BassParade: Science

Science: Bait Longevity

Kinda' llike the Energizer bunny...

Here’s a subject that’s worthy of some discussion. Just how long should a good bait last, or how many bass should it catch before being relegated to the junk pile?

This one popped into my head after receiving an e-mail recently from  In-Fisherman field editor Ned Kehde. Ned is a big proponent of the Z-Man Elaztech baits, that super strong soft plastic material that also goes into the Strike King 3X baits. I believe the material was first employed around 2005 into the bait market. Still not exactly sure what it is made of, other than something that doesn’t play well with traditional soft plastic materials. These baits are kind of like the old Stretch Armstrong  toy – pull the thing until it stretches a couple feet and then watch it snap back into place as if nothing ever happened. Ned had stated in the e-mail that at present, he was up to 134 bass caught on the same 4″ finesse worm and still going strong.

Contrast this with the comments of one Rick Clunn I have sitting in the article archives when he was asked about the Stanley Vibrashaft spinnerbaits breaking after a dozen or so bass:

“The consumer generally wants the spinnerbait to last longer than he does. And he’s willing to sacrifice some strikes with a spinnerbait that lasts. That’s a little foolish.

“To me, if a spinnerbait catches 10 or 15 fish, that’s more than most lures ever catch for you. So why not go ahead and use a new one. Don’t take a chance on the bait breaking when a fish hits it.”

So on the one hand, you have baits like the Elaztech plastics that might get you 100 or more bass before needing to be replaced. On the other hand, you have things like the venerable Senko and Sweet Beaver that seem to practically fall off the hook if you look at them funny – just pray that the bass doesn’t come up shaking his head violently upon landing…but they flat catch fish.

So where is your breaking point? Are you a Mend-It glue, Wormizer, epoxy kind of guy, or are baits cheap and disposable and better fished fresh? Willing to pay extra for a finely tuned and crafted bait that might not last a full season, or would you rather have something titanium that always snaps back into place and looks good as new?

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Chad Keogh

    April 30, 2012 at 8:06 am

    With soft plastics, if it is torn and not staying on the hook well anymore I put on a new one. At 50 cents/bait it isn’t worth my time to fiddle with repairing. I have much better luck with my spinnerbait longevity than Rick Clunn though. I have a Strike King KVD spinnerbait that has landed over a hundred pounds of smallmouth and I still haven’t even had to tune it…

  2. Adam

    April 30, 2012 at 8:18 am

    That elaztech from Z-Man is some good stuff…if you dont get it around any other kind of plastics. If so, you will have a big ball of goo. Go buy some!

  3. Bass Pundit

    April 30, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    I put used plastics in a separate bag and then use Mend It on them later if they are still use-able.

  4. Ryan T

    April 30, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    I started a recycling initiative in my area exactly because of this. I am working with ReBaits.org and The BoatUS Foundation. ReBaits recycles soft plastics and BoatUS Foundation recycles fishing line. Many anglers discard used plastics and line into the bottom of the lake. If they aren’t discarded there, they end up in our landfills. So far I have learned the following. Soft plastics do stink when you have a bunch of them and they get hot. The Elaztech literally liquifies some plastics and it hardens like an old french fry. Mend It and glue work well but the heat sticks work better. I encourage everyone to recycle their old baits and line. More and more recycling drop off centers will be created soon. I encourage everyone to start their own now. It is a great conservation activity for clubs and tourneys. Please check out WackyBass.com for more information.

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