Soft plastics have been around for quite a while now and, if you have friends who are into fishing, you’ve probably heard at least one of them swear by soft plastics. This is probably because there are soft plastics to suit pretty much any environment and their flexible bodies and fluid movements in the water make them irresistible to many species of fish.
Here are five good reasons you should give them a go if you haven't already:
1. Soft plastics can be more effective than traditional baits
Dead baits will work pretty much anywhere, but they won’t necessarily be the most effective, or efficient, method of catching fish. Lures, on the other hand, will work for many species of fish but often a little extra motion and bait scent can help them perform even better.
Because they are ‘scented’, soft plastics act like both dead baits and lures at the same time, making them a favourite among anglers fishing close to offshore structures, such as kayak fishers.
Casting from a kayak positioned close to a reef, or a man-made structure with plenty of wash, yields great results with soft plastics. The artificial bait scent, and the rapid motion of the plastic in the wash is a winner.
If you are new to fishing and need a bit of help getting set up, our guide to fishing gear for beginners is the place to start.
2. They’re heaps cheaper than hard-body lures
Have you ever gone out and spent a packet on a really sweet hardbody lure, only to find you’re reluctant to use it lest you lose it to a snag? Soft plastics are significantly cheaper than many other kind of lures so you can cast like a maniac all day long without a care.
3. The range of soft plastic shapes, sizes and colours is huge
Unless you have a specialty bait supplier nearby, it’s pretty rare to be able to fish with green-lipped mussels, yabbies, mullet, and pilchards all on one fishing trip — not to mention the dent that will make on your wallet!
Soft plastics allow you to experiment with a massive range of bait types: from worms, to crustaceans, molluscs, and bait fish, the shapes and styles are endless. If the fish aren’t biting, switching your lure could mean the difference between fresh fish for dinner and a stop at the fish n’ chip shop on the way home.
4. The kids will love them too
Most parents will know the “joy” of baiting and re-baiting hooks for hours because their little ones think it's “icky.” Soft plastics solve that problem; a problem that’s not only to do with the smell.
The appearance of dead baits can be confronting for some kids, so an artificial lure (that sort of looks like a rubber toy) is a great alternative. Soft plastic fishing is also a good opportunity to teach your child how to bait a hook properly, without the added difficulty of slippery slimy bait. Just make sure they don’t chew on them…
5. You can change it up without cutting the line.
If you’re fishing from a kayak or in windy conditions – or you’re an inexperienced angler – you often want to minimise the time spent tying fiddly knots. The beauty of soft plastics is if you’re not having any luck with your first option, rigging up a different soft plastic is as easy as sliding it onto the jighead.
a. Find an appropriately sized soft plastic for your jig head (you want the hook to exit near the tail).
b. Thread the soft plastic onto the jig head taking care to keep it straight.
c. Push the hook through near the tail and ensure there are no bumps and the soft plastic is not twisted on the jig head.
d. Go and catch some fish!
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