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Product Reviews: Soft Plastics
By Russ Bassdozer

Strike King Denny Brauer Flip-N-Tube

Denny Brauer has stated that he tends to rely on jig 'n pigs in cooler water or when bass are keying on crawfish. In summer months when bass are prone to be on a daytime diet of shad, Denny tends to flip or pitch the Flip-N-Tube into cover. Also, anytime fish are highly-pressured and need a more subtle presentation, Denny goes to the tube. He'll usually peg the bullet sinker to the bait's head, and he let's the heaviness of the cover dictate the size of the weight. Shallow, sparse cover would get a 1/4 oz. weight. As the cover gets heavier so does the pegged weight. As for colors, Denny states that he uses the same color for tubes as he would for jigs in the same situation. He has won a lot of tournaments on the Black Neon color. In clear water, he tries to use natural looking colors (pumpkin/green flake, watermelon, Chameleon craw). The Flip-N-Tube body is hollow, but its tip is solid which makes the bait better to Texas rig with a wide gap offset hook. Denny has had much success using our Mustad Mega-Bite hook in his tubes. Salt impregnated. Size: 4 1/2"

Strike King Kevin Van Dam KVD Tube

The best size to use in open, clearer water with lighter line applications. Good for smallies everywhere, and it will catch all the average-sized spots or largemouth bass that you can reel in!

It doesn't have the solid tip like Denny Brauer's bigger Flip-N-Tube, and it's best to rig by sticking an open hook jig, like a Yamamoto Round Head Jig, inside of the tube. Poke the jig hook eye out the top near the tip, and tie it to your line. Salt impregnated. Size: 3 1/2"

The Original Zipper Worm

These are the hard-to-find original zipper worms. Western pros have been mopping up on zipper worms the last few years (several million dollars have been won in tournaments so far). Because of the instant success of these lures, many companies now offer zipper style worms. All I can say is, "Do not accept any  imitations." The Original Zipper Worms are THAT good compared to the others. The Western pros have been using zippers as finesse baits by shaking, doodling, splitshotting, dropshotting and other tactics for fish suspended in mid-water or right over deep bottom. Zipper worms are also being used on Texas rigs for flipping shallow cover. Article: Zipper Up Your Worm Please. Size: 5"

Charlie's Worms

You'll probably have to take my word for it - try Charlie's Worms! They are great bass baits, but they're not known very far beyond where they're made in Clewiston, Florida. Roland Martin knows them though, and as I understand it, he's spoken of them on his TV show. One I really like on a jig head is the Twitchin' Shad. It's a soft plastic baitfish with a thin "boot tail" that paddles back and forth even at a slow retrieve. Size: (6", 8", 10" Ribbontail Worms), (5 1/2" Lizard), (4" Chug-O soft jerkbait).

Gambler Worms

Gambler Worms are clear favorites in Florida and the Deep South where tournaments are routinely won using them. Gambler also makes BANG Fish Attractant and the popular Florida Rig Screw-on Weight. Sizes: (6", 7", 8", 10" Ribbontail Worms), (4" Crawdaddy), (4", 6" Flapp'n Shad), (5" Paddle Tail), (5" Stud).

Bass Assassin Shad

This lure perfectly matches the Bass Assassin jig heads! Five inches long, the ideal shad size and shape. With a light jighead, just reel in straight - the dynamics of the lure shape will create a hesitant, gliding, lazy action. On heavier heads, jig with the rod tip, thereby inducing a darting, faltering dance, with frequent pauses. Expect to get hit when the lure pauses between jig strokes. Size: 5"

Yamamoto Custom Baits

We sell the world's finest salt impregnated soft plastics by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits. Click here to learn all about them.

Yamamoto Single Tail Grubs

Standard sizes are 4" for more small bass, 5" for slightly fewer but better than average bass, and the 6" size for focusing on the bigger bass! Most common uses are on open hook jigs or fiberguard jig heads, or Split Shot the smaller models and Texas peg the bigger ones. Articles: Get the Lowdown on Designer Grubs, learn how they're used on their home waters of Lake Powell, plus How to Buzz a Grub by Jerry Puckett.

Yamamoto Big Grubs

Want to catch some four to eight pounders? Their mouths are much bigger than yours, so use BIG worms like the 8" and 10" series. Use the Florida Rig weight that has a thin Teflon tube for the line to slide, and a wire corkscrew to hold the weight and bait together. You rig a big, strong extra wide gap hook into the worm about 2" down from the weight. This gives you room to set the hook even if a big bass has clamped down tightly on the weight itself. The 6" Mini series is the same great bait for more small to medium-sized bass. Articles: How to Swim a Big Grub by Tom Reynolds, Delay-Set Magic by Jerry Puckett and Catch the Magic!

Yamamoto Worms

It's the most productive lure. Practically every time you go fishing you'll hear someone else telling you about yet another lure that is the world's best lure to use. But day in and day out, a worm is the best. Always has been. Probably always will be too. Articles: Worm Basics. Video: Fishing In Heavy Brush - Tex-Pose Your Cuttail Worm. Sizes: 4", 6", 8" plus 4" Cut Tail

Yamamoto Senko

The word "Senko" must mean something in Japanese. My own personal translation for it is "Hot, Hot, Hot!" You won't find that definition in an English-Japanese dictionary, but many anglers who try the new Senko find this to be its true meaning. To define it further, the Senko is a soft subsurface jerkbait. Because of its dense plastic formula, it sinks fast, stays down and therefore resembles hard plastic jerkbaits (Rogues, Husky Jerks, etc.) more than other soft surface-oriented stickbaits (Flukes, Slug-gos, etc.). Articles: Senko Soft Stickbait, Lendell Martin's First Impressions, and Wacky Worming by Pat Xiques. Videos: Wacky Rig Draws Bedding Bass plus Senko Peg Rigging Method and Fish In Cover Rarely Spit Out A Senko. Sizes: 4" Baby Senko, 5", 6", 7"

Yamamoto Ika & Big Ika

Many bait makers are coming out with new tubes this year, and Gary's no exception! But the Ika's different. Why? Most manufacturers are coming out with look-alike clones of the generic tubebait. You know, the same hollow body cavities with machine-cut tentacle tails. Gary's Ika is different. First, it's not hollow! It's a solid, salt-impregnated body cavity. Second, the tentacles are individually injection molded rather than machine-cut. The injection molding process has inherently higher production quality controls than your typical machine-cutting process (some of which don't cut all that neatly). This results in the Ika tails being better-formed and of more uniform quality than many others. Third, the Ika narrows a bit at the waist and then flares a bit at the hips. This artistic flair is that final touch of perfection which sets Gary's Ika apart from the rest! Article: Eureka! It's Ika! Video: Texas Rigging Your Ika for Heavy Brush. Sizes: 3" Ika, 5" Big Ika

Yamamoto Tube Baits

These are soft and supple, salted (not impregnated). The tentacle tails are well-split. This is sometimes a problem with some manufacturer's tentacles, which may not be so neatly split at times. Not so with Yamamoto! Use pliers to squeeze the lead collar off a Yamamoto Round Head, which makes the jig head perfectly center-balanced. Superglue the tube on, and watch the wavering action that draws bass. Articles: Go Totally Tubular. Sizes: 3 1/2" and 4 1/2"

Yamamoto Craw & Baby Craw

Both sizes make outstanding jig trailers that can be pinched down shorter if desired. The body is fat, wide, and almost cylindrical from end to end, like the body on a fat twister tail grub - except with claws. The claws are only slightly exaggerated and stay tucked in close, just the right posture for a backward-scooting craw effect on your silicone-skirted jigs! Article: Craw Facts. Sizes: 3 3/4" Baby Craw,  5" Craw

Yamamoto Lizard & Baby Lizard

There is a strong instinct in largemouths to control an area. Many times bass attack your lures due to this territorial instinct. This territorial instinct is always strong, but particularly in pre-spawn, when bass will patrol and kill anything intruding onto the nursery grounds. Beyond spring, the instinct to nourish itself and replenish it's energy comes into play, particularly so in autumn when the speculation is that fish build up fat reserves to help themselves make it through the winter. Give 'em what they hate this spring and what they crave this fall - the 4" Baby Lizard and 7" Lizard

Yamamoto Double Tail Hula Grubs

Sometimes I dangle one in front of my non-fishing friends and ask, "Quick! What does this look like to you?" A few have said it looks like a frog to them. One said it's a darning needle (dragonfly). A few teenage girls came to a group decision that it was a mosquito! Guess the hook looked like a big stinger. The bass may not be any more sure than some of my non-fishing friends as to exactly what is being dangled in front of them. It may look like something the bass would like to chow down on, or it may look like something threatening or intruding into the fish's space. Heck, what would you do if a 4", 5", or 6" mosquito was buzzing around in your living room? You would probably jump up and belt it with no hesitation, right? So would a big bass. They are one of the top aggressors in their watery worlds. Articles: The Horror of Spider Grubs and Spiders or Twisters.

Yamamoto Single Tail Hula Grubs

The single tail Hula grub is equally as effective as its double-tailed counterparts. The single tail Hula is often used by those who swim jigs above bottom to imitate preyfish (as opposed to crawling a double tail Hula to simulate a crawfish). Video: Hula Grub Makes Fish Dance Towards Your Bait Sizes: 4", 5"

Yamamoto Double Tail Grubs

Some anglers today continue a long bassing tradition of using pork frog chunks with their jigs. I don't. Some non-traditionalists hold off on the pig chunks but substitute with copycat plastic chunks that imitate pork in every way. I don't. I fish my big bass jigs with twin tail grub trailers instead of pork or plastic chunks. I've tried many different double tails, but the best I know are the 4", 5", 6" and 7" sizes from Yamamoto. They also make great spinnerbait and buzzbait trailers. Articles: No Pork Trailer by Larry Hemphill, Jig No Pig and Trailer Hitch.

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