On any waters where smallmouth bass reside, a soft-plastic tube is a sure fire way to catch fish. During summer look for fish on large weed flats or gravel bottoms. These areas hold crayfish and gobies. This time of year fish prefer an erratic retrieve, which is done by hopping or “stroking” the tube off the bottom. This aggressive retrieve gets the fish’s attention from far away and helps them find your bait. Match the hatch with tube––if it’s mostly gobies that fish are feeding on, use a green pumpkin with gold and purple flakes (or watermelon colors for imitating crayfish), depending on the body of water you are fishing. Selecting the right tube rod is extremely important. A 7’ to 7’5” extra fast action, medium-power rod will get the job done. The ideal rod for this situation is the G. Loomis E6X 852S JWR spinning rod. Pair this with a 2500 Shimano spinning reel, spooled with 10-pound PowerPro Super Slick with a fluorocarbon leader, and you will have a setup that offers the ultimate sensitivity for chasing big smallmouth with tubes.
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