Soft plastic baits are meticulously designed and molded to give anglers maximum efficiency on the water. As effective as plastic baits are, they can still be modified even further.
One such modification is the addition of a nail weight — a thin nail-like weight — inserted into the body. The action achieved by inserting a nail weight strategically into the bait can make a huge difference where presentation is concerned. Here are a few tips to help you get maximize the effectiveness of nail weights.
Give Tungsten a Try
Lead insert weights are effective, but the arrival of tungsten nail weights on the market changed the game for anglers looking to add appeal to their soft plastics. With tungsten, you can get a heavy weight in a compact package, faster fishability and you can still get them to fit in a plastic without hindering the bait’s performance. Sure, they may cost a little more, but if you’re worried about losing expensive weights, add a dab of super glue before inserting the tungsten weight into your baits to ensure it never comes out.
Clearer and Deeper
Anglers who use nail weights prefer clear water, as it’s the visual appeal of this presentation that often triggers a bite. Using a nail weight is more of a power-finesse technique, meaning it allows you to throw a finesse bait into deeper water than normal. Also, there’s no point using this rig in shallow water, like the two feet of water around dock, because the added weight isn’t needed when the water isn’t deep.
Focus on the Fall
The key with any nail-weight rig is letting the bait fall as much as possible. Let it fall on that initial sink to the bottom and then every time you hop it up, let it fall again. Where you insert the weight plays a role in how it falls, too. For instance, stick a nail weight into the tail of your bait and it will fall backwards. When you pull the bait with the hook rigged in the front, it comes towards you every time. Then, when you let it fall again, it falls backwards away from you. This pattern makes for a very unique and enticing action in the water.
Last Bits of Advice
There are a few more quick tips to consider when you’re using nail weights. For instance, when it comes to setting the hook, don’t overthink it. Unlike other techniques, you won’t feel the bite or see your line jump with nail weights. To check for bites, lift your rod and if you feel weight, set the hook. Finally, experimenting is important. This means not only you should try this rig with different baits, but also different weight placement—the head, mid-section and tail of the bait—to create different action.
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