Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

People really want to know about the weightless soft plastics

I have been to a couple of fishing shows over in Ireland recently, and for all the shiny hard lures that I have been showing anglers, it has generally been these various different senkos or soft plastic stickbaits (Slug Go, Hogy, etc.) that have generated the most interest. From this I sort of deduce that many lure anglers are pretty comfortable with a lot of the hard lures and how we might all use them (in a lot of different ways of course), but there is without doubt a huge amount of interest in soft plastics for bass fishing - and of course for pollack and wrasse as well. Once anglers see a senko kind of lure rigged weightless and weedless it seems that a lot of brains start to buzz with the potential, and especially amongst those bass anglers who specialise in fishing lots of shallow, rough as rats ground.

Hawg Wild 6'' Hawg Sticks (chocolate mint colour ) plus Mustad 5/0 Swimbait hook with hitchhiker

What I am always at pains to point out to other anglers is that on a scale of one to ten with fishing these weightless soft plastics I am perhaps at level one (beginner !!) - the point is that if I am at level one and can still catch bass on them then they must work well and also be pretty easy to use. Yes, there are more than likely a thousand different ways in which a weightless senko might be fished (on the drop, bump it along the bottom on a Texas rig, let it swing in a current etc.), but the simple fact is that a very simple twitch/pause kind of retrieve works pretty well - depending on the kinds of ground you are fishing of course.

Wave Fishing 5'' Tiki-Bambook Stick plus Mustad 3/0 Swimbait hook with hitchhiker

Nearly always the first question I get when I show somebody a simple weightless set up like the one you can see above is "but where's the weight ?". So I then tend to hand them the lure and get them to realise how relatively heavy these things can be and therefore how well they can actually cast if needs be. "Doesn't look like much does it ?" is another response I sometimes hear. And I would agree. A senko hardly jumps at you with the kind of "buy me" attraction that many of the hard lures have, but it's us anglers who have to get our heads around the fact that a lure (hard or soft) does not always have to have a big, obvious action to catch fish.

Hawg Wild 6'' Hawg Sticks (yellow colour ) plus Mustad 5/0 Swimbait hook with hitchhiker

Aside from the countless ways in which soft plastics like these can be fished, the thing that seems to strike home to most anglers I have been talking to is how much sense an essentially weedless lure makes for the ground they fish. I have a serious thing for what I tend to call ultra-shallow diving hard lures such as the IMA Komomo SF125 or the Tackle House Feed Shallow, but however shallow lures like these can be made to swim there is often a lot of ground that you simply can't fish them in to. The thing that makes the most sense to me at the moment is that I can now fish an effective lure into all kinds of ground and worry very little about losing it or spending half my time trying to wrench it out of the weed. The weedless and weightless soft plastics are giving me more options, and I have no doubt that as I learn how to fish them better and more varied that over time they will prove even more useful to me. By no means are these kinds of soft lures replacing my hard lure collection, rather I am always carrying a few with me these days to give me a few more options when I might need them...........

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