Many of our Hogy products are soft-jerk bait style, so they are designed as a lure that can be fished on or just under the surface. But that doesn’t preclude you from weighting them when the fish are deeper in the water column or you have heavy surf or windy casting conditions to contend with. The big advantage here is that soft-baits can be weighted in many different ways, which gives you many options compared to most hard baits.
1. Insert Weights
One major advantage to weighting soft baits with inserts is that you can place them anywhere to accomplish the desired effect. Hogy Inserts can be cut with pliers to desired weight and length.
Increased Casting Distance: Inserts should be placed in the tail. This will minimize “tumble” affect while the lure is in the air by pointing the tail toward the destination.
Nosing the bait downward: Inserts can also be placed in the nose. If using more than one insert weight, make sure the weights are symmetrical. If they both favor one side, the bait will bank in one direction.
Simply weighting the bait so it sinks: Symmetry is the key here. For best effect, place one in the tail, two in the mid section and two in the nose.
2. Carolina Style
I’m a big fan of this method for fishing Hogys because you can add a good amount of weight near the soft bait without compromising its natural action. The only downside is that extra weight can make the bait and rig a bit more difficult to cast. However, using additional weights in conjunction with Carolina-style rigging is great for both casting and drifting.
An egg sinker is placed above the bait and separated from it with a barrel swivel. Stopping the egg sinker with another barrel swivel will make casting easier.
3. Jig Heads
There are dozens of sizes and shapes of jig heads on the market but for general use in places without a huge amount of current we recommend our Hogy Jig Head. We designed it to interface perfectly with our Jiggn’ Hogy Swim Baits but it also works very well with our Double Wide series. Experimentation is fun though, and we encourage you to try a number of different designs to determine which one works best in the places you fish.
The main thing to keep in mind is that the shape of the jig head should interface with the soft bait as seamlessly as possible.
Avoid a radical difference in size, especially at the back of the jig head where it contacts the soft bait because jig heads that are too large or too small may alter the action of your baits.
4. Grip Hooks
If you don’t want to use a jig head but are looking for a little extra weight with a single hook, try our Hogy Weighted Grip Hooks. They won’t get your baits down as far as a jig head but the added weight on the hook will let you swim your bait a foot or so under the surface in most conditions.
5. Nose Weights:
Often associated with Texas Style fishing, the nose weight slides all the way down to the bait. When left free sliding on the line, the weight will be undetected by a bass as it “slurps” up the bait. Other anglers, in the interest of casting, will secure the nose weight with a tooth pick jammed down the hole of the weight, pinning it to the line. Texas style rigging, often referred to as “weedless” rigging is the preferred rigging method as the bait will slide across the bottom when fishing with this weight.
6. Swimming Heads
Tin Squids were originally designed for use with eel skins but they work great with soft plastic lures anywhere, salt or fresh.
We worked long and hard to come up with our Hogy Tin Squid, redesigning and testing it over and over until the right shape and weight were determined. Tin squids add some weight to the soft bait, making it swim just below the surface, but the biggest advantage may be that an angler can be sure that a soft bait on a tin squid will swim with the undulating, fish-like motion that makes Hogy soft plastics so deadly effective – with no imparted motion by the angler. This means you can retrieve at a steady speed, which makes fishing soft baits even easier. We recommend a moderate retrieve speed for the best results, but of course you can always impart some action to the lure if desired.
You may want to try a stop-and-start retrieve, which can seal the deal with finicky fish. In any case, you can be sure a Hogy rigged on our Tin Squid will swim “right” every time.
7. Sinking Line
If you’re trolling, using weighted line is the best way reach deeper into the water column. Some anglers use stainless steel wire line to accomplish this but wire line can be difficult to use because it can kink and break, and heavy, specialized gear is required to use it and it can be very tiring and frustrating stuff, especially for inexperienced anglers. Lead core line is another option and is fine for use at moderate depths, but it too is prone to breakage and after three “colors” of lead core is deployed it has the tendency to sag in the water, which can result in missed strikes.
We’ve come up with what we think is a perfect alternative between these two types of weighted line: our Hogy Sinking Trolling Line. This stuff gets down as well as traditional lead core, but with a durable plastic coating it is more durable than braided nylon covered lead core and has less of a tendency to sag, which means you’ll detect more hits. It has very little stretch and is easy to tie. Our Hogy Sinking Trolling Line is sold in lengths of 125 feet per spool, which will get your baits down 12 to 20 feet, depending on trolling speed and current. And no special trolling gear is needed; standard conventional reels and rods with standard guides will work just fine. We recommend either braid or Dacron backing beneath our line, and a monofilament or fluorocarbon leader of 8 to 12 feet.
8. Pinch Weights
Easy to attach and detach, pinch weights are especially useful on large offset worm hooks used when Texas-rigging Hogy soft baits. The are suitable for keeping the soft-bait subsurface, especially in rough conditions.