MAH 395 Posted February 16 Report Share Posted February 16 I've been fishing for over 40 years, so grew up with fibreglass rods, monofilament and bait. Now I have rod rack full of carbon fibre rods, it took me a bit longer to switch over to braid, but up until recently I was still a bait fisho and just didn't use soft plastics or other lures (except squid jigs). I bought plenty, vibes, hard bodies, soft plastics, and would give them a try but next session I would be back to bait. But this summer I have taken the time to focus on soft plastics. Sure I still pump nippers for YFW and use gents for garfish, but I've spent most of my time learning to use soft plastics. My target species for learning more about soft plastics has been the humble tommy ruff and 90% of the time I've targeted them off Glenelg jetty. I think a common species of a local jetty has been a very useful way to learn and is basically full circle back to when I was a kid fishing for tommies off Pt Vincent wharf. Tommies are an interesting fish on soft plastics. They are fairly abundant and readily take a soft plastic, but when hooked, they go nuts with rapid head shakes and early on I was dropping many fish. First thing I changed was my rod. I was using a Daiwa Crosscast Rockfishing rod, it's a light rod with a fast action, rated for 3-10gm lures. at 7'8" it was a good rod for casting distance, the fast action was good for the initial strike, but it was too fast, too stiff for tommies as it lacked the suppleness to have enough bend to keep the pressure on and soak up the head shakes. Luckily I had the ideal rod in the rack and started to use an Atomic Arrowz Bream Surface. This rod had an immediate impact on my success rate landing fish. I pair this with a 1000 Stradic Ci4+. Probably the biggest impact has been trying different ways to rig soft plastics. I started out using the standard jig heads most people use. There are plenty of people who use these jig heads with success, but I'm not one of them. So I started to use the American style offset worm hooks, setup like a cheb rig. This was an improvement, but I still was dropping more fish than I was happy with. Like a jig head, the cheb rig has the weight right at the front of the soft plastic and my gut feel was the tommies used the weight and violent head shakes to throw the hook. Next change was to use a running rig setup, or what the Americans refer to as a Carolina rig. Since changing to this rig, I rarely drop a fish. Apart from sussing out the right rod and rig, I've settled on S-Factor for scent. I tried Pro-Cure, but it's always out-fished by the S-Factor. For soft plastics, I most commonly use paddle tail style, but also have success with curly tail grubs. I've tried name brand lures like Zman Slim Swimz and no name cheapies off Aliexpress. Zman are certainly durable and if using the cheapies on a jighead they get destroyed quickly, however I've found the cheapies are pretty good on an offset worm hook, A jig head holds the lure very firmly and the lack of give means the cheapies have the tail easily ripped off, as opposed to the super stretchy Zman. But on the worm hook, the cheapies are not held on as firmly a get pull down the hook rather than tearing up and last much longer. I vary the size of the cheapies, sometimes using a 5mm and sometimes a 7.5mm, and change depending on what is firing up the fish. As a general rule I find the bigger tommies hit the bigger lures more readily. It took me a while to get the hang of soft plastics, but now this old dog readily get a feed. I look at the weather, and if fine, just grab a rod, reel and a few soft plastics; very minimalistic, but a great way to fish and I don't know why I didn't try earlier. bjorn2fish, gregtech, Yorky and 5 others 7 1 Quote Link to post Share on other sites
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