few anglers who swear by putting little glass rattles into their Black Minnows for example, but so far I can’t say that I have seen any difference in my catch rates from trying this. I am completely open to the idea of sound sometimes being a big thing in catching bass, but I am not there yet with rattles or no rattles in a lure like the Black Minnow. I need to give it more time, but I do like the idea of a rattle in the lure. As for bumping soft plastics along the bottom in a fast run of current and over shallow ground, I am completely sold on a rattle being pretty vital to catching more fish, and this was really banged home to me last week in Ireland. There’s no getting away from how killer the MegaBass XLayer continues to be, but I can’t help thinking that a large part of the lure’s appeal when it’s moving so fast over sandy/gravelly ground is that tick, tick, tick from the little glass rattle towards the tail of the lure. I did actually make up my own version of this sort of lure in Ireland the other day, and it just about made my week when I caught a few bass on it.

But as for fishing a white senko at a slow pace in relatively calm seas, at night, and from a clean beach - does a rattle in the tail of the lure really make a difference? Well I can’t tell you yes or no because my confidence levels as I said are wrapped up with rattles being in the lure, and I kinda feel a bit naked now if I am fishing a white senko without a rattle in there. I know what I need to do though, and that’s to make sure I change over to a rattleless white senko the next time we are in amongst a few fish and see if it makes any difference at all.

I do think that some kind of rattle helps with catching wrasse on soft plastics, but then I also think that such a buoyant plastic like the Z-Man stuff also helps for these fish. A lad I know is convinced that rattles put pollack off big time. My initial experiences of fishing a white senko for bass tended to be in muckier water, indeed white or chartreuse tends to be my go-to colours when conditions have kicked up a bit, but I know that any time I have caught bass on a white senko during daylight hours, there has never been a rattle in the lure. For the most part the glass rattles I have come across are a bit of a pain in the arse, as in they ain’t that cheap and they mostly pretty fragile, but because of my night time experiences you will find me hunched over white senkos performing delicate surgery to get said rattles into them. But does it make a difference? Do you feel confident when your soft plastic is doing its thing and also giving off that tick, tick, tick sound?

How about that for a start to the Rugby World Cup? England just about do enough to get a win and potentially a very important bonus point, but the story of the opening weekend for me was the epic, mind-boggling Japan win over South Africa - surely the biggest ever upset in the history of the RWC? Roll on the next few weeks. Epic stuff.