Emergency Softbait Fixes
By: Phil Foo
Softbaits or soft plastic baits are some of my favourite baits when fishing. I have been fishing with them successfully for many years, and have caught a variety of fishes on them from freshwater fishes such as giant snakeheads (toman), brown snakeheads (haruan), peacock bass, etc. to saltwater fishes such as snappers, groupers, barramundis, etc.
[ My line was somehow caught in the tackle box as it fell, causing the jighead to be pulled out of the softbait; damaging it… ]
Softbaits being soft in nature can and do get damaged during fishing trips. A fish with a good set of teeth can easily chew away a part of a softbait causing it damage. Its ok if you land the said fish. But sometimes the softbait could be damaged due to reasons with no fish in the mix. I have gotten my softbaits damaged even before they touch water.
Softbaits can be easily damaged when taken by a toothy fish such as this grouper.
Soft bait can be damaged by getting your hook and softbait snagged, crossing lines with an unfriendly angler, and even by accident. This happened to me. I was holding on to my softbait that has been secured to a jighead when a friend accidentally pushed my tackle box to the ground. My line was somehow caught in the tackle box as it fell, causing the jighead to be pulled out of the softbait; damaging it. Imagine my disappointment. New and unused softbait thrown in the bin.
So, what can you do should you need to fix a softbait during a fishing trip? One of the things I have with me when I fish is actually a roll of black sewing thread. One of the ways I use this black thread is to help fix my softbaits if they can be fixed. One of the more common ways a softbait can be damaged is after a fish has taken it and you land the fish only to see a torn softbait in its mouth.
Some of my favourite softbaits by Berkley. Awesome for snappers and groupers.
One of my damaged softbait. Damage is due to the jighead being pulled, thus tearing the softbait.
What I meant by a torn softbait is that the area where the hook point exits the softbait, gets torn a little and can no longer hold the bait and swim well. There are two things one can do to fix this and to continue fishing with the said bait. One is to use glue such as Super Glue. I do not like this method as Super Glue has got a super strong odour that is a put off to fish.
[ I have caught plenty of fish by repairing slightly damaged softbaits while fishing… ]
The second method is my go to method. What I do is to get out the roll of black thread and make a circle the damaged of the softbait a few times. I will then tie the end of the thread together. This will allow the hook to hold on to the softbait as if it were not damaged. I then snip off the extra ends of the thread with a pair of scissors.
Using thread to support the hook at the damaged area of the softbait.
So far, I have not been disappointed. I have caught plenty of fish by repairing slightly damaged softbaits while fishing. Doing so has also helped me catch more fish when I have only one of my favourite softbaits left. Needless to say, some damages are just way too big to be saved. In this case, just use another softbait.
Softbait tied with thread. A few loops is good enough. Ensure that the knot holds.
Also take note that I do not recommend keeping and repairing used softbait for another trip as some of the best softbaits in the market are actually made of food and flavours that fishes naturally are drawn towards. These makes them super effective at catching fish. However, they deteriorate after being used due to bacteria and parasites in the water that we fish in.
Snip off the ends of the thread and you are ready to cast for your next fish.
There you go. Should you be in a situation where you are fishing and you run out of your favourite softbait, and it gets damaged; I hope this article helps you further the use of your softbaits and you are able to continue fishing. Do let me know if you have tips of your own that could help fellow anglers when they are out fishing.