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"Is there a secret, or at least specific method required to get a good hook set with tubes? I've not used tubes much, mainly because although I get a lot of bites with them I've never landed a fish with one (until last weekend). As for last weekend, I experimented with a number of lures, and I have to say that the tube was getting hits at 5-10 times the rate of anything else. I landed one. Sounds to me like I am doing something wrong with the hookset. Do you pause after getting a hit, or set it immediately? Do you prefer a stretchy line like mono, or the firmness of braid? Any suggestions would help. BTW, I do prefer to go weedless,"
Abu Garcia and Pfleuger Pro Staff Member Carl Donnelly of Orleans, Ontario, offers the following response:
I completely understand your frustration with the hook up ratio when using tubes, I have experienced it many times when using them Texas Rigged.
In regards to using them in heavy cover for largemouth, I would consider the line you are utilizing. Using a braided line such as Berkeley Fireline, NanoFil a unifilament line or premium fluorocarbon line such as Trilene 100% Professional Grade will certainly assist in increasing your hook up ratio. The low stretch and sensitivity that is gained will allow for quicker and harder hook sets, allowing you to drive the hook through the tube with more power, which is key to increasing the hook ups. Make sure that you also use premium wide or extra wide gap hooks which will allow for the tube to collapse when setting the hook.
Rods should be at minimum, medium heavy, to heavy in the 6’9” to 7’5”. I personally like the Abu Garcia Verdict Series Rods in model VCC70-6 MH 7’ or VCC70-7 H 7’, paired with Revo STX HS or Revo Premier HS 7:1:1, which really allows for taking up line in a hurry. You really need to hit the fish hard on the hook set, and get him moving up through the cover quickly.
For Smallmouth, I have tried weedless tubes, in the past, and truthfully have never found a way to ensure a successful hookup. I will only use tube type jigs, designed specifically for tubes, with the hook exposed. Another consideration is to constantly check the hook point for sharpness, dragging over rocks and sandflats seriously dulls the hook tip, and will certainly impair hook ups. Always keep your file handy, and keep touching up your jig to make it sticky sharp. Again, for line I would use a premium fluorocarbon line as indicated earlier, as this will give you better feel and less stretch for setting the hook with more authority.
When tossing or dragging tubes for Smallmouth, use a rod that is soft enough to help absorb the stress that these fish will put on the line, but will also provide and the leverage needed to get a good sweeping hook set into the fish. I have had great success with the Verdict VCS70-5 in a M 7’ or Verdict VCS70-6 MH 7’ both paired with a Pflueger Patriarch 9535 or 9540 spinning reel.
Have a safe and enjoyable season on the water.
Abu Garcia and Berkley Pro Staff Member Jason Gogan of Saint John, New Brunswick, offers the following answer:
Tube fishing is one of my favorite ways to fish all season long. I always have at least two rods rigged up with tubes. On one rod I like to have a Dark Brown or Black tied on and on the other one is a lighter shade of Orange or Yellow (Baitfish).
I have listed a few things below that might help point you in the right direction.
The lines I would recommend would be Trilene TransOptic and Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon.
When I am fishing tubes I like to watch my line and Trilene TransOptic works perfect for me. TransOptic is a monofilament and has everything you need for fishing tubes. TransOptic changes from clear to gold in sunlight. It has Hi-Vis color above the water and is clear below the water line. On those subtle bites you can see your line move. I use 8lbs to 12lbs test and would suggest staying with a test (diameter) you feel comfortable and confident in.
The other line I would suggest is Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon.
Fluorocarbon has a better sensitivity over mono and also sinks at a faster rate. You also get a better connection between you and your tube, with less bow in your in your line. Fluoro has no stretch and nearly invisible underwater. Also with Fluoro you can get away with a heavy test line.
When fishing tubes I like to use and extra long jig hook and Andrew can confirm this because he pours all my jig heads. I use a Lazer Sharp 574 4/0. I like to have an exposed hook because I feel I can get a better hook set with no obstructions.
If you fishing a wide gap hook I would pick a hook that the gap is wide enough to pierce your bait and get a good hook set.
Here are some options I use for my tubes when fishing weedless.
Bell sinkers, Shaw Grigsby's High Performance Quik Clip from Eagle Claw, The Gitzit Glider and last but not least Sebile Soft Weight System.
Rods and Reels
On this part of the question you can ask ten different fishermen and get ten different answers. I try to take out as many new anglers out on the water as I can. I carry equipment on my boat that is in the mid price range so people can actually use great product without breaking the bank. I ordered a couple of rods and reels from Abu – Garcia that are worth more than they cost and would highly recommend these products to anglers.
Here is the set- up I would suggest for spinning:
Abu – Garcia Vendetta Series spinning 6’ 6” MH F with Orra SX spinning reel (orrasx20)
Here is the set- up I would suggest for a Baitcaster:
Abu – Garcia Vendetta Series casting 6’ 6” MH FT with Orra SX baitcaster.
I would like to stress the importance for getting the best performance out of your fishing line. Always try to match your line test (diameter) to your rod and reel specifications.
Hope this helps.
An obsessed angler
The Pure Fishing Team is made up of experienced and knowledgeable anglers from across the country that fish for just about anything that swims. Is there something fishing related that you're unsure of or would like to have someone else’s perspective? If so, please forward your question(s) to myself and someone from the Pure Fishing Team will answer the question(s) here on NPS and no names will be used, you'll remains anonymous. Keep the questions coming! There's no such thing as a ridiculous question if you don't know the answer! Concernant notre projet Q et R, S.V.P. noter que vous pouvez également soumettre des questions et recevoir des réponses en français.
Have fun On The Water,
The Pure Fishing Team