I would like to introduce you to products from Charlie
Brewer's Slider Company, located in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee.
A Tribute to Charlie Brewer
Background. Charlie Brewer is a
nationally-known fishing celebrity and lure inventor. In 1998,
Charlie was inducted into the "Fresh Water Hall of
Fame." You can read a bit more about Charlie Brewer by clicking here. Charlie
Brewer passed away in early 2000. Thanks, Charlie, for inventing
an important part of our sport and for becoming an important
person in our bass fishing history.
Slider Fishing. Charlie's most
famous invention is the soft plastic Slider worm and Slider
method of fishing it, plus weighted jig heads custom-designed for
them. The Slider "method" and Slider lures were
introduced in the late seventies. Sliders are still highly
popular and productive lures in lightweight bass sizes.
It's an entire philosophy. I
think that every ten years or so, a new generation of bass
fishermen joins the ranks. If you started bass fishing during the
nineties, then you may not have seen or heard much about Slider
fishing. Charlie Brewer not only invented a line of light tackle
baits and jigs, but he invented a whole method and he articulated
an entire philosophy of "finesse fishing" long before
anyone else ever uttered a word about finesse. His original
philosophy still exists in book form, plus a beefy addendum
written to supplement the book, and a video. It is still
"required reading" for anyone who wants to understand
and master bass fishing!
Where slider fishing excels. The
Brewer line of baits and jigs are designed for light tackle
fishing. The baits are small, the hooks are needle-sharp fine
wire. It is an area of fishing that is not covered robustly by
other vendors' soft plastics and weighted hooks/jigs. Most other
vendor's offerings are heavier-made baits and jigs than Slider
items. Therefore, Slider items fill a very important niche that
few other vendor fills at the light tackle end of the bass
What I don't use often. First and
foremost, let me say that I do not use the Slider Lizards,
Crawfish, Spider Web Jigs, or Slider Rods. That says nothing
either for or against them - they have all caught bass for me -
just that I don't use them often.
What I do use often. I use
the following Slider plastics and jigheads quite often:
3" Slider Bass Grub.This has the typical round
grub body, but it has a "shad tail" or "boottail"
rather than a curly tail. It is deadly on light tackle for large
numbers of average-sized smallmouth. Available in 19 colors
including solids, glitters, 5 firetails, and 1 core shot. The top
three colors that Charlie Brewer sells are black/chartreuse tail,
watermelon seed, and pearl white. In addition, I like the
4" Slider Worm. Available in 52 colors including
solids, firetails, core shots, glitters, and two-tone laminates.
The top three colors that Charlie Brewer sells includes
black/chartreuse tail, watermelon green, sour grape.
5" Slider Worm. This worm has more bulk all around
than the 4" Slider worm. You WILL catch a larger grade of
fish on this worm. Availaible in 8 colors including solids,
glitters, and 2 firetails. Again, you cannot go wrong with
Slider Heads. There are six styles of Slider jig heads
in the full line-up. All have thin wire diameter hooks that work
best with light tackle.
1/8, 3/16, 1/4
head and offset hook. Best for thin profile baits (worms,
reapers, etc.) from 3" or 4". The 1/8 oz. is the
bestseller of all Charlie Brewer Slider jigs.
||This is a
traditional leadhead jig with the unique Slider flat plate
bottom. I rarely use it because I almost always fish in weeds or
cover where I will get hung up or glopped up in weeds. However,
in weed-free and coverless areas often, this is a deadly jig head
for the 4" and 5" Slider worms, and a tube bait killer
(superglue the tube onto the collar.
||This is a
compromise between the SH and the WSH. Think of it as the SH with
a longer offset Texas hook that makes it more snagless and allows
you to "texpose" longer baits. Because the SSH hook's
eye position is center-balanced, it has a better wavering action
on the retrieve than the WSH, but it will get glopped up more in
weedy spots than the streamlined WSH. So you see, it truly is a
compromise that has the best features of the SH (center balance,
wavering action) and the WSH (Texas-style hook to make it more
flattened plate head and offset hook with the longest, largest
(3/0) hook of all Slider heads. It is EXTREMELY weedless and
snagless. The 1/8 oz. is the second best seller of all Charlie
Brewer Slider jigs. Excels for ripping 4" to 6"
soft jerkbaits. For 5" curly tail grubs, 6" to 7"
ribbontail worms, the entire lure body and jig hook (not just the
tail) will wobble back and forth. You have to reel slowly so it
does not twist your line.
||Too small for all
but the most extreme ultra-finesse bass fishing. Although the CSH
is good for this, I prefer the Bobby Garland Crappie TR Leadhead
- but I am talking about fishing lighter than most have probably
ever done for bass!
||This is simply the
SPH with a larger 3/0 hook with heavier wire. Best for worms and
thin profile baits from 5" to 6".
Slider heads are far from standard. They have a custom-bent
offset in the shank. They belong to a family of weighted hooks
called "Texas jigs" which are a hybrid of lead jigs
with offset shank Texas rigging hooks. All have thin wire
diameter hooks that work best with light tackle.
Is it ultralight tackle for small bass?
If you really want to fish Sliders in their "pure
form", Charlie Brewer offers several models of their Ultra-Lite
Rods with genuine "Tennessee reel seats" whereby you
tape an ultralight reel right onto the cork handle! It's the
ultimate with 4-6 lb. test, which is how most anglers think of
Slider Fishing - skinny wisps of worms on miniature rods, reels
and line. It's such a fun way to fish, isn't it? You just
reel in slow, steady, keep it just above bottom, and basically DO
NOTHING. But SOMETHING is always tapping and nipping at those
sliders, whether small bass or panfish. If you want tons of
attention, slip on a Slider! Sure, you get some big bass on
sliders too. But, I think it is fair too say that there are
better ways to target big bass - better than ultralight tackle
with the slider head and slider worm.
Bulk up your Slider fishing. What
I want to tell you next is that you can continue to work within
the "slider system" by bulking up a bit. In the
remainder of this article, I'll tell you how you can use my
favorite three out of the six different styles of slider jig
heads to present progressively bigger baits, thereby attracting
progressively bigger bass.
The hook dimensions dictate the size
of bait, rod, reel and line. The hook in the SPH jig always works
best with small, thin baits on 6-8 lb. tackle. The hook in the
SPC is much better suited for 5-6" worms on 10 lb. test, and
the WSH jig hook is ideal for fatter worms and grubs on tackle in
the 12 lb. range! So, select a hook to match the size of your
bait, the tackle you will use to deliver the bait, and the size
of bass you expect to catch!
A good soft rod. You may be
noticing now that I am a little more heavy-handed than Charlie
Brewer in my slider applications. Therefore, I recommend a rod
such as the 7" Shimano Convergence (CV70PMB). It's a
moderately-priced choice of rod for fishing bigger Slider
tactics. Seven foot with a sensitive tip, softish feel, and it's
under fifty dollars. Such a rod is a general purpose
"soft" set-up that handles smaller-sized spinnerbaits
and crankbaits too. Keep the line within the 8-10 range, and
you'll have a ball using this light tackle with some of the
"bigger" Slider tactics mentioned below.
Depth and Weight Control. As far
as selecting different weights, the actual weight of the jig head
has little bearing on the tackle or bait I use. Rather, I use the
1/16, 1/8 or 1/4 oz weights simply to achieve more depth. I
prefer to keep sliders moving slowly, essentially doing nothing
close to the bottom.
Okay, the SPH goes great with the
straight 4" Slider Worm in black with a blue or chartreuse
tail tip. Relative to other thin 4" worms, the Slider Worm
is a slightly fatter, softer worm that exhibits a floating sort
of action. I also like Kalin's straight 4" Western Worm,
which is thinner, harder, and more pointed on both ends. It sinks
and darts a little more sharply than other worms, especially when
you flick the rod tip. I like the one with a black/red flake
back, clear belly, and chartreuse fire tip. At times, I also use
Kalin's curly-tailed 4" Salty Lunker Worm in black/red,
white, or smoke/metal flake. For a small worm, the curly tail
generates good vibration, and does not get ripped off that easily
by short striking fish.
The Slider SPC model is a better choice for
5" to 6" worms, either straight or ribbontails. Some
curly tail plastics exhibit incredible wobbling action on this
head! I also like to use some of the zipper-style worms, such as
Mister Twister's Exude Fry. Try some of the fry styles or
ringworm styles often used for Carolina rigging.
Don't forget Zoom Trick Worms and other floating worms work well.
The more buoyant plastic formulation makes these floating worms
rise and fall on the SPC head. There are so many baits in this
size range. Try 'em all! Just make sure the baits are not too
bulky for the hook dimensions, okay?
The WSH model of Slider head is my favorite!
Use it with the fat-bodied 5" Kalin's Salty Lunker Grub in
black, white, smoke, chartreuse - or any color. You must rig the
curly tail pointing up, otherwise the grub spins. But if you
retrieve it slow and steady, it creates a wide, side-to-side
rolling, wobbling waddle. Stick a glass rattle or two into the
fat body! I love to hold the rod tip way up to make this one
bulge just under the surface near cover on glassy calm days. Also
the WSH is a great way to use soft plastic stickbaits like the
6" Slug-go or the slinky 7" Slug-go SS in the black/red
flash (113) or Golden Shiner (45) colors. Just rip it through
weeds or on flats in 4 to 6 depths. Because of the jig head
(superglue it on), this rig holds up better than an unweighted
Slug-go, and you can more easily control it at mid-depths or work
it just above weedtops or the bottom. Best of all, you can
"rip" it viciously, like you would a hard plastic
jerkbait! Just develop a cadence of reeling in a few turns, then
jerking or "ripping" the lure with the rod tip, and
then pausing. You get bit during the pause. Occasionally, just
let it drop dead to the bottom. Bass will follow it down and suck
it up as it lies motionless! If not, just let it lie still for a
while, then rip it good - and brace your feet for what happens
next! Sounds easy, but there are infinite variations on this
technique -- how fast to reel, how hard to jerk, how long to
pause, and how to mend SLACK in the line right after you rip --
that makes it a true art! Try it. Parallel cast along bare banks,
or rocky rip-rap banks with a few feet of water up close, and a
drop to 4-6 feet nearby. Rip both up close and along the drop.
Stick a few glass rattles sideways into the thickest part of your
Slug-go's body too! Just pass 'em all the way through, then put
the smallest bit of superglue on it, and reinsert the rattle.
It's okay if the ends of the rattles protrude out the sides.
Say, what's happened here? I
thought we were talking about Charlie Brewer's Slider fishing?
Yes, we are. We just "slid" into some bigger baits and
tactics that most people don't think of when someone mentions
Enough already. Go throw 'em a Slider!
Does infinity ever end? We'll attempt
to answer the first one of these two questions here. The one
about the worm. Even though I think the other question (the
infinity ending one) is easier to answer. But since the name of
this site is Bassdozer
instead of TheExpandingUniversedozer,
let's stick to the worm as minnow theory, okay? The solar system
will just have to wait.
Is a Worm A Minnow?
Besides, I never read any books by any famous cosmicologists,
but I did read one by Charlie Brewer, a famous worm fisherman.
Even though I think it may have been 20 years ago when I read it.
Charlie Brewer said so. He wrote a
short book about dragging around his invention on
the end of a string, the 4 inch straight-tailed Slider Worm. I
believe I am correct in summarizing it that Charlie Brewer felt
that a 4 inch straight-tailed worm gave bass the notion that it
was eating a live minnow. Charlie Brewer further expounded that a
4 inch straight-tailed worm imitated a minnow better than most
other lures. Most minnows are about 4 inches long, skinny, and
essentially "do nothing" most of the day but float and
slowly move along rather uneventfully. Unless bothered by a
predator, of course. Then they hide. Charlie Brewer believed that
the exaggerated wiggling motion on most other lures was excessive
and unnatural in terms of imitating minnows, which essentially
glide along on hardly-noticeable flicks of their tails that
propel them forward in a rather straight direction.
Without any other good alternative theories to
latch onto, I am personally inclined to agree with
Charlie Brewer that a 4 inch straight-tailed worm may very well
represent a minnow. Who knows? The universe is full of mysteries,
many of which we can't comprehend. Besides, as far as lures goes,
bass often only need the barest impression or suggestion of their
food, not an ultra-realistic copy of it. To bass, the skinny
shape (often tapered at the head and tail too) and gliding motion
of a 4 inch worm may just be all the recognition that's needed to
trigger a "minnow" impression. Oh yeah, I think Charlie
Brewer also wrote that many minnows' undersides are either clear
like glass and/or reflective like mirrors, thereby letting bass
glimpse the full length but not necessarily the full girth and
shape of a minnow. Sounds like a smoke/sparkle plastic worm to
Don't know if Charlie Brewer is right or wrong on
this, but I try to imitate a minnow whenever I use
a 4 inch worm, and whenever I use a 4 inch tubebait too. Also, 3
to 5 inch single tail grubs.
Heck, I treat 'em all like minnows, shads or
shiners. But the 4 inch worms I treat particularly
like skinny native minnows, which often have more subdued,
natural hues than the more pelagic shiners and shads which are
more metallic, and the perch, sunnies and other panfish fry,
which have warmer colors (chartreuses, oranges, etc.) in their
Personally, I don't think bass are dumb.
They have good instincts, and their entire sensory systems are
better than ours (eyesight/lateral line to detect motion better
than us, highly advanced smell/taste chemoreception comparable to
dogs, and ears for hearing). But I don't know that they pause and
think at all. I am sure they know a worm/tube/grub is not a live
minnow/shiner/shad. Otherwise, it would always be as easy to
catch bass on a worm/tube/grub as it is to catch them on a live
minnow/shiner/shad. But it's usually never that easy with a lure
as with live bait, is it?
However, most lures make at least a few
impressions that trigger a bass to think it is
food - size, shape, motion, water displacement - that semi-fit
the patterns of a preyfish or crayfish which are the predominant
food items. By the way, I think a 4 inch worm in a translucent
smoke sparkle color makes an impression of a native minnow better
than even the best-painted, most expensive crankbait. Most of us
will look at it and automatically assume a fish-colored crankbait
looks like a fish. But to me, even the best crank paint job can't
come as close as a slightly smoke-tinged see-through 4 inch worm,
tube, or single tail grub with sparkle flakes looks (and acts)
like a native minnow.
Still not convinced a worm's a minnow?
I was afraid you might say that, so I have prepared an experiment
you can try. What you should do is go to a prestigious flytying
shop. Ask to speak with the head flytyer and tell him what you
want is the world's best 4 inch minnow imitation fly. He'll
probably stroke his chin, contemplate this deeply and then tell
you what you need is a bucktail "streamer" with all
kinds of red chin, gill cheeks, eyes, pupils in the eyes, fins,
dark back, tinsel and plenty of other snooty stuff tied into it.
All very good so far. Then he'll sit down at the flytying bench,
light up a sweet-smelling pipe, and tie you up his best minnow
imitation. Now, compare what he made you to a 4 inch
straight-tailed worm. Kind of the same size and shape, ain't it?
Long, thin, tapered on both ends? How do you think the world's
best minnow fly will act when you double haul it out into the
water? Betcha it will come in slow and straight, basically
"do nothing" but glide forward in a straight line with
no wiggle or woggle. Betcha bass will belt it too. Betcha they'll
think it's a minnow too. Only I'll catch way more bass on my 4
inch smoke sparkle worm, cause it imitates the coloration of a
native minnow better than the world's best flytyer can imitate
one. Heavy stuff, ain't it?
Okay, ready for the answer to the second
question? It's "Yes".
So catch bass while you still can.