Tackle Talk - Weedless

john beerling

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jun 9, 2008
116
284
So Cal
Name
john
Boat
Robalo Cayman 226
Disclaimer: I don't work for these companies; don't own stock in them; and not begging to get free stuff ! Just a fisherman's perspective after a full year of testing, and thought I would share to anyone that cares.

As a year round tournament fisherman (Team Perros Viejo), I am fortunate enough to get on the water every week in pursuit of my passion (more like an obession !) in catching bass. This time on the water has been instrumental in improving my ability to catch a fish now and then, as well as the valuable information that I pick up along the way from the deep in talent field of anglers that I get the opportunity to fish against in both the SWBA and SBS. Having said that, I like to think everyday on the water is a training day, most of the time I end up being "schooled" ! And since I don't have the skill sets to really catch a bass deeper than 15 feet like some of the great sandbass experts like Team Wallsout, Snookhunter, etc... I'm left to concentrate my efforts in the "skinny zone". Subsequently, when I'm not working the 7 & 9 inch MC Viejo swimbaits, I'm throwing the weedless.

When Corey Sanden first rocked the bass community with the introduction of the weedless "slug", it gave a whole new dimension to fishing in the thick stuff. The hook ratio was horrible, but it sure was exciting watching the big blow-ups from big calicos crashing it... Then, along came the weedless baits. This took fishing calicos into an entire different arena. Personally, I have fished almost every weedless bait on the market, and privately poured in the garages of fellow anglers. Some work, some look good, and some are better left at home. For me, I still fish exclusivley the MC weedless SOLELY because of the swimming action. It's not he size, texture, or even the color for me... it's all about the technical design of the tail that causes the bait to swim naturally the way a bait swims when being pursued. Together with that, I have switched exclusively to the Trokar 9/0 hooks for many reasons... and it will make a big difference.

Now to the point of my long winded post... Hook Ratio. Anyone that has spent time fishing the weedless will tell you that the hooking ratio is less than ideal. For the longest time, I was of the opinion that they simply missed the bait (at least the part of it with the hook !). But having spent countless hours fishing on the water with Corey, Doug, and many other experts, I dramatically increased my hook percentages simply by switching to a very specific rod. Team Perros Viejo has been blessed to have Phenix as our rod sponsor, affording us the opportunity to fish any of their rods. This was a no brainer for us, because we already fished their rods exclusively for decades. Their light, strong, and the carbon fiber, kelvar, blend make them ideal for fishing everything we throw... except the "Weedless". It's all about the tip... and having seriously watch and observe strikes for the last year, I have changed my opinion. The calico was not missing the bait. In fact, he had it deep into his big mouth almost everytime. The problem was me... with the braided line, and stiffer composition of the high tech Phenix rods, it was sensing the resistance on the other end. Before I could set the hook, it was already opening it's mouth, and I was merely pulling the bait immedaitely back out of it's mouth. Here's were the rod comes in... Began fishing the Seeker Blue Lighting rods, with the soft "S" Glass composite tips... My hook ratio dramatically improved to the point where I seldom miss a strike. The tip is just soft enough on the intial strike, that the calico doesn't begin to open it's mouth before I can set the hook. I can't begin to share how this one little rod has so dramtically increase my percentages on the water.

So yes, you will always see my rod racks full of beautiful Phenix rods... but stuck among them, you will find the Seeker 708 with a weedless bait on it... and now, you will see it's big brother... the 809 (it's a beast !!!)... also with a weedless bait attached to it. It took almost a full year and a half experimenting on the water just focusing on the hook ratio... and when it comes to Weedless baits, these two Seeker rods will make a huge improvement in your catching. (shhhhh.... don't tell folks at Phenix... unless of course you can convince them to make a soft glass composite rod for this style of fishing !!! Thanks for reading... tight lines.
 

cacahuates

S.K.I.P.
Apr 19, 2010
570
260
LB
Name
Mike Dumalski
Boat
Triton 18 SE "RESEARCH"
Yoda coughed it up kids, hope you were listening.

And JB, congrats to you and Doug for finally getting the W in a SWBA tourney. It seems impossible that this one was the first.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I want to be like Beerling when I grow up.
 

bigiron

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Mar 26, 2004
305
8
46
Lakewood
Name
Chris
Boat
21' Bombardier CC
good stuff and congrats on the win last weekend!
 

bajapaddyhopper

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jul 14, 2007
448
463
Montebello
Name
Sherm
Boat
INDEPENDENCE
Sage advice from a seasoned pro. Who says an "old dog" can't learn new tricks?

I'd like to try out your experiment. (hint, hint ;))

Awesome win there too JB. You and Doug must be STOKED!
 

Matt Moyer

DESTROYER
Aug 7, 2004
1,313
786
44
La Mesa
www.ballastpoint.com
Name
"DESTROYER"
Boat
22' Sea Fox Viper "Even Keel"
Thanks John! I've been looking at the 809 and you just sold a rod my friend. I use various rods as well...Phenix, Capt. G Customs and I will be getting that 809 before the my next tournament. Thank you for the valuable information my friend.
 

farout

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Feb 2, 2006
172
13
64
Menifee
Name
Frank
Boat
Robalo Cayman 226
Congrats and thanks for the info, words of wisdom right there
 

bosshoss

Well-Known "Member"
May 26, 2005
79
0
59
Santee,ca.
Name
Gary
Boat
I wish
Hey John thanks for your insight..Wondering what type and size reels you are using on a 708 and 809 ...

Thanks again..
 

tattuna

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jul 26, 2005
609
30
46
In a van, down by the river
Name
Charles
Boat
plastic
Great info John, thanks for sharing! I learned a lot fishing with you and Doug, and after our return home, I went out and bought a Seeker 809-8T. I'm sold on that rod and you definitely helped with that as I watched you stick fish after fish on it throwing the wedless MC. Congrats to you and Doug on the win last week as well.
 

john beerling

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jun 9, 2008
116
284
So Cal
Name
john
Boat
Robalo Cayman 226
Hey Charles... great hearing from you after our Cedros "Adventure"... you won't have any regret using that 809... it's the real deal. Hope we can share a skiff together soon... P.S. and that "Kelp" hat you so graciously gave me, has already seen a lot of time on the water... hahaha Thanks

Attn Gary: I use the Revo Inshore on the 708, and Revo Toro NaCL (the new Revo 50) on the 809...
 
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titos334

VIP Elite Member
Aug 19, 2012
1,458
951
Hell
Name
Kevin
Boat
Rainbow Surprise
What Phenix rods have you been using? I typically use the 807ML, it loads up perfectly and still has the strength to pull out even big calicos from nasty areas. I could see the issue with the 808mh or 809h, I use those for deep water, hard baits, or the weedless heads. I'll have to check out the seeker rods, I love their Black Steel rods and I'm sure the bass rods are top notch as well.
 
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7raptor

happy to be here
Sep 18, 2004
1,272
287
The Islands
Name
yup
Boat
A Big One
Disclaimer: I don't work for these companies; don't own stock in them; and not begging to get free stuff ! Just a fisherman's perspective after a full year of testing, and thought I would share to anyone that cares.

As a year round tournament fisherman (Team Perros Viejo), I am fortunate enough to get on the water every week in pursuit of my passion (more like an obession !) in catching bass. This time on the water has been instrumental in improving my ability to catch a fish now and then, as well as the valuable information that I pick up along the way from the deep in talent field of anglers that I get the opportunity to fish against in both the SWBA and SBS. Having said that, I like to think everyday on the water is a training day, most of the time I end up being "schooled" ! And since I don't have the skill sets to really catch a bass deeper than 15 feet like some of the great sandbass experts like Team Wallsout, Snookhunter, etc... I'm left to concentrate my efforts in the "skinny zone". Subsequently, when I'm not working the 7 & 9 inch MC Viejo swimbaits, I'm throwing the weedless.

When Corey Sanden first rocked the bass community with the introduction of the weedless "slug", it gave a whole new dimension to fishing in the thick stuff. The hook ratio was horrible, but it sure was exciting watching the big blow-ups from big calicos crashing it... Then, along came the weedless baits. This took fishing calicos into an entire different arena. Personally, I have fished almost every weedless bait on the market, and privately poured in the garages of fellow anglers. Some work, some look good, and some are better left at home. For me, I still fish exclusivley the MC weedless SOLELY because of the swimming action. It's not he size, texture, or even the color for me... it's all about the technical design of the tail that causes the bait to swim naturally the way a bait swims when being pursued. Together with that, I have switched exclusively to the Trokar 9/0 hooks for many reasons... and it will make a big difference.

Now to the point of my long winded post... Hook Ratio. Anyone that has spent time fishing the weedless will tell you that the hooking ratio is less than ideal. For the longest time, I was of the opinion that they simply missed the bait (at least the part of it with the hook !). But having spent countless hours fishing on the water with Corey, Doug, and many other experts, I dramatically increased my hook percentages simply by switching to a very specific rod. Team Perros Viejo has been blessed to have Phenix as our rod sponsor, affording us the opportunity to fish any of their rods. This was a no brainer for us, because we already fished their rods exclusively for decades. Their light, strong, and the carbon fiber, kelvar, blend make them ideal for fishing everything we throw... except the "Weedless". It's all about the tip... and having seriously watch and observe strikes for the last year, I have changed my opinion. The calico was not missing the bait. In fact, he had it deep into his big mouth almost everytime. The problem was me... with the braided line, and stiffer composition of the high tech Phenix rods, it was sensing the resistance on the other end. Before I could set the hook, it was already opening it's mouth, and I was merely pulling the bait immedaitely back out of it's mouth. Here's were the rod comes in... Began fishing the Seeker Blue Lighting rods, with the soft "S" Glass composite tips... My hook ratio dramatically improved to the point where I seldom miss a strike. The tip is just soft enough on the intial strike, that the calico doesn't begin to open it's mouth before I can set the hook. I can't begin to share how this one little rod has so dramtically increase my percentages on the water.

So yes, you will always see my rod racks full of beautiful Phenix rods... but stuck among them, you will find the Seeker 708 with a weedless bait on it... and now, you will see it's big brother... the 809 (it's a beast !!!)... also with a weedless bait attached to it. It took almost a full year and a half experimenting on the water just focusing on the hook ratio... and when it comes to Weedless baits, these two Seeker rods will make a huge improvement in your catching. (shhhhh.... don't tell folks at Phenix... unless of course you can convince them to make a soft glass composite rod for this style of fishing !!! Thanks for reading... tight lines.
Do you fish the 808 as well?
 

Big Pancho

I've posted enough I should edit this section
May 2, 2007
1,613
28
Thousand Oaks
Name
Frank Ochoa
Boat
21' Seaswirl Striper
Great information John. I myself have been having a blast throwing out a few of my goodies at those checker fish we all love to catch. Seeing the whole thing happen in front of your face is the most exciting thing about fishing the weedless baits. By no means am I a pro at fishing calico bass but I have been very fortunate in watching some big fish come out of nowhere and destroy the big baits. If I can add one thing on helping folks increase there hook up ratios is anglers need to pay very close attention in seeng the weedless bait swim back at them on the retrieve. I have witness on many ocassion when angler tend to look away from the baits as it swims back at them and miss that bite of a lifetime. I quess that old saying goes when you are not prepared for that big bite is when that oppertunity strikes. Just my two cents on this whole weedless thing. Frank aka Big Pancho
 

7raptor

happy to be here
Sep 18, 2004
1,272
287
The Islands
Name
yup
Boat
A Big One
What Phenix rods have you been using? I typically use the 807ML, it loads up perfectly and still has the strength to pull out even big calicos from nasty areas. I could see the issue with the 808mh or 809h, I use those for deep water, hard baits, or the weedless heads. I'll have to check out the seeker rods, I love their Black Steel rods and I'm sure the bass rods are top notch as well.
The 808 Phenix has a softer tip than the seeker corey sanden 808 - thats why I picked up the Phenix.