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Splitshot Rig Baits

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Goal for 2019- slow down and fish a splitshot rig.  In Middle TN, its 1 foot visibility one day, 5 feet the next.  Rocky at one lake, grass at the next with all 3 types of bass.  What are your recommendations for splitshot rig baits?  Glenn has done any number of videos on this topic but I wanted answers from the experts.  Thanks guys!

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I really started fishing with a split shot rig this year and on several trips it kept the skunk off of me. I used either a Zoom finesse worm or a 3” BPS Stiko.

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Roboworm zipper worm, lake fork ring fry, 

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Suggest the slip shot rig in lieu of the split shot rig.

Slip shot is using the following; 8mm faceted glass bead, Carolina Stopper, Mojo cylinder weight 1/8 oz, Owner* 5133 down shot hook for weedless rigging. Use a premium 5 lb to 8 lb mono as it tends to stay off the bottom resulting in better strike detection and fewer snags. I use Maxima 5lb or 6 lb Ultra Green for slip rig on finesse spinning tackle. 

I use size 1/0 #5133 for 6" curl tail and straight tail worms, Size 1 for 5". It's important to use worms that tend to stay off the bottom. 

You can do a slow controlled drift or a slow dragging bottom retreive, the weight clicks against the glass bead attracting bass and provides action to the worm, you don't need to add action. 

Strikes are often a rubber band or pressure bite, slight added weight or soft pull back with the Traditional tap sometimes. Bass may swallow the worm if you are not staying focused.

Good luck,

Tom

leader length varies; 18" to 36"

* 4107 Cover shot hook looks good, new and haven't used it yet.

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Tom's "slip-shot" version of this rig is similar to how I do it - light line with a hook you can rig weedless, rubber bobber stop, and a cylindrical weight (I use 1/8oz from BPS) sliding freely above the stop. 

 

Strike detection seems better with the weight sliding freely above the stop, as the line gets pulled through the weight when the fish strikes instead of the fish having to move the weight. I also think it cuts down gut-hooking a little bit which is something you really have to watch out for.

 

I use a 4"-5" straight-tailed worm or a creature usually. One creature bait I like a lot for this is the Netbait Baby Action Cat --  the body is actually a tube, so it's really light, sinks slowly, and collapses and hooks up really well on light-wire hooks.

 

 

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I tend not to give recommendations of specific baits, so bare with me.  Use visibility to determine what type of soft plastic worm to use. An action tail for that one foot visibility you mentioned and a straight worm, or fry for clearer water. Choose either worm with one thing in mind; you want the bait to rise, or stay off the bottom, so it should either float, or at the least have only a little salt.

Use the bottom cover to give you an idea of how far back the hook should be placed. For rocks, you can normally go with a short length, for grass, longer will keep it above the cover. Anything over a foot and a half tall, I'd recommend switching to a drop shot.

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I haven't done it in awhile, but my favorite baits for a split shot rig are a 4" lizard, 4" grub, or a centipede. 

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On 12/24/2018 at 3:25 PM, WRB said:

Suggest the slip shot rig in lieu of the split shot rig.

Slip shot is using the following; 8mm faceted glass bead, Carolina Stopper, Mojo cylinder weight 1/8 oz, Owner* 5133 down shot hook for weedless rigging. Use a premium 5 lb to 8 lb mono as it tends to stay off the bottom resulting in better strike detection and fewer snags. I use Maxima 5lb or 6 lb Ultra Green for slip rig on finesse spinning tackle. 

I use size 1/0 #5133 for 6" curl tail and straight tail worms, Size 1 for 5". It's important to use worms that tend to stay off the bottom. 

You can do a slow controlled drift or a slow dragging bottom retreive, the weight clicks against the glass bead attracting bass and provides action to the worm, you don't need to add action. 

Strikes are often a rubber band or pressure bite, slight added weight or soft pull back with the Traditional tap sometimes. Bass may swallow the worm if you are not staying focused.

Good luck,

Tom

leader length varies; 18" to 36"

* 4107 Cover shot hook looks good, new and haven't used it yet.

Thanks Tom- I have read The Hunt for Giant Bass per your recommendation.  Hope I can make it happen!

9 hours ago, papajoe222 said:

I tend not to give recommendations of specific baits, so bare with me.  Use visibility to determine what type of soft plastic worm to use. An action tail for that one foot visibility you mentioned and a straight worm, or fry for clearer water. Choose either worm with one thing in mind; you want the bait to rise, or stay off the bottom, so it should either float, or at the least have only a little salt.

Use the bottom cover to give you an idea of how far back the hook should be placed. For rocks, you can normally go with a short length, for grass, longer will keep it above the cover. Anything over a foot and a half tall, I'd recommend switching to a drop shot.

Thanks Joe- appreciate the insight!

10 hours ago, MIbassyaker said:

Tom's "slip-shot" version of this rig is similar to how I do it - light line with a hook you can rig weedless, rubber bobber stop, and a cylindrical weight (I use 1/8oz from BPS) sliding freely above the stop. 

 

Strike detection seems better with the weight sliding freely above the stop, as the line gets pulled through the weight when the fish strikes instead of the fish having to move the weight. I also think it cuts down gut-hooking a little bit which is something you really have to watch out for.

 

I use a 4"-5" straight-tailed worm or a creature usually. One creature bait I like a lot for this is the Netbait Baby Action Cat --  the body is actually a tube, so it's really light, sinks slowly, and collapses and hooks up really well on light-wire hooks.

 

 

I am with you on the Netbait recommendation- their stuff seems to float better than most.  Thanks!

8 hours ago, Bluebasser86 said:

I haven't done it in awhile, but my favorite baits for a split shot rig are a 4" lizard, 4" grub, or a centipede. 

Thanks Blue- appreciate the help!

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On 12/24/2018 at 3:25 PM, WRB said:

Suggest the slip shot rig in lieu of the split shot rig.

Slip shot is using the following; 8mm faceted glass bead, Carolina Stopper, Mojo cylinder weight 1/8 oz, Owner* 5133 down shot hook for weedless rigging. Use a premium 5 lb to 8 lb mono as it tends to stay off the bottom resulting in better strike detection and fewer snags. I use Maxima 5lb or 6 lb Ultra Green for slip rig on finesse spinning tackle. 

I use size 1/0 #5133 for 6" curl tail and straight tail worms, Size 1 for 5". It's important to use worms that tend to stay off the bottom. 

You can do a slow controlled drift or a slow dragging bottom retreive, the weight clicks against the glass bead attracting bass and provides action to the worm, you don't need to add action. 

Strikes are often a rubber band or pressure bite, slight added weight or soft pull back with the Traditional tap sometimes. Bass may swallow the worm if you are not staying focused.

Good luck,

Tom

leader length varies; 18" to 36"

* 4107 Cover shot hook looks good, new and haven't used it yet.

+1 ... I was waiting for Tom to chime in . Also the Maxima #5lb. Ultra Green recommendation for finesse apps (such as the slip shot , drop shot, etc.)  is money !

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I've even had success using a split shot rig for big worms (10-12" straight tails mostly). As long as it's not so windy that you lose contact with the bait it gives it a very nice slow fall, and can keep it above the weeds and other cover that a bullet weight might get more snagged up in. If the worm floats you can also use a light wire hook and it can stay up off the bottom a bit as you slowly pull it along. 

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My goal with a split shot rig is simply to present the bait on a slow, gliding fall.  I might add a swivel to reduce twist, especially in current, or if I intentionally put a kink in the bait.  As to what bait, I use pretty much whatever plastic fits on the hook.

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Z-man Hulastickz in green pumpkin.

 

Had a lot of success with this bait on a split shot rig over the summer

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The split or slip shot isn't only a light line finesse rig it can be used to target giant bass as the late Bill Murphy details in his book In Pursuit of Gaunt Bass. It's really an adaption to the basic live bait split shot rig that has been around forever.

The finesse C-rig, slip shot rig, mojo and split shot rigging became popularized for bass fishing by tournament anglers, most notable by Dick Trask out west followed by Don Iovino, both bass anglers that won a lot of tournaments and boats by dragging around small soft plastic worms using light line. As Bill Murphy proved big bass can be caught on a split shot rig with standard bass tackle.

I can't think of another rig that consistantly catches more bass for both skilled and unskilled anglers. If you are a bass angler a need a few bass the split shot rig Is the answer. Any soft plastic can work.

Tom

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