Weightless TubingBy Dustin Smith - November 1, 2001
A tube ranges in size and color of course. For weightless fishing, I prefer a tube 4 ½ inches but depending on the size of the baitfish smaller or larger tube might be more effective. Tubes that have thicker bodies and a solid head are usually used, because you can cast farther and they last longer. Flipping tubes are preferred by most anglers for weightless fishing.
I have two primary colors for weightless tubes white, and chartreuse. I use white in most situations except in muddy water conditions, then I switch to chartreuse. I switch to chartreuse because it shows up better in muddy water which is important. White always represents some type of minnow, weather it be shad or Largemouth bass fry.
The hook I use for the weightless tube is by Eagle Claw. It is called the Eagle Claw High Performance Hook. It has a very wide gap and a clip that holds a tube efficiently. On most situations I use the 3/0, but may go to a 4/0 depending if I want a little deeper presentation or further casting distance.
Basic equipment for the tube varies depending on conditions. My basic weightless tube setup is a Medium Heavy action rod with a pistol grip, with a fast retrieve bait caster, 6.2:1 is ideal. For my line I use 12 lb. Test monofilament, I like P-Line CXX. If big fish are present and heavy cover I will throw it on 14 lb. Test.
When, where and how? Fishing the Weightless tube is as easy as it looks. First when do you fish it? I fish it from water temperatures 55 and up. When fish are shallow and not aggressive enough to take a spinnerbait, buzzbait or other fast moving lures, a tube will work. A weightless Gitzit works quite well during pre-spawn and during the summer months if you can find shallow water fish. Favorite spots to work the tube are around lily pads, tules, laydowns, and docks. How to fish the tube varies depending on what kind of structure you are fishing and what species of bass. In the lily pads and tules casting parallel to the edge usually produces the best. Using light twitches of your rod, much like a retrieve of a soft jerkbait. Twitch it slowly close to the edge and depending on the fishes mood slow down the retrieve or work it faster. Fishing laydowns with the tube often requires pitching more than casting. Pitch the tube near heavy clumps of wood or wood that is protected from the sun. Twitch the bait slowly and let it drop into holes of the wood, also catch your line on a twig and twitch the tube gently in place. Watch your line as the tube falls for any movement, because sometimes the strikes can be undetected if you don't.
Here are a few tips for fishing the tube that I have picked up. I like a tube with heavy salt and I put BANG fishing attractant on them. Some of the bites can be very subtle and the salt and attractant give you more time for the hook set. Using dip and Glo or some other type of dye is helpful in muddy water, dye half of the length of the tails chartreuse or your preferred color. Trimming a few of the tails of the tube will give it more action, most companies put to many tentacles on the tube and they stick together ruining some of the action, trim off 4 or 5 of them.
Good Luck fishing the Tube