Editor's note: Read part 1 here.
Over the years I’ve developed some pretty strong feelings about tackle when I’m fishing with a finesse shaky head. That’s why I devoted an entire column to properly spooling your spinning reel. If you’re going to be successful with this rig you can’t spend half your time messing with line twist.
I use a shorter and lighter action rod than you might think. Mine is a 6-foot, 6-inch medium action model.
The shorter length has a practical effect on my fishing. If you stop and think about it for a minute you’ll realize that the shorter the rod the less your bait is moving. A short rod at a 15 degree angle that’s moved 2 inches will not drag a bait as far as a long rod will at the same angle and moved the same distance. Think about using a shorter rod as something you can do to help yourself slow down.
At this point I want to give the legendary Larry Nixon credit for teaching me this. It’s one of those tips that’s helped me off and on throughout my whole career.
The medium action is important because it helps me skip my bait. Lots of times I’m skipping my shaky head under docks and low hanging limbs. I want to put my worm into places where other anglers can’t. If you aren’t a good skipper, I suggest you take the time to learn. It’ll make a big difference in your catch.
I mount a 20 or 30 series reel to my rod. I want a big enough spool that I can wind my line in quickly and get a fish out of heavy cover quickly. A decent size spool will also give you longer casts with less effort.
I only use one type of line. That’s Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon. It’s flexible and strong with excellent knot strength. The fluorocarbon sinks faster, too. That helps get your bait fall straight down. (Remember, half your bites will come on the fall.) It also gives you better feel for those times when the bite is tentative.
The best place to fish a shaky head is where you’re fishing.
I can’t think of a type of water or a place where it won’t work. It’ll catch fish on gravel points and gravel shorelines. It’s just as effective in heavy wood and brush. All you have to do is Texas rig it. Make sure you run the hook point in and out a few times so you can get a good hookset with the light line you’re using. It’s great in weed beds as well.
But, the places I really want you to think about are places that are hard to reach. Big, long docks with a little open space between them and the water’s surface are perfect. And, so are brushy shorelines with lots of overhanging limbs.
If a place looks like you can’t possibly get a lure to it, go for it with a shaky head. So what if you lose a few of them? Heads and worms are cheap. It’s not like you’re taking a chance on losing a $15 crankbait.
I noticed several of the anglers who posted comments under Part 1 wanted me to talk about power finesse fishing. I’ll do that next week.