How To Rig a Tube for Smallmouth Bass

Smallies love Tubes!

I have written about tubes before and they’re use for smallmouth bass.  I wanted to discuss a bit about how to actually rig them for best success.  I typically use them in rivers so I match the weight needed with the current.  In higher current, I’ll use a 1/4 ounce weight and in lower current, I’ll use a 1/8 ounce weight. I love the tubes from Wacky Worm in Pennsylvania because of their smell and effectiveness but can't always get there. I generally use the 3? to 4? tube (the 3? more often) and like the road kill and dark colors best.

Tube jigs are meant to be used with a special hook and weight system. This lead-molded or tungsten jig head is slid into the cavity of the body, at which point the line tie is poked through the shell in order to attach to your line. The standard style of head is of a cylindrical shape, although round-headed and arrow-style jig heads are also very popular. When faced with heavy cover (especially vegetation) a weedless style is also available to the angler.

Weight is important to your tube bait, as you want your presentation to be down on the bottom of the structure area you are fishing. Maintaining contact with a rock shoal or underwater hump is imperative, so choosing the right size for the job is extremely important. For smallmouth fishing, the top three weights for jig heads are 1/8, 1/4 and 3/8 of an ounce. A rough guide for choosing weights is as follows – water between 0 and ten feet (1/8 ounce), ten to twenty (1/4 ounce) and anything over twenty (3/8 ounce) Keep in mind that these are only rough estimates, and may need to be increased when faced with extremely rough water, or finicky fish.  Original article here.

When fishing in lakes, I will texas rig the tube with a 2/0 to 3/0 Gamakatsu EWG Worm Hooks with a small weight in the head. I have even, when fishing from shore, taken a small stone and put it in the head of the tube when I didn’t have the right sinkers or weights with me.

Blaine shows how to rig a weedless tube here.

I’ll never forget the first time I caught a bronzeback on a tube. I was shore fishing on the Schuylkill and the tube got snagged. I used the snapping technique to release the snag and then, bang, the smallmouth took it.  I found later, that this was a common scenario and the sudden movement probably triggered a reaction strike.  For more tips on using the tube bait, see my previous article: click here.