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NorthE97

How have you simplified soft plastic choice?

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Paralysis by analysis is real in soft plastics. 

 

Frankly, it’s overwhelming, especially to a beginner, with all these options out there. I remember when I first started out I bought all types of baits in 5 different colors each. Well, I still have those same baits today, never opened. 

 

There is a plethora of different craws, creatures, worms, etc out there. Most of them do the same, and I know the fish don’t care about what brand you bought. 

 

I’ve come to the realization that less is more for me. Sticking to a few brands and a few select items from each brand has helped me narrow down my choices and make fishing more enjoyable.  

 

My tips to beginners would be:

  • pick a few brands:
    • Zoom
    • Rage tail
    • GYCB
    • (Insert brand you like here) 
  • pick a few colors per bait:
    • green pumpkin
    • black & blue
    • Alabama craw or PB&J
    • (insert color you've had great success with)
  • Most, if not all types of soft plastic baits, are covered by these three brands. 

 

This has been my journey through soft plastics, coming full circle. If anyone else went through this same conundrum or has some tips they would like to share, feel free to add. I hope to save some newer people to the sport some headache, time, and money. 

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I only fish a few colors and stick to mainly a few brands. It cut down on the amount of baits I carry drastically. There's obviously exceptions, but when I came to the realization that I had baits that I'd carried for years and never even cracked them open, it became obvious there was no reason to carry them any longer. 

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Over the years ive realized what I like and what has worked for me. I have limited my color selection drastically as well as mainly buying things I know produce. Not jumping for the "next new/got thing". Or at least not diving head first into it. I also categorize my plastics by limiting myself 1 3600 box per style or hook size. 

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Nah! 😉

 

I'm a plastic freak, I like em all, & all colors!

 

I love walking down the store aisles looking at the colors, shapes, & laughing at some of em.

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I may be worse than Catt.  I make my own plastics and love experimenting with various colors, laminates, and swirls.  So I wind up carrying as many as 30 colors of some of my favorites.

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If we are speaking strictly of acquiring plastics for the specific purpose of catching fish, then one of each "type" in 2 or 3 colors is really all one requires, and all the marketing and hype not withstanding, it really will in most cases make little or no difference which one is chosen. Additionally purchasing plastics (or any lure really) for the fishing one actually engages in and not "what if I ever end up" scenarios, will help reduce the piles of unopened packages. There is nothing wrong with collecting tackle, and there is an undeniable appeal to fondling and organizing it during the offseason (screw ya'll South guys), but that has no bearing on catching fish.

 

 

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I am half way there. I have limited my colors to green pumpkin and june bug. I might try some more colors, but basically these are my 2 main colors. As far as shapes, this is where I am weak. I try all kinds of lizards. worms, craws. If a new shape comes out, it is at least 2 packs.

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1 hour ago, Jig Man said:

I may be worse than Catt.  I make my own plastics and love experimenting with various colors, laminates, and swirls.  So I wind up carrying as many as 30 colors of some of my favorites.

 

If ya don't throw a certain color how ya gonna know if it works or not!

 

There will be days color doesn't matter, there will be days color is the difference between skunked & catching, there will be days ya gotta change colors often.

 

Catt how do ya decide?

 

Tie it on, throw it, & let the bass decide 😉

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I run G-Man's K.I.S.S method. 

 

Keep it simple, stupid.  I believe three colors to be sufficient for my own style of fishing.  I believe one brand has my back when it comes to quality and cost.

 

If buying a million baits it your thing, that's fine.  I've been there and I've done that.  My organization paid the price and I've lost valuable fish catching time digging for a particular bait.  I've probably not caught fish because I wasn't proficient in that particular bait.  If you can rock a million colors and a million variations and do well with all of 'em, more power to you.

 

Personally, I've got a wad of YUM soft plastics; various trailers in green pumpkin, black and blue, and something to match the forage I'm trying to replicate in clearer water situations.  Worms, stick and tailed, finesse worms, paddle tails...you guys know the deal.

 

One company, three colors.  I'm in a kayak anyway where I can't just bound up and down the boat to access a box here and a box there.  Overthinking things oftentimes has led to failure for me.

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I am worse than most of you about buying plastics in different colors. I buy mostly Zoom baits. I probably have a dozen different colors of baby brush hogs, and fifteen colors of trick worms. A lot of them I will use up and never buy them again. I also have ol monster and mag 2 worms in 5 or 6 different colors plus assorted craws in several different colors. There are plenty of super flukes and swimbaits in several colors. I am not sending them to anybody for proper disposal. I will take care of that myself.

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I love fishing soft plastics. I understand what you are saying about going full circle. A guy is a plastics freak. I know what you mean. But not sure how long you guys have been fishing, some manufacturers had some plastics that I use to kick butt with. They were discontinued. Mr. Twister had a worm called "silk worm 4.5", Lucky had a worm called a "razor worm", Berkley had a finesse Power Worm & a 4" crawler with a small flat paddle tail to it", Manns use to have a 4.5 Dragon Worm with this pointy ass tail on it, Mr. Twister had this finesse worm called "Exude"???? I would kill for these to come back or at least to get my hands on a few more packs. Probably before your guys time. Finesse fishing as been around Awhile. 

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I am in a kayak all the time and take a little tackle bag and have really narrowed it down. I have a light color and a dark color of each bait I use. If I find a June bug color on sale of a bait I use I dont say no I need black and blue. I buy the June bug. Same for my light colors. I am personally not a good enough fisherman to know if the bass are not biting my June bug but would bite my black blue. Instead of switching colors I would more than likely change baits/styles up before just changing colors.

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I'm sure we have all gone through this struggle.  I tried to simplify things in a way that works for me.  I keep three basic colors:  a variation of Black/Blue, a variation of Green pumpkin and White.  I do not limit myself to any one manufacturer for all of them but limit myself to one manufacturer per type.  Meaning... I buy YUM Dingers only.  I buy GY double tail grubs along with SK Menace Grub (two really different types of action).  I buy Kalin's Lunker Grub for single tails.    Etc, etc...  Additionally, if there is a color that really works in my area outside of the three basic color groups I will buy that as well.  But for the most part B/B and GP work great.

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How long do you throw a given bait/color combination on a given day before you can say it's not what the fish want on that day?

 

How many days does a bait have to fail to catch fish before you decide it doesn't deserve a permanent place in your tackle box?

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I stick with the proven stuff that always works. For worms I keep straight tail and ribbon tail in sizes ranging from 5-12".

Craws ranging from 3-5" in both do nothing and swimming styles. 

For topwater I use only kicking leg style frogs like the rage toad and tip toad

Bait fish imitators are either paddle tail or straight tail for twitching. 

Colors are mainly black/blue tip, junebug, green pumpkin and white.

I'm confident that I can go anywhere with these and catch fish using them with different presentations for the given conditions. 

 

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I've simplified it about as much as possible this year. A package of Zoom finesse worms (junebug) and a package of Zman Finesse WormZ (about 3-4 worms of 3 different colors, all tossed in the same package). All I've needed all year. I do have one pack of Zoom jig trailers I always keep in the boat with me, too. That's been it for 2018, and I've fished plastics more this year than any other year I can remember. 

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3 hours ago, Hook2Jaw said:

I run G-Man's K.I.S.S method. 

 

Keep it simple, stupid.  I believe three colors to be sufficient for my own style of fishing.  I believe one brand has my back when it comes to quality and cost.

 

One company, three colors.  I'm in a kayak anyway where I can't just bound up and down the boat to access a box here and a box there.  Overthinking things oftentimes has led to failure for me.

I definitely agree with the overthinking part. I'm also considering a kayak to be my main rig and a basic approach seems to be the key. 

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I keep a Gman mentality, I keep it simple. I do this with hard baits as well as plastics. Things are subject to change. I don’t always bring tubes, unless I’m targeting smallies. I won’t bring lizards year round either, but in spring I fish em hard. Right now I have 5” senkos in watermelon and black/blue, 4” pitbosses in watermelon and black/blue, small and large chunk trailers in black, 7” red shad shad power worms, 4” grubs in white and blue flake, white small swim baits for Texas rigging/swim jig/buzzbait/chaterbait, etc, and some buzz frogs in any color I currently have. I like to keep my bait in the water and stay efficient, the less I have the better things are for me.

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I use to be of the opinion that color did not matter and I still think it is not

the most important variable, but...

 

A few years ago I had the pleasure of discussing this topic with Big O.

To paraphrase: "Let's say you are doing pretty well with a particular bait

and color. Maybe you would do better with another color. When fishing

is hot, that is EXACTLY the time to try something different."

 

 

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4 minutes ago, roadwarrior said:

A few years ago I had the pleasure of discussing this topic with Big O.

To paraphrase: "Let's say you are doing pretty well with a particular bait

and color. Maybe you would do better with another color. When fishing

is hot, that is EXACTLY the time to try something different

 

Started out throwing Watermelon Seed, went to Watermelon Neon it got better, switched to Watermelon Slice get even better.

 

The hot color right now is South African Special; black with red & purple metal flake.

 

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3 minutes ago, Catt said:

 

The hot color right now is South African Special; black with red & purple metal flake.

 

Geez...Who would have ever come up with that color?

 

:cheer:

 

 

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I keep plastics pretty simple. Mostly darker colors. Green pumpkin to June bug range. I carry a few Zoom lizards, Culprit worms, and Senkos. Where I get crazy is beaver style baits and jig trailers. I have twice as many creature baits as other plastics. And cover all color ranges with them because I throw a lot of white swim jigs and chatterbaits certain times of the year

 

But if we are talking straight Texas rig applications I could prob fit all my plastics in one 3700 box

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Since I fish more plastic worms than other soft plastics that's what I carry the most. Usually 2 bags roboworms, 2 bags zoom worms , and 1 bag 8" Mann's jelly worms.I also carry some strike king rage grubs, and some zoom chunk jig trailers. I know most will say green pumpkin has been their hot color, but it really hasn't worked that well for me. I lean towards grape and blue shades the most, and also solid black.

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I'm unsure if I've made it more complicated or less but unless it's a bait I use an awful lot of, I remove/hold back about half of every worm/crawdad/creature bait I have so that my tackle bag isn't weighed down/packed with a lot of unnecessary ballast.

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2 hours ago, roadwarrior said:

I use to be of the opinion that color did not matter and I still think it is not

the most important variable, but...

 

A few years ago I had the pleasure of discussing this topic with Big O.

To paraphrase: "Let's say you are doing pretty well with a particular bait

and color. Maybe you would do better with another color. When fishing

is hot, that is EXACTLY the time to try something different."

 

 

For me this applies especially on clear water. Motor red, water red, KVD Magic and bluegill menace grubs were catching them, but man Hard candy menace was crushing them and it wasn’t close. 

 

To answer the op I am hosed because I river fish, clear water lake, and a green water lake with bad visibility. I have my color selections set now for these situations and for the murky water and river it is a fairly small selection. In answering Roadwarriors post though my clear water selection is pretty big because I change often because color can make a huge difference in numbers. It wasn’t a confidence thing either, because I thought hard candy was bad looking still I started catching them, then it was the best looking color ever, at least this year;)

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