Soft plastic baits are artificial fishing lures used to catch various saltwater and freshwater species, such as bass or walleye. Soft plastic baits for fishing are versatile, easy to use and are suitable for most types of fishing methods. However, the process of how to use soft plastic baits varies, depending on the specific fishing environment. Certain soft baits perform best in freshwater environments, while others may be used for both freshwater and saltwater purposes.

Soft plastic bait making materials often include silicone or rubber. These soft baits for fishing are meant to imitate worms, frogs, mice or crayfish. While many soft plastic baits are available pre-rigged, others need to be rigged manually. Generally, unrigged soft baits are more affordable than pre-rigged products. To learn more about how to use soft plastic baits and to discover the pros and cons of using them, review the information below.

What are the characteristics and features of a soft plastic bait?

Soft plastic baits are available in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors and patterns. These soft baits are available rigged or unrigged, and are made from a variety of materials. Various soft plastic bait making materials include silicone, rubber or other soft plastics. Other materials may include polyvinyl chloride (PVC), oil-based resin and fish-attracting scents.

Soft plastic baits for fishing are molded into various shapes to resemble baitfish, swimbaits, worms, grubs, tubes, insects, eels or slugs. Other soft baits for fishing are meant to resemble frogs, mice, larvae, crab, crawfish and shrimp. However, the type of soft plastic bait you use will vary, depending on the specific species of fish you wish to target.

What kind of fishing can soft plastic baits be used for?

Soft plastic baits for fishing are versatile lures than can be used in freshwater or saltwater environments. Additionally, soft plastic bait may be cast into the water, trolled behind a moving boat or used in vertical fishing presentations, such as ice, pier or float fishing.

What types of fish can I catch with soft plastic baits?

When using soft plastic baits for fishing, you can catch a variety of species. Soft baits allow you to catch the following fish:

How do I use a soft plastic bait?

The process of how to use soft plastic baits varies, depending on whether the bait is rigged or unrigged.If the soft bait is rigged, you can simply thread your fishing line through the eyelet hole, located at the top of the lure. If soft plastic baits are not rigged, you must complete the following steps to rig your bait:

  1. Prepare your worm hook (or jighead),and place the sharp end directly into the nose of the bait.
  2. Rotate the hook in a downward motion, so the hook comes out directly in the middle of the underside of the bait.
  3. Push the hook all the way down, until the eye of the hook reaches the nose of the bait.
  4. Rotate the hook, so the hook points upward.
  5. Bend the soft plastic bait,and bring the hook directly through the underside of the lure.

After rigging soft plastic baits for fishing, you may add a weight to the hook shank to cast at even greater distances.

What are the advantages of using a soft plastic bait?

Soft plastic baits for fishing are advantageous in many ways. They are inexpensive, versatile and fish are likelier to hold them in their mouths for longer than they would hard bait. Additionally,soft plastic bait for fishing can be used with or without spinnerbaits, jig heads or bullet weight sinkers.

What are the cons of using a soft plastic bait?

While soft plastic fishing baits are advantageous in many ways, they are not as durable as hard bait. When using them, minnows and other small fish species are likelier to bite at the lure and destroy it. And, unfortunately, soft plastic baits are often left behind as litter in popular fishing areas.

Who should consider using a soft plastic bait?

Since soft plastic baits are so versatile and easy to use, they are excellent lures for beginner and veteran anglers, alike.

How much do soft plastic baits cost?

Depending on the specific soft plastic bait making materials used and whether the lure is rigged or unrigged, soft baits are generally very inexpensive. For instance, Leland’s soft baits from FishUSA are available for as low as 99 cents for a five-pack of unrigged Trout Worms, while Southern Pro sells a 10-pack of Pro Tiny Worms for $1.29. They are also available from other popular brands, including Berkley, Strike King, Storm and Bobby Garland. Soft fishing baits from Berkley range from $1.99 for a 10-pack of Gulp! Saltwater Sandworms, to $6.49 for an eight-pack of PowerBait MaxScent.

Where can I find soft plastic baits?

Soft plastic baits for fishing are available through a variety of retailers, as they are generally very easy to find. For instance, soft baits are available through merchants such as Cabela’s, Walmart, Bass Pro Shops, West Marine, DICK’s Sporting Goods, Overstock and Amazon. Several best-selling soft baits for fishing include the following: