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HeavyDluxe

Maximizing Budget Baits

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So, I made the mistake of trying to pull together my stockpile of fishing stuff in order to inventory it.  On the plus side, I know what I have now and exactly where it is.  On the downside, so does my bride and so the fishing budget is going to be more scrutinized going forward... :)

 

I have a _lot_ of soft plastics I forgot about, and hard baits I've never fished... Some are brands/baits that I have confidence in, and others are budget copies (senko knock-offs, of example) or baits that I've bought but not fished before.

 

Just got me thinking:  I know that the way to build confidence in something is to fish it until you learn to catch stuff with it. But, I'm curious what tricks have you guys found that seem to help you maximize inexpensive/budget baits?  I seem to recall, for example, a thread where someone talked about boiling their BPS soft plastics to soften them for better action in the water.

 

I'd love to hear your ideas as things I (and hopefully others) can use as I weed through this stuff.

 

 

PS - Yes, I know that the flea market is always an option, but I'm interested in actually trying to make the most of what I have on hand.  Who doesn't like a challenge now and then?

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I don't know, but boiling soft plastics, with the hope that it will "soften" them and improve the action,  just seems like a bad idea to me.   I think that you can find the niche that different baits work best in and go with that.   For instance, BPS Stickos work good for me as tx rigged stick baits.   Fishing them wacky style, there isn't any comparison between the action of the sticko and the senko.   So I don't use stickos when I want to wacky rig.

 

There's one example.  While keeping different plastic baits in their own packages you might want to sort them out according to how you're going to use them.   For instance - wacky rig baits in one bag - tx rig stick baits in a different one.   Nose hook drop shot baits in one bag and tx rig drop shot baits in a separate bag.  Paddle tail worms in one bag and ribbon tail worms in a separate bag.

 

I keep a small gym bag full of "Truman Lake" colors.  Tubes, Lizards, Chompers, 10" worms, 7" worms, Paddle tails, trailers, etc. all in colors that I'm fairly certain will work on Truman.  A separate gym bag is full of an assortment of soft plastics that are likely to work on the generally clearer waters of the Ozark Lakes.   There is some overlap that I'm not concerned about.  Harbor Freight sells canvas tool bags (depending on supplier & time of year they will either be canvas or ballistic nylon) and the 11" and 15" sizes work great for sorting plastics into usable bundles.

 

Keeping stuff organized & available in home storage mode is a different issue.  I find the plastic shoe boxes with the attached lids work best for me.   All the big box stores like Home Depot - Lowe's, Menards have them and they will be between $1.50 and $3 each - less on sale.   Every time you go to one of those stores, and remember,  drop a 20 on plastic shoe boxes.  After a few years, you might have enough.   The better you have stuff organized (and labeled) the better chance you have of remembering what you have when you need it.

 

For instance - a box full of Trick worms - a different box full of the Netbait version of trick worms.   Power worms & culprits are both ribbon tails - but have a different box for each brand.

 

Sorting all your different plastics into a system that works for you is a challenge and requires considerable mental effort.   I find a session IPA like Founders All Day IPA or Boulevard Frequent Fliers works best for me.  Glad I could help.

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Putting plastics in boiling water then removing them and allowing the to lie flat with straighten out the kinks but I don't think it will make them softer.

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Boiling Plastic worms will make them softer .I have done it .

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I dont consider Zoom flukes budget baits,But i put the tails in boiling water to straighten them out.They fish alot better.

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2 hours ago, HeavyDluxe said:

On the downside, so does my bride and so the fishing budget is going to be more scrutinized going forward... :)

Oh man, you let your wife catch you sorting through all your fishing stuff :Police:. If mine ever did she would flip out and administer a severe lecture :coach:. Luckily we go to visit my Dad in Pennsylvania and my step-mom will most always treat me to a Cabelas trip and my wife while grumbling doesn't know exactly what I put in that big green bag so any additional baits i happen to procure after that i have shipped to my work and from there I bring them home and stuff them in the Cabelas bag so if she does find it she just assumes it's something my step-mom bought for me :wink3:.

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Most of the worms on the market will catch fish plenty good regardless of brand. So many factors to fishing, I dump all my green pumpkin stick worms in one big bag, I never check to see if it is a BPS,Gambler, GYB, etc...If I grab a Yum Dinger, I fish it, and I actually find they catch fish for me just as good. I like that hook slot.

 

I do have confidence baits as well, I have yet to find a swim Senko replacement but I know plenty of people fish the Cane Sticks and love them. There are so many good quality soft baits on the market now that work great, I think size, color, line, time and place matters most, but I am with you on the confidence thing. I only  fish about 20% of the hardbaits I own for the same reason, but I just like having lots of lures "Just in case".

 

I am working on selling as much as I can online right now so I can buy a better 4000 size spinning reel, so I figure why not sell all the lures that are brand new and have been in my bag for several years. 

 

I have a hard time giving any new lure a fair chance unless I see somebody else catching fish on it. I love sharing the lures I don't use with people I fish with to see how they work. Most of my friends always grab the shiny stuff first anyway.

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Having a limited budget & "budget" lures aint the same thing!

 

When it comes to plastics I throw everything from $0.99 per pack Wally World plastics to $6-7 per pack.

 

 

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 When it comes to the hard baits, the first thing I do is switch out the hooks to quality trebles. Then, I put them in a box next to a similar lure I know produces.  Then, when I'm getting bit with the one, I'll switch to the other.  If I continue to catch with the budget lure, it stays in the box.

  I have a popper that I paid $1 for that has caught tons of fish and an identical one that hit the trash bin shortly after I tried it out this way. IMO, unless you're on fish, don't discount a lure because it hasn't caught you anything. That goes for soft plastics, too. 

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Just to be clear:  I'm not trying to imply that [insert brand's] baits are trash while [insert other brand's] baits do nothing but catch 5lbers. Rather I'm simply trying to get some tips and tricks to try with the unfortunately massive pile of stuff I have.  Might as well experiment with things since my cup runneth over. :)

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On 7/21/2017 at 9:07 PM, Catt said:

Having a limited budget & "budget" lures aint the same thing!

 

When it comes to plastics I throw everything from $0.99 per pack Wally World plastics to $6-7 per pack.

 

 

 

A Walmart in my area  sells senkos , rage tail and chatter baits ! Usually anything I see in the dollar range is thrown in a box, more often than not they are yum plastics . 

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On 7/21/2017 at 0:31 PM, bowhunter63 said:

I dont consider Zoom flukes budget baits,But i put the tails in boiling water to straighten them out.They fish alot better.

 

 

Interesting. So you do it to brand new ones and you only dip the tail in?

 

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On 7/23/2017 at 1:14 AM, tcbass said:

 

 

Interesting. So you do it to brand new ones and you only dip the tail in?

 

Yes for about 15 seconds,Then i lay them flat on the counter till they dry.Alot of times the tail has a crook in it from the package.They really seem to fish better and have better action straightened out.

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I religiously boiled and straightened every Trickworm I had ( and I have trickworms by the pound ) until one day I decided not to do it again, a few were badly bent/kinked but what the hell, wasn't going to straighten them up, guess what ? They still caught fish, some behaved like Mann's Augertail worm ( the tail straightened when pulled and bend when at rest ). 

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On ‎7‎/‎22‎/‎2017 at 10:54 PM, Yeajray231 said:

 

A Walmart in my area  sells senkos , rage tail and chatter baits ! Usually anything I see in the dollar range is thrown in a box, more often than not they are yum plastics . 

 

That dollar box is an interesting place to visit.

 

I find YUM baits there that they don't advertise on their site. I have a pack of what look like Dingers with swimbait tails on them and a pack of grubs with paddle tails from that box.

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Mend-It to repair plastics.  I seriously have 3 year old Keitechs that are perhaps 80% Mend-it'ed but still catch fish.

Anti-Rust chips/Silica bags in with your hard baits.

Don't open anything until you must.

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