Soft-plastic baits come in all shapes and sizes these days. It seems every conceivable type of tail and appendage has been invented, so there is a bait that will work in nearly every situation. However, all soft-plastic baits have one inherent flaw, namely the “soft” part.
The softness gives baits great action, but when a fish eats the bait and you set the hook, the top of the lure often splits as the hook tears through it. For a 10-inch worm it’s no biggie. Just cut off 1/2 inch and you’re back in business. For a lot of lures, especially creature and beaver-style baits, a torn head instantly renders them worthless.
Thankfully, there’s an easy fix. My friend’s dad showed me a solution using an O-ring that’s so simple I can’t believe I didn’t think of it before. Yet, as simple as it is, I haven’t seen anyone else do it.
Here’s how it works:
Use an O-Wacky Tool to put an O-ring on the upper end of the bait, approximately 1/4 inch from the head of the bait. On a ribbed bait such as a beaver-type bait, slide the O-ring to about the second ring down from the head.
Now run the hook through the lure as normal. For any flipping-style hook with a keeper, the keeper should be just below the O-ring, resting against it. With EWG and offset-style hooks, the bend should rest against the O-ring.
Now you’re ready to go, and your lure will usually last for way more fish than normal. The O-ring protects the nose of the bait so the head won’t tear out as easily. And even if the head does tear, the O-ring keeps the plastic together enough that you can still fish it without the bait sliding down the shank of the hook every cast.
The O-Wacky Tool only costs a few bucks, and O-rings are super cheap. This trick not only saves you a lot of money by extending the life of your baits, but it also saves the day when the bass are locked on a certain color and your supply is running low.
The best news is you’ll also snag less because the bait won’t slide down and expose the hook, plus I haven’t noticed any difference in the hookup ratio while using an O-ring.
Give it a try for anything from Texas rigging weightless soft-plastic jerkbaits to punching beavers and craws through grass mats.
For a better look at how to rig it, watch my video. It’s the coolest trick I know, and hopefully you like it too.