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What is the best soft plastics for smallies.


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I have a few favorites; a TRD, stick worms, swimbaits.

 

Really, the only plastic I haven't had much success with are big ribbontail worms. Still, someone's probably going to reply to me saying that a ribbontail is their favorite ?. Smallies will go after anything, but like @Junk Fisherman said, the "best" may depend on where you're fishing as well as how you want to fish. 

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Ned rigs, tubes, stick worms, drop shot worms, hula grubs, Rage Menace. 

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11 hours ago, Swampdonkey fishing said:

A lake with rip rap banks.

I'm fishing rip rap in a few weeks for a tournament and my partner and I are going ned rig, neko rig, and multiple 3 in swimbaits. The swimbaits will not get hung up as much as the ned rig and smallmouth destroy small swimbaits. Tubes also are good as they will get bigger bites (9 times out of 10) than the ned and get hung up less.

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I think I saw only one mention of swimbaits, the Keitech Fat.  That's excellent in 3.8 (I think).  Also the Strike King KVD perfect plastics coffee shad in 4 or 5 in (5 is not too big for smb).  I fish them on darter head and long shank ball head jigs, 3/16 oz, most often in white.  For rip rap I would try a Tokyo rig with a skinny tungsten sinker to eliminate snagging as much as possible.

 

Try fairly aggressive lift and fall and also slow steady until you find what they want.  When they are "on" these things they hit fast and aggressively, often on the fall.  Make sure you leave a good hook gap-only down side of these things is that hook sets can be a problem.  Last week I caught about 6 of the 9 that bit.

Just now, MickD said:

I think I saw only one mention of swimbaits, the Keitech Fat.  That's excellent in 3.8 (I think).  Also the Strike King KVD perfect plastics coffee shad in 4 or 5 in (5 is not too big for smb).  I fish them on darter head and long shank ball head jigs, 3/16 oz, most often in white.  For rip rap I would try a Tokyo rig with a skinny tungsten sinker to eliminate snagging as much as possible.

 

Try fairly aggressive lift and fall and also slow steady until you find what they want.  When they are "on" these things they hit fast and aggressively, often on the fall.  Make sure you leave a good hook gap-only down side of these things is that hook sets can be a problem.  Last week I caught about 6 of the 9 that bit.

I forgot to mention that one reason I like these is that you can cover a lot of water efficiently with them.  Some of the other options, while good, take a lot of time to figure out whether or not there are any fish there.  And a lot of time to cover water as you are searching for them.

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Didn't see anyone say anything about Nikko Hellgrammites. They absolutely kill, but they do cost a pretty penny. You most definitely get what you pay for though, the plastic is top notch. Can't say I have ever "worn one out" they are Z-Man level durable, if not more. They also hold scent really really well which is super advantageous for smallmouth fishing. 

 

They can be a bit hard to find though, and the Strike King hellgrammites are an alright alternative. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Nikko helgrammites- 3"

Keitech Crazy Flapper 2.8"- very underrated bait... I usually Texas rig this one with 1/8 oz. tungsten 

Keitech swing impact fat 3.3" or 3.8"

Any green pumpkinish tube ~3.5"

 

 

 

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