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SuthernProg

Hard vs. Soft Jerkbaits

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Due to space and price per bait, was thinking of retiring my hard jerkbait fleet in favor os soft plastics. What would be the downside, if there is one?

Marion

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Two completely different groups of lures in my view. I fish hard jerkbaits on structure and AROUND cover. I fish soft jerkbaits IN cover. Plus, casting is sometimes an issue and the hard baits can cover a lot more water.

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Two completely different groups of lures in my view. I fish hard jerkbaits on structure and AROUND cover. I fish soft jerkbaits IN cover. Plus, casting is sometimes an issue and the hard baits can cover a lot more water.

I agree totally.  You can't retire one,  there is a time and place for each.  Also plastic jerkbaits aren't going to suspend like some of the hard jerkbaits.  

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Cool. Thanks for the responses.

Makes sense to me.

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Well there are some jerkbaits that are available in which are soft. You fish them the same way but from what it sounds like it sounds like your trying to replace hard jerkbaits for swimbaits and as said before their two completely different baits. You said your trying to save space? I as well as im sure everyone else has a butt load of tackle, I hand pick which baits I want to take the day or day before im going fishing. Just take what you "need".. if you take stuff youd "maybe like" to use youll find yourself always carrying around excess tackle that will never get used. Most people will give each bait a shot for atleast a half hour, plastics aside. Just jot down a list of stuff that works for you. In general you should include atleast these 5 areas. Topwater, Bottem, Suspended, Cover, Open Water. Example.. Jitterbug, Senko, Pointer, Jig, Crankbait.

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Gameover-

 The best thing I have found for this is the Falcon Tackle system.  I have each bait style in it's own seperate box and only carry what I need for that day.  Right now, I don't even mess with having jerkbaits in my bag because I know I won't use them for another month.  This winter I will only carry jerkbaits, jigs, and a limited assortment of plastics.  The only time I load up everything is if I'm going to be fishing a tournament and I want everything at my disposal "just in case."

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Yeah Falcon is good, I like my Plano StowAways. I keep my high dollar lures all together then the rest get seperated by type as you mentioned. I have four empty StowAways that I pack with what I want and slip into my tacklebag before I take off. When I get back I run all used tackle under tap water, hand dry them real quick, and put them back in their original place. Unorganized tackle can be a nightmare.

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was thinking of retiring my hard jerkbait fleet in favor os soft plastics.

I don't think your idea is completely without merit, I'm working on a similar plan myself (with modifications).

You can throw softbaits anywhere that you can throw hardbaits, but not the other way around.

Soft baits are not only weedless, but they're more mouthable.

The one feature in favor of hardbaits is casting distance, but I use spinning tackle (not a problem).

The swimbait is actually a renaissance, nothing more than a soft crankbait (old as the hills)

I wouldn't be too quick to dump your idea.

Roger

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If you find the more common soft jerkbaits hard to throw, here's two that might work.  Mann's hard nose jerkbait and the Castaic soft jerkbait.  A slightly thicker body style, they are no problem for casting gear with 14-20lb. mono.

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Well there are some jerkbaits that are available in which are soft. You fish them the same way but from what it sounds like it sounds like your trying to replace hard jerkbaits for swimbaits and as said before their two completely different baits.

SuthernProg never said anything about swimbaits.  He said soft jerkbaits, which I take to mean things like the zoom super fluke.  I don't have much experience with hard jerkbaits.  But I spent a lot of time this summer and early fall throwing super flukes into and through cover.  You can also work a super fluke in open water I suppose.  So it seems like the soft variety would be more versatile.  But, as others have said, they won't suspend on the pause like an x-rap, etc.  So it seems like you would be better with the hard ones in cold water.  

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Your comment about price per bait got me thinking. Yeah, I know, a dangerous proposition, but I'll try to not strain any delicate parts.

I really got into the X-Raps this year. Started out with two just to try them out. Ended up buying a bunch more. I have a whole box full of "em. There's probably 20 of them. that's a bit over $100 worth. I still have all except one. Lost it in an underwater tree.

I also got into Fat Ikas this year. Bought a whole bunch of those too. Then bought more, and more, and more. I know I spent more than $100 on these things. And most of them are gone.

I know I'm comparing apples to oranges here, but it begs the question, which is really cheaper to use. I don't have to reach for the calculator for the answer, and I have to stand in the shower to count to 21.

I'm totally with you on the space thing. Every year I come up with a new tackle orginization scheme. And every year I conclude that this scheme just doesn't get it. I'm always packing around way too much stuff.

I got the big Okee Fats bag early this year as part of my scheme. It's jammed so full of stuff my wife can't carry it. She won't even pick it up. I have three more similar bags, all jammed full. I also have seven BPS dual side binder bags full of plastics. And there's a lot more stuff in 3700 boxes, in the garage. I hate to think about how much money I have wrapped up in baits that have never been wet. Did I mention the BaitMonkey has me on speed-dial?

I'm going to do better next year. HA!

Didn't mean to hijack your thread, I just got on a roll here. I'd like to hear some space saving ideas. I am really going to try to get it down to that one Fats bag. I don't know how I'm gonna do it, but I'm gonna try. I found an old three drawer file cabinet for the garage. I'll use it to store all the boxes full of baits that don't get used on a regular basis. And I'm going to eliminate most of the crankbaits I'm currently caring around. I'm in agreement with RoLo on this. You can throw a soft bait anywhere you can throw a hard bait, but not vice-versa. That's a thought I hadn't really articulated, up to now. Thanks for that one.

There are a bunch of smart people here, let's hear some more thoughts on this subject.

Cheers,

GK

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So it seems like the soft variety would be more versatile. But, as others have said, they won't suspend on the pause like an x-rap, etc. So it seems like you would be better with the hard ones in cold water.

Ideally, a hard jerkbait will weigh the same as the water it displaces. Since the specific gravity of water

varies with water temperature, "neutral buoyancy" can be very elusive.

      An unweighted soft jerkbait weighs slightly more than the water is displaces so it will descend but 'very slowly'.

However, a soft jerkbait cannot be fished in this manner because it has no diving lip to get it down to the productive depth.

In cold water when jerkbaits come into their own, the soft jerkbait is preferably used in the same fashion as a jigging spoon.

Instead of casting over a school that's 40 feet away from the boat, the sounder is used to get directly over the target.

The soft jerkbait is then lowered into the depth that is marking fish (bass or bait) and is jerked or yo-yoed on the drift

within the productive depth zone. This cannot be done with hard jerkbaits, where you need to be laterally displaced from the school,

if you get my drift.

Roger

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Whoever mentioned all that tackle they have, 7 bags etc and some that have never been wet I wouldnt spend another penny unless its on a high quality swimbaits or LuckyCraft and above quality lures. Stuff that I put in my retired box I will donate to younger kids in my area.

If you have a decent size book shelf, or can make one, or get one for a decent price, you could put all your stuff in StowAways or the Falcon boxes (prefer the StowAways) and line them up like books while putting a piece of scotch tape on the hinge side marking what it is just as a book would. This would be the most space effecient way that I can think of right at this second. If you live in the garage like kent you could add a door and a pad lock:D if needed. I have no choice but to make stuff fit as my familly and I live in an apartment for now so space is hard to come by. I use the StowAways and stack them up in a corner of my closet while the empty tacklebag that I take with me stays clean and under the bed. The lures that I collect and wont use (atleast for now) all are organized in a box that I keep elsewhere. Hopefully we get a house soon with a basement that I can take over and sort of make a display type setup that I can enjoy and hand pick my special/high dollar lures from as needed. If that 250 dollar lure is going to catch me a 12 lb'r and gets destroyed in the process it was worth every penny to me.

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The X-Raps have been producing tremendously for me this year. I think Rapala really took their time and did good with this one. The action is incredible, i reccomend everyone try this bait if jerkbaiting is being used

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I am sure this has been mentioned but I throw both and they are 2 different animals.

A hard bait can be thrown and left in the strike zone.  A floater stays floating and a suspending bait will suspend and you have a countdown bait that you can run anywhere. Flukes which I use all the time can not stay in one area either they are moving or sinking nothing else. They both have up sides and down sides but IMO you need both.

As one member wrote about open water and cover. I throw both in both areas. Some of the best days I have been on the lake have been when throwing a Fluke on 20' humps in 80' of water and when I throw a TD Minnow in pockets of grass in less than 5' and jerk it a few times and let it sit. The rule of thumb would be the just the opposite but they are no firm rules in fishing. What works one day may not work they next. Just my thoughts.

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