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good action and work at slow speeds, but not so thin that it tears up easily after a few casts or a single catch,” said Redington. “Paddle worms produce a lot of drag when they fall, so they fall a lot slower than worms with other tail styles. For example, a paddle worm like the Lake Fork Tackle Hyper Worm falls at about the same rate with a 3/8 oz. weight that a regular worm falls with a 3/16-1/4 oz. sinker. This is an advantage in the frequent case when bass prefer a slow fall, like after a cold front. You need a small weight with most worms to accomplish a slow fall and light baits are harder to cast accurately or far, especially in wind. By be- ing able to use a larger sinker with Hyper Worms, I can still get a slow fall from heavy baits and Tungsten Flippin Weights I have increased casting dis- tance and control in the wind.” Tungsten Worm Weights Redington noted a pad- dle tail worm is more ver- Tungsten Drop Shots satile than you might Umbrella Rigs think. They produce Buzzbaits around cover
such as stumps, laydowns, docks, and submerged grass. “My go- to presentation with Hyper Worms and other paddle tails around grass or any other cover is a steady lift of 18 inches or so off the bottom and then let the tail thump back to the bottom on a slack line. In some cases though, snapping them briskly off the bottom, similar to the ‘stroking a jig’ technique produces reaction bites from stubborn fish. In this case, I up my sinker a couple sizes to ½ oz. and peg the sinker to the hook. I’ll experiment with one very sharp snap to explode the worm 3 to 6 feet off the bottom or try two shorter snaps in a row, each popping the bait about 2 feet up, bringing the worm a total of four feet off the bottom after the two snaps. Again, let the worm fall on slack line, this allows the tail to work freely on the way down. When ripping it off the bottom you will normally feel your line pop or jump when a bass hits it, immediately reel up and set,” said Redington.
Redington fishes his paddle tail worms on a 7’4” Dobyns Ex- treme DX744 worm rod and fishes it on 50 to 65 lb. braided line. He likes a 2/0 to 3/0 hook for four-inch size worm and up to 5/0 hook for six-inch worms and he always utilizes a straight shank hook. “For a rod I like a heavy power rating and a fast tip. The key is a fast tip. You need a little tip to be able to cast light baits, and do roll casts and pitches. However, you want the rod to load quickly so you feel the bite of a big fish quickly before it buries into the cover and tangles. Definitely go with a fast action rod. Moreover, a fast tip allows you to easily snap the bait free of grass,” he said. Redington noted he likes a normal worm hook set when he is fishing fluorocarbon line in open water. If he is fishing braid around grass or wood he explained, “you have to smack them with all you have. It takes a lot to get the hook into a big fish at the end of long casts. On shorter casts, you need to dial back your hook set to more of a half set on a tight line or the zero stretch of braid will blast it right out of their mouth.”
How to fish them
Redington noted, “If fish are schooling you can rig a paddle tail worm on a jighead or on a weighted swimbait hook and count it down to any depth.” Most of the time he prefers paddle tail worms snaking over and through grass or other vegetation. He prefers to switch to swimbaits for open water fishing. “I normally start with the five-inch Hyper Worm and I use it probably 70 percent of the time. If I›m on the hunt for