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Paddletail Swimbaits

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I started throwing paddletail swimbaits this past season and caught several quality fish.  The problem however is that I also lost several good fish.  I'm wondering what I can do to improve my hookups with these baits.  I fish in and around heavy grass so a treble stinger is not practical.  My setup is an MBR844c/Curdado 200DHSV with 50lb Power Pro.  I mainly fish the Strike King Shadalicious and Berkley Hollow Belly.  Let me know your thoughts and recommendations.

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Personally I would not use braid, the lack of stretch may be causing you to pull the bait away from the fish. Switching to 17lb to 20lb mono may help your hookup's.

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which hook are you using???

I really like these Owner Weighted Beast Hooks

OWBWT-1.jpg

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I don't use braid, 12# CXX works great for me.  The Owner hooks are excellent.

 

 

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I've experimented with a number of different hooks including the Owner Beast.  I've found that when using a keel weighted hook with the weight towards the middle, the action on the fall isn't nearly as good with the baits I mentioned.  I prefer a hook with the weight closer to the front of the bait.  Yes the bait falls head first but the action (tail kick) is much better.  I use the Mustad Power Lock Plus hook with the adjustable weight (can be moved forward) and the Falcon front weighted hook.  I hadn't thought about braid being the issue.  I'm not sure I understand the disadvantage of braid with this technique.  Couldn't you make the same statement about braid with any technique?

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GYCB Swim Senko rigged on a 1/4 oz jig head

   

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I've experimented with a number of different hooks including the Owner Beast. I've found that when using a keel weighted hook with the weight towards the middle, the action on the fall isn't nearly as good with the baits I mentioned. I prefer a hook with the weight closer to the front of the bait. Yes the bait falls head first but the action (tail kick) is much better. I use the Mustad Power Lock Plus hook with the adjustable weight (can be moved forward) and the Falcon front weighted hook. I hadn't thought about braid being the issue. I'm not sure I understand the disadvantage of braid with this technique. Couldn't you make the same statement about braid with any technique?

Braid has no stretch with the rod you are using there is nothing iin the way of absorption of the strike. Due to this if you set the hook you may even be ripping right out of the fishes mouth. A Co-Polymer would probably work better even with heavy weeds. A

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which hook are you using???

I really like these Owner Weighted Beast Hooks

OWBWT-1.jpg

x2. The best swimbait hook on the market. Also I use 12 lb P-Line cxx on my swimbait rod.

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Are you playing the fish or cranking them in? Even with the paddle tubes the fish have a lot of leverage and if you give them a chance to get away they will. Crank hard and fast all the way to the boat and try to prevent them from jumping.

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I don't know what size hook you are using, but with paddletails there is alot of soft plastic to ball up and get in the way of the hook point. Sometimes if you go up one size in hook it can help.

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GYCB Swim Senko rigged on a 1/4 oz jig head

I agree with this guy. Unless you're in really thick crap, a simple jig head works great. For me at least. I also like the swim senko.

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Soft plastic paddletails are one of my favorite baits.  If not my favorite.  I've used tons of them.  Dippers, Big-EZ, Hollow Bellies, etc etc.  My favorite is still the Swimming Senko.  The Zoom Swimming Fluke is a close second.  I've switched over to 15 pound Yo-zuri Hybrid on my paddletail rod and noticed a large increase in fish landed.  Now, if I'm in some very nasty stuff, I'll use braid, though I don't think that's really necessary.  My favorite way to rig those is on a screw in bullet sinker with an appropriate hook to the size bait.  If I'm fishing them in more open water, I'll use a belly weighted hook like the Owner beast.

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I've lost a TON of fish with all of those keel weighted hooks, it just seems like the weighted part of the hook has more trouble going through the plastic, and it also tears them up easier. I lost quite a few fish, and baits until I stopped using them.

The hook below (Bladde runner Swim bait hook) has greatly increased my hook up and landing, and yet is still quite weedless. I don't throw them any other way now. They also keep the baits lasting longer.

BRHSBI-1.jpg

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To get the full hook out of the back of the bait, and into fishes mouth, doesn't the weight have to go through the bottom of the bait, and sometimes through the top of the bait? Correct me if I'm wrong, as it's been a long time since I've thrown it with a keel weighted hook.

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It doesn't HAVE to. It may, but with a hitchhiker trailer, the bait can't slide off the hook and up the line. 

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I've lost a TON of fish with all of those keel weighted hooks, it just seems like the weighted part of the hook has more trouble going through the plastic, and it also tears them up easier. I lost quite a few fish, and baits until I stopped using them.

The hook below (Bladde runner Swim bait hook) has greatly increased my hook up and landing, and yet is still quite weedless. I don't throw them any other way now. They also keep the baits lasting longer.

Which is why I figured braid would be better. If the hook has trouble penetrating the platic, I figured a no stretch line would help. I'll give the blade runner a try. It will probably work fine on a high tide when I'm mostly working the bait over the grass, but I'm skeptical about a lower tide. David, which paddle tail do you like most? Which Dobyns rod do you throw them on?

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It doesn't HAVE to. It may, but with a hitchhiker trailer, the bait can't slide off the hook and up the line.

That is what you want it to do though.  Gets the bait out of the way so the fish can't leverage it.

Read up.

http://www.316lurecompany.com/baits/mission_fish.html

I realize it's not a hollow belly, but you get the point.

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Yeah, i can see that being a problem with a heavy swimbait. I don't fish heavy swimbaits, so i wouldn't know. Just cheap paddletails. For me, keeping the bait on the hook saves me some baits when they're really hitting.

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To get the full hook out of the back of the bait, and into fishes mouth, doesn't the weight have to go through the bottom of the bait, and sometimes through the top of the bait? Correct me if I'm wrong, as it's been a long time since I've thrown it with a keel weighted hook.

The Owner hook sort of solves that issue with a ridiculous gap.  The plastic swings down the round bend, and out of the way, leaving at least 5/8" or better on the 6/0 hook with most baits.  There's still some leverage allowed, but like Matt said, "crank 'em in!"

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I started fishing the Shadalicious baits this year too and really liked them.  I'm swimming them through and around grass so I always throw them on braid.

At first, I was fishing the 5.5" baits with the 6/0 weighted Bass Magic hooks from BPS and not getting good hooksets.  Once I started slitting the belly open, it made rigging easier and it increased my hookup percentage.

I got a few packs of the Owner hooks at the TW Black Friday sale, so I'm curious how those will do with the wider gap.  I figure I won't need to slit the bellies open anymore with those.

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I've lost a TON of fish with all of those keel weighted hooks, it just seems like the weighted part of the hook has more trouble going through the plastic, and it also tears them up easier. I lost quite a few fish, and baits until I stopped using them.

The hook below (Bladde runner Swim bait hook) has greatly increased my hook up and landing, and yet is still quite weedless. I don't throw them any other way now. They also keep the baits lasting longer.

BRHSBI-1.jpg

Hey David, I actually have No idea how to rig those hooks with a swimbait without tearing it up getting that huge weight in. I think i'm doing it wrong  :-X

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I've lost a TON of fish with all of those keel weighted hooks, it just seems like the weighted part of the hook has more trouble going through the plastic, and it also tears them up easier. I lost quite a few fish, and baits until I stopped using them.

The hook below (Bladde runner Swim bait hook) has greatly increased my hook up and landing, and yet is still quite weedless. I don't throw them any other way now. They also keep the baits lasting longer.

BRHSBI-1.jpg

Hey David, I actually have No idea how to rig those hooks with a swimbait without tearing it up getting that huge weight in. I think i'm doing it wrong :-X

You poke the hook eye through the bait, where it would naturally lie.  Tie the bait on, and poke the hook through the back of the bait, where it would naturally lie.  If you line the jig up next to the bait, you'll see where to poke the parts through.

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I started throwing paddletail swimbaits this past season and caught several quality fish. The problem however is that I also lost several good fish. I'm wondering what I can do to improve my hookups with these baits. I fish in and around heavy grass so a treble stinger is not practical. My setup is an MBR844c/Curdado 200DHSV with 50lb Power Pro. I mainly fish the Strike King Shadalicious and Berkley Hollow Belly. Let me know your thoughts and recommendations.

In my opinion braid is a no no on swim baits. I use 15-25lb Big Game on all my swimbaits. The 844 is fine for that size, although I prefer much longer rods for swimbait fishing. The idea is to have some give in the line and rod so the fish can inhale it. Once that happens alot of line movement, so a longer rod helps there. I find a longer rod also help in getting those bigger fish to the boat.

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I've caught a good number of fish on the smaller (3.5"-4") paddletails. I've been using braid almost exclusively, and I can't remember losing one b/c of ripping the bait away from the fish. That said, here are my 2 absolutes when using hollow-belly paddletails:

1) I use screw-in weighted hooks, not the offset EWG weighted hooks.

2) Like Chris at Tech alluded to, I slit the belly for better hook penetration. This has made a noticeable difference (for the better).

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