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April 2001

Tube Baits for the 21st Century
Chris Roberts

 

When you start to see all kinds of variations of a bait, you know that it is in demand.  The bass tube is one of those baits.  There are loads of new styles of tubes in stores and more to come. 

Spring is here and the bass are moving into shallow water.  Two things that you can count on every year are the bass will be ready to eat and there will be lots of anglers out to catch them.  Each year when spring arrives, the lakes are crawling with fishermen wanting to catch the bass of a lifetime.  This is traditionally the best time to catch a lunker.  Even novice anglers with limited knowledge of the lakes have a better than average chance to catch great numbers of bass and a true trophy.

The baits that I usually think of for springtime fishing are a spinnerbait, jerkbait, lipless crankbait, and tubes.  Today I would like to talk to you about the bass tube. It  is growing in popularity and the styles are changing.  The bass tube is a bait that will catch fish year around, but during the spring it is lethal on big bass.  In the old days when a guy mentioned a tube bait, he was a crappie fisherman.  But today, almost every serious bass fisherman has them in his boat and usually has at least one rod pre-rigged with one.  It is such a versatile bait.  You can fish it in the grass, timber, riprap, or on mud flats.  The baits can also be fished on a Texas rig, jig head or a Carolina rig.  There is no way to fish them wrong. 

Tubes have almost always come in a wide variety of colors and today is no exception.  The colors range from salt and pepper to solid black.  Then when you add in all of the dyes that are available to us, the color combinations are endless. 

New styles of tube jigs are being introduced each year.  Ten years ago about all that you could find were two and a half to three inch baits.  All that is changing now.  Soft plastic manufacturers are recognizing the demand for tubes and they all want to stay competitive.  Last year Gene Larew came out with a new design for a tube that was called the Ring Tube.  They put big rings around the bait to make it fall slower.  It also caused the bait to displace more which made the bait more appealing to big fish.  New for 2001, Cyclone Baits has introduced a new line of tubes called the “Hard Head Tube”.  It is a full six inches long and it has an inch and a half of solid body at the head of the tube.  The solid portion of the bait is made to hold your hook better and to make it possible to get more than one hook set per bait.  It will also hold the screw in weights better.  Mad Man has introduced one of the newest looks in tube baits today.  Their Craw Tube looks just like a crawfish.  Every detail of it looks real even down to the tail curling under at the top of the jig.  At the Tulsa Boat Show, Backlash sold totally out of their stock at the show.  Bass Pro Shops has a new tube called Tender Tubes. They have 3D eyes and a fin added to the back.  The tube is also molded with scales and a realistic shaped head so it will more closely resemble a baitfish.  The soft plastic manufacturers are all competing for their share of success in the market place.  This translates into better fishing for all of us.

Along with new styles, companies and fishermen are finding new ways to present tube baits.  Bass Pro Shops is offering a new trailer for your tube that inserts into the bottom of the tube.  It looks similar to a spinnerbait trailer and it also adds more action to the bait.  Almost every hook manufacturer is making a wide gap hook for tubes.  Some have clips on the top and others have screw tops.  Anglers have been known to put Alka-Seltzer inside their baits to make them bubble.  They also put floatation inside them to make them fall slower.

There is a reason so much time and effort is being put into the design and application of tube baits.  They simply catch fish.  Next time you are out on the water and you want catch a bunch of fish, just tie on a tube and let it work it’s magic.  You’ll be glad you did.

 Leave a few for seed,

 Chris Roberts