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Can barely feel ANYTHING on weightless senko

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I went out today with my 6'6 Aetos (Medium Fast) and landed a catfish on a ned rig. I was out there for about three more hours with nary a bite. I used basically everything in my arsenal - chatterbaits, spinnerbaits, swim jibs, topwater, light jigs (bitsy bug), and so on. When I switched to a 4" senko, both wacky and t-rigged, I essentially couldn't feel anything! I could hardly tell the bait was still connected unless I just reeled it in. Could this be due to the rod? Should I use a ML rod in the future? I was using 15lb smackdown. 

 

Thanks in advance!

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Dunno... But, I can say this:  When I fish a weightless senko (always on a 7' MF BPS Tourney Special), I don't feel much resistance from the worm either.  However, I fish them on slack-to-semi-slack line, so I feel a little 'bounce' when I give it a little pop to move it.  

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That's exactly what I mean @HeavyDluxe - I feel the bounce when I move it, and that's it. I guess the purpose of my question is if you can't feel it, how exactly do you know you have bites? 

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I can tell bites by keeping my line simi tight or what ever, little or no slack. I watch my line very close. Anything you fish weightless is as much visual as feel imho

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You have to watch the line very closely where it enters the water and look for anything out of the ordinary. Jumps, pops, twitches. Sometimes the line will swim off a different direction. Anything unusual set the hook.

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Thanks guys. Makes sense. I guess I never see the youtube guys intently watching the line like that, so figured they were just doing it by feel. There was a bit of wind out there this afternoon, so it made line watching even more difficult, but practice makes perfect! 

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Yeah weightless to me is well boring unless your just into a good bite where your not waiting intently. Like you said the YouTube nutz inadvertently are showing you how boring it is by not watching with dedication. 

I'll fish a t-rigged worm all day though and I know others think it's slow and boring. 

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It is very hard to see with much wind. Might fish another technique in the wind. 

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Sound advice. Thank you!

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I feel zero tension, but I do watch my line like a hawk and see if it jumps, stops, or starts swimming off to the side.

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when t-rigging it weightless the slack should only be in the line during twitches, after that you should be using tight to semi-tight line.  You will be able to feel and see the bites that way.  I also noticed an increase in hookups when i switched to braid for my weightless soft plastics fishing.

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I use braid to fluoro with no slack. I tend to reel it in verrrry slow with slight jerks and will usually feel the tap,tap. If I bounce it off the bottom I'll either feel the tap or the line might start moving to the side. 

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Thanks guys. It looks like I should reconsider using a fluoro leader. I was using straight braid previously. 

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Like everyone said, you have to become a line watcher, or you are probably missing 50% of the strikes.

 As for line, I don't like straight braid simply because with Ned rigs or other light baits, it takes six and a half years to sink.  My normal Ned rig size is 1/20th of an ounce and I prefer the sink rate with flouro so I run a fairly long leader.  Pain in the rear to tie with light line and bratwurst sized fingers, but worth the effort to me.  

I don't go straight flouro because I think that flouro memory and Senkos being useless after two fish are all part of a government conspiracy. 

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5 minutes ago, Onvacation said:

Like everyone said, you have to become a line watcher, or you are probably missing 50% of the strikes.

 As for line, I don't like straight braid simply because with Ned rigs or other light baits, it takes six and a half years to sink.  My normal Ned rig size is 1/20th of an ounce and I prefer the sink rate with flouro so I run a fairly long leader.  Pain in the rear to tie with light line and bratwurst sized fingers, but worth the effort to me.  

I don't go straight flouro because I think that flouro memory and Senkos being useless after two fish are all part of a government conspiracy. 

Do you retire your leader after a couple of fish? I've never used a leader, but it seems like a huge pain, but if it catches fish, I guess I'll use one. 

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Remember I said I had sausage fingers?  This causes me to have to use a bit more line to tie knots, so every couple of weeks, I am running out of leader anyway and have to retie.  I'd say I get thirty to fifty fish or so before I tie on a new leader. I use an Alberto knot because it works, and my annoying brother in laws name is Alberto.  Something soothing about knowing I'm dunking Alberto under the water all day.  

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It's not so much the speed of the fall.  Fluoro gives it more natural action.

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Just chiming in to echo what everyone else has said... Watch the line. 100%.  It will jump, go super slack, move left/right, or run away from you when a fish is on. As others have noted, it's not the easiest thing in wind - both due to the inability to see the line for the chop on the water and because the wind bows your line anyway.  That said, dead-sticking soft plastics like that (ikas and senkos) is pretty much my go-to fishing method.

Funnily enough, I'm at a lake house where we've stayed this week for each of the last 5 or so years. It was here that I learned, via a few posts on the forums, this very technique and practiced for a week.

So, I didn't reply to this sooner because, I was on the dock doing it all again. :)  Three smallies, all of which pulled the line straight out (it looked like it started sinking again, but too fast and after it had settled on the bottom) fell for it.

 

Oh, and a good largie on a Siebert jig.  Life is good.

 

EDIT:  OH!  I forgot!! I should add that I fish with spinning gear, so I always have my pointer finger hooked on the line.  Sometimes you'll feel the tappitytap there or the line getting tight even if you're not watching.  Though you should be watching. 

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Listen to Glenn either a split shot rig or a 1/8oz c rig. I use my rod tip and follow the bait down. Any rod tip movement I set the hook. It can be the lightest tap, tap. Watch the rod tip.

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Line watch. Learn it. 

Also on a hot bite, you can bet you will "feel" the bite irregardless of line watching.

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Flouro has a density of about 1.5 that of water, so it does sink.  Braid density is about 1.0, same as fresh water.  One way to get your senkos down faster is with lead nails inserted into the senko.  If you're using senkos wacky, use tiny cable ties or O rings and place the hook between the cable tie/O ring and you'll lose fewer senkos.  Big split rings work well for this too.

Even on the same day, in the same school of fish, fish take the lure in different ways.  If active, or if there are more than one fish near the lure, they will hammer it, sometimes running immediately.  You can feel that on any tackle.  Sometimes they take it so delicately that you only notice when you move the bait.  If you feel resistance when you move the bait, set the hook aggressively.  And there is everything in between.

I think you are using braid, so that's good, more sensitive than mono or flouro.  A flouro or mono leader will not affect sensitivity unless it gets very long.

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22 hours ago, flyfisher said:

when t-rigging it weightless the slack should only be in the line during twitches, after that you should be using tight to semi-tight line.  You will be able to feel and see the bites that way.  I also noticed an increase in hookups when i switched to braid for my weightless soft plastics fishing.

Thanks. Is it widely accepted that braid is more sensitive than fluoro? I've heard both sides here on BR. 

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Braid is more sensitive than flouro when tension is on the line as there is no stretch.  Fluoro, being a solid line per se, could transmit more vibration or feel due to this characteristic but sensitivity and feel are all subjective, as can be seen by the varying responses.  You will hear a lot of slack line sensitivity for flouro but for me, I am not fishing slack at all so it is a non-issue.  There are so many factors in sensitivity and there is no quantifiable way to measure it so it boils down to you and your sensitivity on your rod and reel and skill.  Try them both and see what you like.  The rods i use flouro or a hybrid line on is not for sensitivity but more for the stretch and handling characteristics for the techniques i am fishing.

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