Soft Plastics Newbie

skronkman
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Re: Soft Plastics Newbie

Post by skronkman » Sun Nov 24, 2019 9:11 am

A lighter rod and reel setup is ideal, as is braid but don’t let it stop you having a crack with what you have. The most important thing is to ensure that your plastic gets to the bottom, and ideally doing it as light weight as possible. Not as easy as it sounds and will take a bit of switching around jig heads depending on conditions like wind, tide, depth. Any curl tail grub around 2-3 inches is a good start. Big fish will still take a small artificial and you will catch more fish in total with small plastics.

Here are my recommendations but not the rules:
Reel: decent quality 2500 as they get a lot more use than when bait fishing but Sienna will do to start if you look after it by cleaning after use.
Rod: light and stiff, 6.5 - 7.5 foot depending on how light the jig heads. Look for casting weight as low as you can get on a shorter rod for under 1/4oz. A longer rod with cast weight from 10gm-20gm for the bigger jig heads bigger.
Line: I like 8-10lb braid with 6-15lb leader depending on the target. Flatties I go heavier, bream I go lighter.
Plastics: zman and the shimano bio thingies seem the best quality for the price to me.
Jig heads: I don’t have a preferred brand. Just a pile of them in different sizes and weights that I play with till I like the feel for the plastic in the conditions. I don’t like using Gulp as they dry out but I’ve had success using them

I actually run 2 setups for fishing plastics. A light 6’ rod with cast weight 1-7gm and a 1500 cx5 reel with 8lb braid and 6lb leader for Bream, bass, ep. Also a heavier setup for flatties and bigger stuff with 7’ rod, 2500 stradic, 10lb braid, 12lb leader.

colnick
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Re: Soft Plastics Newbie

Post by colnick » Sun Nov 24, 2019 3:18 pm

I'd endorse skronkman's suggestions. I use plastics almost exclusively for dusky flathead in shallow water in NSW. I have a relatively stiff rod and a light baitcaster reel spooled with 9 lb mono. I went back to mono a few years ago because I find it cheaper, easier to rig and manage and I catch just as many fish as I did with braid. Casting distance, spool capacity and line stretch are not an issue in my kind of fishing.
Like skronkman, I have a variety of jig heads and plastics but my own favourite is a Squidgie Fish around 75mm in a sparkly colour they used to call Gary Glitter. I have caught hundreds of duskies on this plastic and also picked up the odd bream together with a single big sand whiting.
My experience may not be relevant for your type of fishing but I throw it in for what its worth.
Good luck!
Col.

Leronzia
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Re: Soft Plastics Newbie

Post by Leronzia » Sun Nov 24, 2019 7:47 pm

so if i use 10lb braid on a 6'6 sahara x is that fine,

Leronzia
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Re: Soft Plastics Newbie

Post by Leronzia » Sun Nov 24, 2019 7:47 pm

Leronzia wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 7:47 pm
so if i use 10lb braid on a 6'6 sahara x is that fine, thats my other setup 3-5kg

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Re: Soft Plastics Newbie

Post by Leronzia » Sun Nov 24, 2019 7:49 pm

and then another question are all of your suggesting smaller setup for casting distance or just general.

skronkman
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Re: Soft Plastics Newbie

Post by skronkman » Sun Nov 24, 2019 9:30 pm

I’m not familiar with that specific rod but it sounds about right (as long as it’s light and fairly fast action) and 10lb braid is fine. Should match with a 2500 reel. If you use some 8-12lb mono leader and a 1/4oz plus (as light as the conditions will allow but still able to get a reasonable cast in) jig head with a 2.5” grub you should be in the market for flatties. Flatties aren’t too picky about a heavier jig head and it will be easier to cast a decent distance on less than ideal setup and get to the bottom.

The length of rod is more a personal preference but comes into play with designed cast weight. Fishing light jig heads you need to be able to cast them and that’s why I have a super light rod and reel. I feel it’s more sensitive too, being shorter.

Leronzia
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Re: Soft Plastics Newbie

Post by Leronzia » Mon Nov 25, 2019 1:55 pm

skronkman wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 9:30 pm
I’m not familiar with that specific rod but it sounds about right (as long as it’s light and fairly fast action) and 10lb braid is fine. Should match with a 2500 reel. If you use some 8-12lb mono leader and a 1/4oz plus (as light as the conditions will allow but still able to get a reasonable cast in) jig head with a 2.5” grub you should be in the market for flatties. Flatties aren’t too picky about a heavier jig head and it will be easier to cast a decent distance on less than ideal setup and get to the bottom.

The length of rod is more a personal preference but comes into play with designed cast weight. Fishing light jig heads you need to be able to cast them and that’s why I have a super light rod and reel. I feel it’s more sensitive too, being shorter.
Thanks mate, i tried a bit saturday morning, nothing moved to bait and reeled in some pinkies. whats your retrieve style, i used a zman curly tail 3.5 inch and doubble hop retrieve, you think smaller plastic?

wem21
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Re: Soft Plastics Newbie

Post by wem21 » Mon Nov 25, 2019 2:51 pm

Leronzia wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 1:55 pm
skronkman wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 9:30 pm
I’m not familiar with that specific rod but it sounds about right (as long as it’s light and fairly fast action) and 10lb braid is fine. Should match with a 2500 reel. If you use some 8-12lb mono leader and a 1/4oz plus (as light as the conditions will allow but still able to get a reasonable cast in) jig head with a 2.5” grub you should be in the market for flatties. Flatties aren’t too picky about a heavier jig head and it will be easier to cast a decent distance on less than ideal setup and get to the bottom.

The length of rod is more a personal preference but comes into play with designed cast weight. Fishing light jig heads you need to be able to cast them and that’s why I have a super light rod and reel. I feel it’s more sensitive too, being shorter.
Thanks mate, i tried a bit saturday morning, nothing moved to bait and reeled in some pinkies. whats your retrieve style, i used a zman curly tail 3.5 inch and doubble hop retrieve, you think smaller plastic?
Do your best to match what you see swimming around on the day

e.g sunday morning i was wading beaches for flatties and noticed that there were tons of small baitfish, so i used zman slim swimz 2.5inch.

If i had seen anything smaller than a small baitfish I would've use grubs, but anything around the 2-3 inch baitfish size I would use minnow imitation lures

for bream though, the smaller the lure the better, I would just stick to 2inch grubs for bream

skronkman
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Re: Soft Plastics Newbie

Post by skronkman » Tue Nov 26, 2019 3:52 am

3.5” is prolly on the larger side. Try smaller and you should tempt more fish. I vary my retrieve depending on what is or isn’t working in the day. Often bigger pauses and slower retrieves works when they aren’t firing up. Even slow role can sometimes be the most productive on the day.

Water is taking its time to warm up this year so fishing artificials should only improve through summer. Keep at it, once you catch one you’ll have the feel for it and the confidence that it works. Then your second fish will come quickly. confidence catches fish.

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Re: Soft Plastics Newbie

Post by ChrisTaylor » Mon Jan 13, 2020 7:40 am

I like, and mostly use, 'aji' plastics. Apparently in Japan they use small, scented plastics to catch mackerel. Compleat Angler Dandenong started selling these plastics a while ago, billing them as ideal for catching ... anything, really. I picked up a few out of curiosity and was immediately impressed. I'd never caught more fish! You can find them online, and I've seen them elsewhere ... but the range isn't as good.

I'm happy to catch-and-release. I'm not too fussed about what I catch. I've caught the usual suspects (salmon, flathead, pinkies, EPs, etc) but also some weird ****, too. These plastics are expensive and fragile (toadfish or anything else with a respectable set of teeth will rip them to shreds). They come in a variety of shapes -- from paddle tails and curly-tailed grubs, to imitation squid and worms -- and must be fished on appropriately small jig heads. Flicking around plastics -- both these and the more readily-available stuff -- accounts for 90% of my fishing. I mostly fish Frankston and Mornington.

Some thoughts, both for these tiny plastics and Zmans and etc, based purely on my own experience:

- You need a rod that can cast very light things, and to have said rod paired with a decent reel and some braid. I've heard of people using expensive leader material all the way through, but that seems ... expensive. I use an Itchy Twitchy/Stradic 2500 pairing. The Itchy Twitchy was my first 'serious' fishing rod, whatever that means, and it's my 'almost everything' rod. You don't need one. The best rod/reel combo is the one you like best, right? Just so long as you can flick around light things.

- You need to move around. If you watch LandfishTV, he advocates moving around until you find the fish. That's ... it, really. Move from one bit of structure to another. Aim for structure: pylons, moored boats, sandy patches in weed beds, overhanging branches, etc. It's an active style of fishing, based on figuring out where the fish are and actively working the rod.

- Small plastics. 1.5-2.5 inch. Even bigger fish will hit those. Fish seem less ... reluctant? to hit a smaller plastic than a larger plastic, or a huge lump of bait. I like natural-looking paddle tails, squid-shaped plastics, and vibrantly-coloured worms. If I was only buying one or two packets of plastics as an introduction, though, I'd go with the paddle tail. 'Match the hatch', see. Think about how many tiny baitfish you see lurking around piers. There are some Aussie made plastics in this size category -- Strike Tiger. I haven't had a huge amount of luck on their gear, though, but I've been meaning to start throwing them at carp.

- Small jigheads. A gram or less, going up to 2 grams. You can buy these jigheads in a variety of shapes, each of which lend slightly different actions to the lure. I've yet to invest much time in experimenting with this detail, though. But 'light' is the takeaway here. You want a natural sink rate. Obviously, somewhere with a strong current will give you grief, so you might want some slightly heavier jigheads in your kit, but you can't sink too slowly. Going light isn't just for piddly plastics -- I stay light even when using larger paddle tails, etc.

- Light line. I use a 4 pound leader. I *do* lose fish -- bigger salmon are a problem, and just this morning I had something decent lose me on the pylons at Mornington -- but I also catch a lot more than I did when I used heavier leaders. I am happy with the trade off: more bits and some bust offs vs fewer bites. I don't have a huge problem with snags (small hooks help). If you do, pay more attention to the depth/sink rate/current/etc. I can see why other people aren't so happy with the risks associated with lighter line, though.

- Ensure the plastic is sitting nicely on the jighead, and clear weed and crap off the hook. Match the size of the plastic and hook, too. If you're getting lots of hits on the plastic's tail, and the hook is nowhere near the tail, then you aren't likely to catch much.

- Be prepared not only to move locations, but to vary retrieves and switch plastics. If you're not getting any bites, and you've been moving a bit, maybe switch to a different type of plastic. If you've been hopping a plastic along the bottom, maybe switch to a slow roll. Maybe lift the plastic, slowly, all the way to the surface before letting it fall once more.

- You can't fish a plastic too slowly, even when you're after aggressive species like salmon.

- The usual factors -- low light conditions, tides, etc -- are hugely important.

- There's a learning curve. I think, like any style of fishing -- at least if you're figuring it out for yourself through YouTube and forums and experimentation -- you'll be crap for a while and then, at some point, you won't be. Pick a location and fish it repeatedly until you figure it out. You'll end up working out where the fish tend to lurk. If you speak to divers, or look at underwater footage, or fish the same spot repeatedly, you'll realise there are always fish there. Always. Getting them to bite, or figuring out their exact location, is the hard part.

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