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  Article 18...

Versatility with a Tube Bait
By Chad  Brauer

Although it has been around for about two years, the Strike King Flipping Tube has become one of my favorite baits. I have had plenty of success catching bass on it with the technique it was designed for, but it has also proved effective when used in different situations. The Strike King Flipping Tube could be the most versatile soft plastic bait ever produced. Here a few of the ways I use it to catch fish.


Flipping and Pitching
This is the intended use of the bait. I will Texas rig the tube on a 3/0 Mustad Tube hook with either a 1/4 or 5/16 oz. bullet weight. If I am fishing heavy cover, I will peg the sinker or use a Florida rig screw-in weight. If I am around isolated cover, I will usually leave the weight loose. I fish it on 25 lb. Stren Green line unless I am in very clear water, then I will downsize. The tube bait seems to be particularly effective when the bass are feeding on baitfish as well as when you encounter a body of water that receives a lot of fishing pressure. I choose the color of my tube based mostly on the water color. If the water is clear, I use the natural looking colors like green pumpkin, smoke/red flake, or watermelon/gold flake. In dirtier water I will go to either darker or brighter colors like black neon, black/blue, junebug, or black/chartreuse.

Carolina Rig
Virtually any soft plastic bait can be used on a Carolina Rig, but there are a couple of times when the tube produces better than others. One such time is on smallmouth bass that suspend off the bottom. I will rig the tube as I would any other time but I will stuff some Styrofoam inside the tube. This adds buoyancy to the bait and floats it off the bottom into the strike zone.

Jerkbait
This is the latest method I have discovered with this bait. Soft plastic jerkbaits have become popular through the 1990's, but I have acquired such

 

 
 









 

 

 

  confidence in the Flipping Tube that it is now the only bait I use for this application. I rig it Texas style without a weight on a 4/0 or 5/0 Mustad Tube Hook. Because of the solid head of the bait it is durable enough to last through several fish. The solid head also adds weight to the bait for castability as well as giving it an uneven weight distribution. This uneven distribution results in a very erratic action. I fish it with 12 or 15 lb. Stren on a Team Daiwa Davy Hite Spinnerbait rod. When fishing it through heavy cover I will occasionally use a sinker on the front, either 1/16 or 1/8 oz. Pearl Pepper, Sand, Chartreuse Pepper, or Bluegill are my colors of choice for this technique.
The Strike King Flipping Tube has proved for me to be a very versatile bait. The same can be said for many baits if you take the time to experiment with them. Give the fish something different to look at and your chances of getting bites will increase.
 
 
 

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