Blog 019 | Plastic Fantastic - Part 2

Blog 019 | Plastic Fantastic - Part 2

Mounting Jig Heads to soft Plastic Shad Lures

This is where things start to get somewhat of a minefield for newcomers to lure fishing, not the mounting of the hook, which is relatively straight forward but the sheer number of different Jig Head weights and hook size available. 

Blog 018 | Plastic Fantastic - Part 2

The components, Lures, Jig-Heads and Snap-Links which will be needed for your traces.

Size matching

As for the hook size this is simple, the bigger the lure, the bigger the hook, well that’s if you’re like me and keeping it to just one single hook which I would recommend when starting out. I use a size 4/0 hook for the 120mm Shads moving up to a 5/0 for the 150mm and a 6/0 or even bigger for the 180mm lures.

Blog 018 | Plastic Fantastic - Part 2

Position the Jig Head against the Shad Lure and make a mental note where it needs to exit the lure.

Not all plain sailing

Now that you have decided on the size of lure and hook size the next question is what weight is best and there’s really no right or wrong answer on this one as it all depends on the venue your fishing, the conditions that prevail and most importantly where the fish are, and then how to inflict action into the lure to get a response! Obviously the heavier the Jig Head the quicker it will sink so it would seem obvious to use a heavy weighted Jig Head on deep venues but don’t always be fouled as once jigged off the bottom the lure will fall quickly once more, not always what the fish want. Similarly if you are fishing a fast flowing river then a heavier weighted Jig Head will help hold the lure in position, yet there are times when it will be best to let the flow pull the lure around whilst being jigged occasionally upwards. So as you can see from just the above conditions mentioned, what seems the obvious might not always be the best presentation, it just means that being prepared to put the time in and experiment in the early days will reveal just what does and what doesn’t work. 

Blog 018 | Plastic Fantastic - Part 2

Using the point of the hook make a mark in the Shad Lure’s back where the hook needs to exit.

Blog 018 | Plastic Fantastic - Part 2

Thread the lure onto the hook and out where you have made the mark.

Mind mush

Getting confused, yep that doesn’t surprise me, so let’s get the brain working even harder as when you add to the equation that different species respond to a lure in different ways and that water temperature plays a massive part in how active they are the minefield explodes! Relax, this is all part of the puzzle and becoming a competent lure angler doesn’t happen over-night, it comes with experience as well as making loads of mistakes, a bit like growing up! 

Blog 018 | Plastic Fantastic - Part 2

The finished product.


Lesson one

Let’s move onto how to retrieve a Shad soft plastic lure and without getting too technical I’m going to try and associate this with a newcomer heading out for the first time to a lake, canal or river. Many will simply cast the lure across to the far bank or out into the lake and wind it back on a steady retrieve, maybe on the odd cast faster than the one before and from time to time get a response but stop, look to your left and right as there is a margin with lots of cover where a predator maybe laying in wait to ambush its prey. Lesson one, use your eyes, look for cover and work these areas.

Blog 018 | Plastic Fantastic - Part 2

All three sizes rigged up and ready to go.

It’s all in the wrist

Lesson two, Shad soft plastic lures have a strange shape tail and there is a reason as this creates PPT, pulsating tail technology. A straight retrieve isn’t the way to get this advanced movement working, the best way is to cast the lure out, let it sink, then with the flick of the wrist lift the lure upwards, before allowing it to sink once again. Once the lure comes to rest on the bottom wait a few seconds before repeating the process all the way back to your feet. Welcome to the world of Jigging, well Jigging as I know it.

I’m no expert

As I mentioned in Part One, I’m no expert on lure fishing, far from it, but I’m an angler that wants to learn the art and add, what will always be a backup method to my armoury of tactics.

Keeping you posted

Over the coming weeks I will endeavour to get out on the bank, or afloat in the boat, cast a lure from time to time, make quite a few mistakes but hopefully land a few extra fish and report my findings in the next chapter of ‘Plastic Fantastic’!

Tight Lines,


About Duncan Charman:

As a capable and talented angler, Duncan is widely regarded as one of the most successful all-round anglers in the UK with personal bests including a 31lb pike, 16lb 5oz barbel and 140lb catfish alongside breaking two separate British Records (silver bream and pumpkinseed). 

In the public eye, Duncan is an Ambassador to the Angling Trust, a regular writer for the biggest magazines in both the United Kingdom and Europe (Anglers's Mail, Blinker etc) and has also made appearances on Sky Sports’ Tight Lines. Duncan is also an author having written his own book - Evolution of an Angler.

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