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Bass Fishing with Tubes: The Texas Twist
We all know how effective an internally weighted head fishing tube can be. In fact, the true potential of this lure and its versatility is severely hampered if you use them only in this manner. Many years ago I discovered that pipe fishing is a great way to fish in overgrown waters. The problem I’m having is that the open hook keeps getting hooked relentlessly throughout the day. To get around this, I just tried installing a pipe on a texas rig. In the end I settled on a brass and glass type rig and it has always worked out well for me. This unit mixes sexy tubes, smells and sounds into a complete bass package that grabs attention.
Equipment: 6-6 medium-speed fast-moving spindles. The best rods for this method are high modulus models with a solid backbone. I use Kistler Helium LTA 6-6 He66MS. This rod is overall lightweight with a soft tip, but also has gorilla-like power to pull larger bass toward the boat. You say it’s not fine fishing? Come to think of it, I usually use the 8lb line and occasionally the lighter 6lb Yo Zuri Hybrid. I was able to use lighter lines even on the thickest covers. You can use a 20 lb super line like Sea King’s 20/6 or 14/4. These will help cut through vegetation with ease. I prefer a fairly fast ratio reel. For tubing, I choose Shimano, not surprisingly, Sustain 2500 FD. This reel is as reliable as ever.
Terminal Tackle: My tube rig works best with brass weeney weights. I like the 1/16 or 1/8 top brass tackle weeney weight painted black. A Weenie weight is simply a shorter, wider sliding bullet weight, made of brass. This results in better sound amplification and is environmentally friendly. For hooks I use Sugoi 3/0, 3/0 Owner Rig n hooks or 3/0 Gamakatsu EWG. This method differs from the standard Texas rig in that I use fire polished faceted glass beads. This accomplishes two things. First, the beads reflect light and shimmer. I truly believe this is one of the best attributes of this rig. Second, the beads and small weights flap back and forth, thus sometimes attracting the fish to its place. The fire polished faceted glass beads are very tough and won’t cut your lines.
Tube: The only tube I use is the Wicked Tube from Micro Munch Tackle. This lure is a thick walled hand dip tube that holds the hook well. The double thick wall makes the tube durable and is necessary in the thick cover to prevent tearing. Fish don’t grab the bait, they eat it. The tube is dipped in a salt dip plastic mix, and the Kick N Bass scent is added to the plastic before the tube is molded. This produces a visibly stinky tube.
This tube on a Sugoi 3/0 hook has worked for me in almost every game I fish. If you’ve been paying attention so far, you’ll notice that this outfit uses sights, smells, tastes, and sounds to lure Mr. Bass. If you’ve ever fished with a Wicked Tube, you’ve no doubt noticed the oil slick the lure creates in the water. Its smell will have every cat in the neighborhood scratching your dry storage bin to get at them. I prefer the standard 4″ pipe, but occasionally I’ll upgrade to the larger El Gordo type pipe. It’s a quad pipe, very durable and adds insane volume. It really stands out and I think that’s what it is Reason for me, not too many other anglers throw it very often. Its size alone might scare some. I’ve noticed it catches bigger fish too.
Colors: I love the following colors; Green Pumpkin, Black Grape, Watermelon Magic, June Bug, Smoke Purple Flake, Road Kill Camo, and Black Red Flake. I matched the glass beads to the bait. Black, brown, purple or green beads will match all the previously mentioned colors.
Rigging: This rig can be set up like a traditional Texas rig. Swipe Weenie Weight up, then Glass Beads. There is no need for fixed weights or beads. Next tie the hook with a Palomar knot for added strength. Bury the hook point approximately 1/4 inch dead center of the pipe head. Pull the hook through the side of the bait until the eye of the hook enters the head of the pipe. Next snap the hook back to the side and pull the tip through, through the other side of the tube (and out again). The tube should be straight. The tip of the hook should be exposed on the fleshy side of the tube. Exposed points allow for easier penetration of the hitch set. The hook doesn’t have to pierce the excess plastic in the tube, so it fits effortlessly into the fish’s mouth.
“When using this rig, I usually notice one of two things: either I feel the bass chewing on the tube, similar to a plastic worm picking up, or I don’t feel the bait at all, which means the bass has picked up It and is usually going away with it.”
This tube is very effective in water 8 feet or deeper. Its light weight makes it impossible to fish effectively beyond that depth. Since it is weed free it can be fished almost anywhere and if you add weight you can definitely use it for depth detection. I prefer docks, boathouses, any canopies, entry points, and condos. Of course, the rig will work anywhere as long as you can find shallow cover. The rig works when jumping over cover or going through cover. This is how this rig differs from traditional pipeline rigs. The tube itself is weightless. When cast, the Weenie weight falls off the bait and slowly floats to the bottom. The tube floats to the bottom more slowly. Its slow decline is a key feature of its success. Standard pipe drill with internally weighted auger to bottom.
They take the weight directly and fall across the strike zone faster than a Texas rig. As the weight of the Texas tube rig slides forward, it slowly pulls on the bait. That’s why I don’t use baitcasters. Flip and pitch is not an accurate introduction to this rig. My goal is to get my bait over the target and have it creep slowly through the cover. After I cast a piece of cover, I try to keep a tight line because usually the bait gets hit as soon as it hits the water. If I can’t feel the hit, then I might shake the tip of the rod to get some noise from the beads and weights. I then let the pipe fall on the controlled slack line and cover the down column of the water I was working on.
I don’t fish open water as I prefer internally fitted tubes. I targeted specific visible cover and tried as best as I could to break it apart, despite the bait’s “break off cover” action. Getting the bait to jump is the real art of accurate presentation with this rig. Sometimes I try to crash the bait through cover so it actually goes past my target. This is because a strong cast doesn’t allow the weight to create resistance to the cast and keep the bait on target. The bait will go through the cover and stay in the strike zone longer. You might also be able to use a skip cast to place the bait on the target. The 1/16 oz. weight won’t pull the bait as much as heavier sizes.
Put the brass weights and glass to work to create some sound. I move the tip of the rod slightly, maybe an inch or two at a time. You don’t want to over exaggerate your movements. Slight movement is key, as you don’t want to actually move the bait while trying to get it to sound.
Bite: Many tube bites feel like a mushy wet rag on the end of the line. With this rig I usually notice one of two things: either I feel the bass chewing on the tube, similar to a plastic worm picking up, or I don’t feel the bait at all, which means the bass has picked it up and Usually leave it alone. This happens because the tubes have no weight, and the bass doesn’t feel resistance in the form of unnatural internal weight. Typically, the lines will start to move. Polarized sunglasses are a must for this technique. With this and most other fixture techniques “weighing the line” is important. This means knowing how the bait feels in the water. Usually any feeling of lighter or heavier is a strike. When I found the strike, I really wanted to shake the hook home. Although I tend to use thin line and pull my drag tight, I rarely break on fish. Usually, if I hang a monster, I disconnect the anti-reverse and rear reel. I use sweep sets because this allows me to move more lines than a standard shoulder jig. I’m not exaggerating when I say fish don’t spit out a tube. They just don’t do it. They literally eat it.
Texas Rig pipes do well during early spring and early fall. I just prefer to use other baits at different times of the year. It’s an excellent big fish attractant because it has a thick profile and doesn’t give off many, if any, negative cues. It’s loaded with glass beads that appeal to all bass senses, and like I said before, “these tubes get eaten up”. The combination of salt and smell makes it hard to resist for any bass.
Gear Glitch: Texas Tube Fishing Madness
Stem: Kislter Helium LTA 6-6 M He66MS
Reel: Shimano Sustain FD 2500
Series: Yo Zuri Hybrid 8lb
Hook: Sugoi or Gamakatsu 2/0 or 3/0 EWG
Tubing: Micro Munch Tackle Wicked Tubing 4″
Terminals: Top Brass Tackle Brass Weights and Fire Polished Faceted Glass Beads
Texas Rig Tube is a very consistent producer. If the occasional bass wants a different look, there are several options. I really like the fine technique of the West Coast. My sleeper pipe rig is the same rig but with the bead set 18″ above the hook. The sinker still slides freely and catchy fish don’t feel the extra weight. The rig can crawl along the bottom like the Carolina rig. This is a noisier demonstration because the bead and weight are always in contact.
We all know that tubes are versatile. I’ve used these tubes for the last few seasons to handle bass on the inside/outside weed line and have had amazing consistency. This is one of the great lures anyone should have. This is especially important for people who don’t like jumping jigs.
Copyright 2005 Micro Munch Tackle
No part of this article may be reproduced without the written permission and consent of the author
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#Bass #Fishing #Tubes #Texas #Twist