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Tube Fishing:  Hi-Tech Style
By:  Glenn Walker


            The days of only having one way to fish tube baits are long gone.  Today bass anglers have numerous options of rigging tubes.  The different ways anglers can rig their tubes all have a specific situation in which they shine.

Anglers can use specialty jig heads that fit inside the hollow cavity of the tube bait.  This method has become very popular on the Great Lakes for catching bruiser smallmouth.  Tube jig heads come in many weights and hook sizes from a wide variety of manufacturers.  I like the RC Tackle Tube and Grub jig, because when the weed guard can be easily removed with a set of pliers.  This allows an angler to make their hook completely open when fishing open water, or have some protection when fishing around some cover.  The jig with the weedguard removed also makes a great grub swimming jig.

Selecting the correct weight depends on the depth of water you are fishing and if there is current.  The benefits of using a jighead with a tube are that the hook is exposed.  This means that an anglerís hook up percentage is higher than that of a tube that is rigged weedless.  A drawback is that with an open hook getting snagged on cover is more likely to occur.  A wide variety of tubes will work; it comes down to selecting a tube you are comfortable with.  I like a soft tube that has a lot of salt in it.  Fishing tube jigs is an extremely effective technique that can be applied in many situations, from the mighty Great Lakes to small rivers and lakes.

The next hi-tech method for rigging tubes is putting a twist on the standard Texas-rig.  Using specialty hooks such as the Eagle Claw HP tube hook (L150) has become a key instrument in my pursuit for bass.  The HP hook comes in a variety of sizes from 4-4/0 and has a unique clip located on the eye of the hook.  This clip keeps your tube, in my case a 4 soft and salt loaded tube, in place when you are placing it in heavy cover.  This saves you time from re-rigging your tube.  The time saved here means you get to keep your tube in the water longer, which means more bites and in tournament fishing this is can mean the difference between a check and no check. 

Another unique use of the clip on the HP hook is that you can attach weights that are specifically made by Eagle Claw for this hook.  This places the weight inside the tube, which creates a nice compact lure that thrives when pitched and flipped around heavy cover.  This also gives your tube a complete natural presentation that entices bass.

Another component you can add to your tube when fishing it on a Texas-rig, such as on the HP Tube hook is a rattle.  A tube is unique because of its hollow cavity, which is where a rattle can be placed.  There are numerous rattles out there, but be sure to find a rattle that has a flanged lip on it because then it will stay in place on the inside of the tube and not fall out.  A few things to keep in mind about your rattle is to remove a broken one from inside the tube, so no sharp piece or plastic is present to knick your line.  Also if you keep reusing a tube after catching numerous bass, check to see that there isnít any large holes in the tube, otherwise your rattle will fall out.

To take your tube fishing to the next level this season, think about going hi-tech with your tubes.  Whether you are dragging a tube on a jighead or flipping a tube with an Eagle Claw HP hook, you are bound to catch more bass this season!