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FLOAT TUBE FISHING FORUM » Fishing Tactics, Tackle, and reviews » Salt water Fishing tips and tricks » tube baits

tube baits

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1 tube baits on Mon Jul 23, 2018 1:30 pm

kin


Team Poseidon
Team Poseidon
This is more of a write up to help me keep track of what I've noticed and learned while fishing tube baits again. Hope this helps others gain confidence in throwing them in the salt.

Colors/Sizes:
Upon doing some more research on what my quarry loves to eat I've fallen back to using more browns, greens and reds during the day. What can resist a well placed meal of crustaceans? My favorite color combinations tend to stick with brown/pumpkins with various flakes during the day and smoke during the night. I've been doing well with 3.5" mainly because that's the size that is readily available to me. I've fished a little with some 4.5" and see them as promising but don't really have much to show for them yet since I haven't been fishing them too much.

Their size and vague profile allow them to be mistaken as an errant crustacean (shrimp, craw, crab, lobster) and baitfish (goby and vairous brownbaits, small opaleye/perch/helpless small fish depending on colors).

weights/heads:
Since i've been beating the bank mostly, I've fallen in favor of using 1/8oz heads with my tubes due to shallower water. I had to keep in mind that I want my bait to be seen as long as possible before landing on the bottom. Also, the 1/8oz is less snaggy for me since I've been fishing rocky areas. There are many varieties of heads available. From super shad heads, ball heads and even tear drops. These all play a role in how the bait behaves when you work it. I paid attention to how the line tie is orientated as well (90* or 60*, front leaning vs further back).

If you are using a 60* line tie front weighted jig head (ie ball head and tear drop) you increase the rate of fall. Pretty nice when you are fishing deeper water instead of waiting forever for the bait to meander its way down into the depths. With this style of eye, you tend to bounce off snags a little better than a 90* eye.

There are even jigs that are rigged for 0*. The line tie points straight forward and comes out at the tip of the tube, this is more for swimming the tube in my opinion than anything else.


Action:
Here's where things get interesting. Some people swear that a simple lift and drop of your rod tip is sufficient in strike generation. There is little doubt that the fall of a tube bait is enticing, especially if it is rigged to allow a slow deliberate one. 90* "evenly" weighted jig heads allowed me to really have that slow death circle action. In fact, I've been preached to by people telling me that this method is the ONLY way you should fish a tube.

In my opinion, the beauty of a tube is that it is not a one trick pony so you should not overlook its potential. The flailing little tentacles allow it do to a lot.

Instead of a lift drop action, a brisk sweeping motion will give it an erratic escaping meal look. Throw in some twitches and the bait really looks panicked as though it has been flushed from a hiding place. The tentacles will flare out and close up again with the twitches, emulating an octopus or squid pretty well as well. (stroking a tube bait)

A good sharp twitch on the bottom gives it a good darting action along the bottom. Looks very much like running bait (goby/craw) going from cover to cover.  (snapping a tube bait).

Realistically, you can even work these baits like flukes. They have a pretty good "walk the dog" action on the retrieve so honestly, there is no wrong way to work them.
I'm sure there are many more methods, the folks that fish the Great Lakes for their smallies have a LOT of good info about their tube techniques! I'm very confident that they will carry over to our harbor bass.

The big draw back is their exposed hook. I've had sessions where I spent too much time pulling off grass or trying to unsnag them from something. I haven't had a chance to texas rig them yet so maybe that will be in the future?

I've done well with the tubes in the salt and they may end up replacing my swimbaits as the go-to bait when I'm on my float tube. One thing for sure is that I now carry a pack or two every time I go out to stalk structure fish.

What hasn't really worked for me is fishing these in open water. All of my fish have been structure oriented so maybe I need to fish some flats to see how they fair in generating strikes?

Feel free to chime in everyone with your opinion.
7.24.18

**so it's been about a full month since I've wrote this stuff down and needless to say, I'm sold on them. I've racked up a good fish count to be confident enough to use them over anything else. However, here are some things I learned in the last month.

I'm actually fishing a 3/16oz head. I made a trip to bass pro and picked up heads in the 1/8, 1/4 and 1/2 sizes. When I got home, I noticed there was a significant less amount of lead on the 1/8 heads from bass pro vs what I'm using but, its about the same amount of lead as the 1/4 from bass pro. I open up my other box with 1/4oz heads from another brand and notice that the heads do not match. I dug out a food scale and weighed them. My old heads were ~0.18oz along with the bass pro heads. The third brand heads were 0.25! so, a word of warning: not all brands will tell you the correct weight.

Light wire hooks might seem like a horrible idea, but they can be a money saver. I used heavy duty heads with hooks and lose a lot more to snags than light wire. I'm prone to bending them out and saving everything instead of trying to bring up bottom. Just always remember to check the point after every snag and make sure your hook is bent back to its correct position. I have not had a hook straighten on a fish yet.

Knowing your lure's feel goes a long way. I've lost more than a few fish because I didn't recognize a pressure bite or thought it was some grass. My lure feels different if I get into some grass, hook into a bag or dragging along something else from the bottom. To be honest, pressure bites feel like hooking into a bag. I've done many a mighty hook set on bags.

Color doesn't seem to matter too much...at night at least. I'm twitching/hopping/gliding the bait on the bottom. When I took a look at its action by working it in my pool, it really looks like a craw/shrimp/goby. We all know they come in all sorts of colors. Scent didn't seem to make too much a difference either. But then again, all of the tubes I'm using have salt.

Dont be afraid to work an area thoroughly. If the conditions are appropriate, there can be a surprising amount of fish to be caught by simply fan casting and staying put. Side note: be confident in working drifts...my best was six fish back to back working the same current eddy. Hell, if I know the area is fishy to begin with, I'd still fish it during slack tides or sub optimal conditions. The action isn't as good, but you'll be surprised to still scratch out a few fish by making minor adjustments as fishing a little deeper/shallower depending on the tide or the next staging area close by.

Lastly, don't forget to have good leader material. I've been bit off too many times. Even the small fish sometimes like to absolutely CHOKE the bait. I ran with 10, upped to 12. One night, I went up to 25lb floro because I got bit off four times. I may stay with 15/17lb floro but I believe the lighter line gives the lure better action/feel. Make sure you check your line (especially up to 10" from your lure) for abrasions often, after every fish ideally.  a simple retie can save you the heartbreak of losing a good fish.

08.20.18

09.04.28
So apparently, there are going to be a LOT of options in the near future for the salt water tube style baits. Basstrix is pushing their old design and it seems like a few other companies are getting ready to develop them as well.

Check out this video on youtube!!! It's boat fishing of course and they're using heavier tubes, but its very informative on how they are using them and what action they are getting out of their tubes!!

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Last edited by kin on Tue Sep 04, 2018 3:44 pm; edited 8 times in total

2 Re: tube baits on Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:25 am

GT

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Senior FTFF Member
Senior FTFF Member
Thanks for all the info KIN, much appreciated.

Myself I fish mostly fish Hunt. Harbor, usually a out going tide to the Bridge and then back to the boat launch on the incoming tide. I catch  my fish on the out and dead tide (no movement). To my surprise I have caught a lot of my PB spotties on the dead tide.
    Personally I like the flats versus the bridge. My reasoning is one lots of pressure at the bridge. Don't get me wrong, my PB Hali came from the bridge. Secondly water movement is crazy there, hard to read sometimes. And if u fish weekends, boat traffic.
    My PB Spotties have all come from the flats. Their is great structure their, ell grass and weed that is translucent. If you know the channels where the drop offs are then you can find the spotties, halis, and sandies.
    I use a tube bait, (Hookup), 1/4 ounce, usually saradine, orange/gold r my go to colors. Others r mint, glow green and chovy. The jig head has a 90 degree eye. I have found I get better action with a tight line drop of the bait versus a slack line drop. I believe the bait swims forward with a tight line. Slack line drop allows the bait to swim side to side I believe. That's my best guess. Most of my hits happen on the bottom, like LMB a slight tick in the line means they have inhaled the bait. Letting it set for not more than 30 seconds, I will move the bait with 3 to 5 cranks, allowing the bait do do its thing. I don't do any twitching or jerking of the rod tip.If u know its ell grass, then cast and let it fall. Then lift the tube up and crank along the top of the grass. Ya u get a lot of ell on the hook on the retrieve, but the rewards are great when a spottie hits the bait, game on.
    Another point I would like to throw out their, water movement. U will see me cast in all different directions, trying to find the right presentation when the water is moving.
    I must also point out that line size has a lot to do with drop time and the action of the tube. I use braid on a spinning set up, but use two bait-casters with straight Co-Polymer XXX 10 pound line. I prefer the bait caster setup in the flats.
    I would like to think that I catch more sizable fish versus number of fish. Lately they have been in the 12 to 14 inch on average.
    That's my 2 cents.......tight lines everyone...........GT

3 Re: tube baits on Wed Jul 25, 2018 5:24 pm

SP Dan

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Thank you GT and Ken for sharing.

I will definitely be incorporating the shared knowledge of your past session experiences.

Hopefully I will do as well as you feller's have done!  Thumbs Up

SP Dan     <"))><



Last edited by SP Dan on Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:10 pm; edited 1 time in total


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Four out of the five voices that I hear in my head tell me to .... "go for it"!!!  [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]


"Obsessive Compulsive Fishing Disorder"!

4 Re: tube baits on Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:18 pm

GT

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Senior FTFF Member
Who you kidding SPDan....your a frek'n machine...........GT

5 Re: tube baits on Fri Jul 27, 2018 3:09 pm

Ornery Bob

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Thanks guys, great write ups!

6 Re: tube baits on Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:42 am

Alakai

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Great info, thanks for sharing your experience. Do you use any scents? Any particular favorites?

7 Re: tube baits on Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:55 pm

kin


Team Poseidon
Team Poseidon
If I feel the need to use it, I always have a bottle of hot sauce in my bag. But the bite has been decent and they haven't given me any signs of short striking so I haven't used it in a while.

8 Re: tube baits on Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:39 pm

SP Dan

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[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:If I feel the need to use it, I always have a bottle of hot sauce in my bag. But the bite has been decent and they haven't given me any signs of short striking so I haven't used it in a while.


I do apologize for this post hijacking,

Here's something interesting that happened to me on Sunday:

I tied on a fresh 1/4 oz Green Sardine HUB (no scent added) and I shot deep into the back-end of the docks where I was grabbed hard three times and released three times after having my drag ran (pulled) each time!!
I thought  ...Hmmm! ... to myself!
I know that they are in there ... so I squirt a 1/4" dab of Hot Sauce scent up inside the cavity of the HUB and I smeared a little of the scent also on the out side as well ... just to see if it would make difference on my next cast.

And it did! ... I shot deep into the back-end of the docks again and ...BAM!! BAM!! BAM!! BAM!! on the next four cast in the same hole.
I landed three fish and missed one with one being a legal.

Now I don't know if I was just being lucky or if it was the scent that helped to make the bite better ... but what I do know is now I keep the HUB scented all of the time.
It goes hand-in-hand with my confidence.

I may not land the same BIG numbers of fish; as everyone else, but I do enjoy landing fish.

Just my 2-cents,

SP Dan     <"))><


_________________
Four out of the five voices that I hear in my head tell me to .... "go for it"!!!  [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]


"Obsessive Compulsive Fishing Disorder"!

9 Re: tube baits on Wed Sep 26, 2018 11:59 am

kin


Team Poseidon
Team Poseidon
Dan,
That's the exact scenario where I'd open up my hot sauce and start basting my lures with it. I haven't had one of those days in a long time but if I find myself swinging and missing too many times, the scent is there when I need it.

10 Re: tube baits on Wed Sep 26, 2018 6:47 pm

Alakai

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FTFF Member
Has anyone ever tried just the Berkley Bass scent?

11 Re: tube baits on Wed Sep 26, 2018 8:07 pm

Litefoot

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Team Poseidon
Team Poseidon
Thanks Guys for the info i'm still in this bom bom

12 Re: tube baits on Sat Sep 29, 2018 10:39 pm

Logan

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Thank you so much for the great write up. I really appreciating the jigging tips.

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13 Re: tube baits on Mon Oct 01, 2018 8:17 am

Alakai

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I have two questions if anyone knows,

This last weekend I know I missed a few fish hitting my HUB and I did not react quick enough to set the hook. Any hints on how to feel the bite quicker?
I know that people say that many bites happen on the drop, after you cast the line are people just watching the way the line is "sitting" on the top of the water as the lure is dropping?

Thank you

14 Re: tube baits on Mon Oct 01, 2018 11:39 am

kin


Team Poseidon
Team Poseidon
You ever fish a senko before? You need to keep it on a semi slack line in order to maximize the bait's wiggle on the way down. However, the draw back is that you seldom feel the fish hit, so many people (including myself) have taken a habit of watching the slack line on the drop. The slack line will float on top until either it gets waterlogged and sinks or you tighten up the slack. You should get familiar with the fall of your bait so you know how quickly the line goes out first. But honestly, its pretty obvious when a fish takes it because your line either suddenly swims a different direction or it gets pulled taught quickly.

Best way to feel the bite is to keep the line tighter. I believe GT likes to fish them with a tight line, where as I like to fish with a little bit of slack. Speaking for myself, I get bites that I don't even bother setting. I need to feel the fish really commit to it before I set, and most of the time when I set, its a light set instead of a bone jarring lip ripping set. I keep my rod pointed around 30-45* mostly. I twitch the bait more frequently and like the more subtle action. When I get the non committed bites or the pressure feeling, I'll drop my rod tip down past the 45* to almost 90* creating more slack and I begin to watch my line. Sometimes the fish stop pecking away and swallow the bait, sometimes they don't continue.
Hard to resist swinging on biting fish, but I've been waiting to feel the fish really have the bait before setting. Sometimes, the fish only have the end of the bait on or only the head of it. Come to think about it, might be a good idea to approach it like frog fishing, don't swing until you feel the rod load up. I've caught some pretty small spotties with a 3.5" bait (4-5" class) so if they want it, they'll eat it. If they can't eat it and peck away to no end, they must be small. Good luck out there.

15 Re: tube baits on Mon Oct 01, 2018 3:45 pm

Logan

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Thank you Kin! Great advice. I use a spinning reel and click over right after the bait start sinking. I can feel the hits on the way down. Just my preference. My buddy let's his stay slack for a little while before starting his return. Results have been about the same.

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16 Re: tube baits on Tue Oct 02, 2018 11:53 pm

SP Dan

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I use Diawa Samurai [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] braided (8 carrier) line w/ a 5 ft long 12 lb Seaguar InvizX Fluorocarbon leader while using the RP knot to connect (tie) the fluorocarbon and braid together and the Improved Cinch knot for tying-on the HUB.

The braided line allows me a much greater line sensitivity to the ticks, bumps and thumps on my HUB from the curious or hungry fish and also in helping me to tell the difference between a soft rubbery short bite and a solid hard strike before I react.

I really don't initially attempt to set the hook ... I allow the fish a moment or two to thump and bump at the bait a few times.
Once I feel the continuous weight or pull from the fish ... I'll slowly start to lift my rod tip up and smoothly (slowly) begin to reel up any slack in my line until I know the fish has completely committed it's self to grabbing my (HUB) bait ... then I'll lift the rod tip and give a few quick turns on the reel handle in order to drive the hook in deeper ... then the fight is on! Very Happy ENJOY THE TUG!

SP Dan     <"))><


_________________
Four out of the five voices that I hear in my head tell me to .... "go for it"!!!  [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]


"Obsessive Compulsive Fishing Disorder"!

17 Re: tube baits on Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:55 pm

Alakai

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Where is the best place to get tube baits from? Selection and Cost?

18 Re: tube baits on Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:23 am

kin


Team Poseidon
Team Poseidon
Just saw this
check online, there are A LOT of places to order from. I get mine from tacklewarehouse, good selection. There are sites devoted to tubes, but they are located in the great lakes region. Really, its finding one you like (profile, color, durability, etc). I've used discontinued yamamotos, dry creek, bass pro branded but now use canyon plastics because they're cheap and hold up decently.

19 Re: tube baits on Tue Oct 09, 2018 3:20 pm

Alakai

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I have heard several people and posters about this company, any chance you have tried them?

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20 Re: tube baits on Tue Oct 09, 2018 4:30 pm

kin


Team Poseidon
Team Poseidon
haven't tired or heard of them before. If they have a color scheme you like, give it a shot. Don't pass up going to bass pro and seeing what they offer! easier to try out one pack vs a bulk order only to find out that you don't like them.

21 Re: tube baits on Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:09 pm

Logan

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I too have slowly come to love my tube baits. I absolutely love pitching them along the pilings in my float tube. I ordered some tubes from tackle warehouse this past weekend. I am also looking into dipping my own tubes due to the price on some of the brands. I wanted to try modifying some existing tubes as well. I was planning on testing different kinds for a review on my YouTube page. Will definitely post my findings here too!

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22 Re: tube baits on Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:35 am

Alakai

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I was watching the video you posted and noticed they are using a tube that has eyes! Perfect! Any idea where I can find these? I would love to try it. I went to their website and no luck

23 Re: tube baits on Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:59 am

kin


Team Poseidon
Team Poseidon
Reached out to Bill via facebook and found out that they are currently selling them out of Eric’s fishing tackle in Ventura. I've talked to some other friends and they said basstrix is trying to ramp up production in order to have them more widely available in the near future, but its hard to pin down an exact date.

24 Re: tube baits on Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:48 pm

Ornery Bob

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Yeah, there are like 17 colors shown on that list in the video and none are available on the net that I can find. Basstrix doesn't have any contact info that I can find. Eric's doesn't appear to have a website either, so I guess we're out of luck for now.

Looks like they're on to a good thing, I'm sure we'll see more of them later.

I agree with what he says about the weight distribution and glide angle, which is why I haven't bothered much with just putting a tube bait on a jig head that has an eye.

Great thread. Thanks kin.

25 Re: tube baits on Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:43 am

Alakai

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What's the difference between Finesse Tube Baits and "regular" Tube Baits? Anyone know?

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