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saltybob

Paddletail Or Shad Tail Jigs

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I see a lot of soft plastic jigs with fish-shaped bodies and wiggly tails like the ones in the photo. They're made by DOA C.A.L., Zman, Bass Assassin, Monster 3x, Mirrodine and others. I think some folks call them "paddletails, & others call them "shad tails" or "swim baits." I don't know what name to call them, but they look like the ones in the attached photo.

 

I fish mainly for trout with Mirrodines and Lil Johns. I haven't used these paddletails or shad tails, but I'd like to give them a try and could use some help.

 

I wonder what brands people like, what colors, and how to retrieve them, especially when targeting trout. Thanks very much with any help or recommendations.

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The beauty of these baits is simplicity. I catch 90% of my arti fish on a nice steady retrieve with no jigging or jerking. If I do change it up I pull the rod tip to raise the lure and let it fall and repeat. I try to make my bait look as natural as possible.

 

New Penny is my go to color.

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I've been partial to ZMan Paddlerz in Houdini and red bone. But you can't beat new penny or root beer gold. We killed the trout yesterday with ZMan Jerk Shadz in houdini.

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I use paddletails or shad tails (same thing) on a jig head quite a bit. It's my go-to artificial offering for all 3 of the major inshore species. (Snook, Reds, Trout)

 

My favorites are the DOA CAL shad in 'Silver Mullet' and Rootbeer colors - and the Z-Man Paddlerz in Houdini, New Penny and Rootbeer Gold Speckled colors. Also like the Monster 3x version.

 

The ones from Bass Assassin, Mirrolure, etc work just as well - but everyone has their preferences.

 

Nice thing about the Z-Man and the Monster 3X is that they are both pretty durable - so hold up better vs pinfish and particularly puffers - but they also cost more per bait.

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I usually fish with live shrimp but my preference in arti's is the Z-Man Paddlerz in root beer.  More durable than most and they're scented.  I'll try working them steadily or jigging them until one retrieve works. I also like the Cal Shad Tail in watermelon seed. 

 

I have no strong preference as I can get skunked using anything. lol

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I have been using several brands of soft plastics that are, Z-man, Slayer Inc., and Reaction Innovations. Starting to go with the Reaction Innovation soft plastics, due to the two sizes that are available. If I go with the artificial shrimp, it will be the monster 3X. Been having really good luck with that 3x lure.

 

When I purchase a new bag of soft plastics I will open the bag ,squeeze in the Pro-Cure scent of choice, close the bag back up and work it around on the soft plastic's. This way when you pull it out of the bag it's ready to go (scented ).

 

My first go to retrieve would be bouncing the jig along the bottom. And of course, second would be a steady retrieve. Water death will be a factor in your retrieve. A  foot and 1/2 or less of water on the flats with grass, oysters or some type of structure, your best method would be to use a steady retrieve IMO.

 

The water temperature will dictate the pace of you retrieve.

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Both the slayer paddle tail and Zman Paddlerz have been amazing producers for me. I vary my retrieve: either bouncing on the bottom, a steady retrieve with an occasional jerk, or reel and stop retrieve. I like to play around with my retrieve to determine what they like.

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I have been having luck with the bottom color you have in the picture and I also change up my retrieve depending on water temp depth and where we are fishing. With the cooler temps. I like bumping along the bottom, slowly pulling my rod tip up to get good up and down action.

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DOA Cals are my go to in penny, chartreuse, and root beer. The paddle soft plastic is the most versatile lure you can throw IMO. You can swim it like a bait fish, pop it for a shrimp, and stick a 3/8oz jig head on it and drag it like a crab. I find them more aerodynamic then other soft plastics and use them as a search bait.

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The Reaction Innovations Skinny Dippers were originally designed as a topwater bass swim bait, same as the Gambler EZ Swimmer . I buzz the White Trash color on the surface over the shallow grass and sand a lot in the warmer months, both night and day. Hang on tight! Reds, snook, trout, jacks all destroy them.

I always have a Junebug or Copperfield color tied on for bass.

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