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Fishing Using Rubber Lures

Updated on May 18, 2013
picture: courtesy Morgue File
picture: courtesy Morgue File | Source

Rubber Lure Basics

Rubber lures are pretty much my favorite way to catch fish. Since I like them so much, I've gained confidence in them, which means I tend to use them more and more often. I've caught some decent sized fish using them. I think one reason they work is that their action in the water is lifelike and when a predator grabs hold of them they feel realistic. Another positive is that you can fish several rubbers on a single hook. It just makes unhooking quite a bit easier than using treble hooks (3 pointed hooks) - and thereby kinder to the fish.

Rubber Lures
Rubber Lures

Techniques For Rubber Lures - What Works For Me

Types of rubber lures

You can find rubber lures in all shapes, styles, colors, and sizes. These lures imitate almost any aquatic food form that wiggles or swims. Fish, worms, crabs, frogs, crawdads, shrimp, eels, lizards are imitated, plus some shapes that just seem made up. The choices might overwhelm you at first, so my advice is to pick up some fish imitations first and then slowly build up your collection. Different lures work better in different ways. Try them out first in clear water where you can see their action clearly.


Casting accurately is a key to using any lure. With rubbers you are better off fishing at closer range rather than at a distance. This is because you need full control over the lure. Lures will often be taken on the drop, and a bit of slack line is all you will see. Rubbers are often gently sucked in by the fish rather than grabbed fiercely, so if you're fishing at 150 ft. or so, you might not feel the take at all. Sometimes they're best when just jiggled up and down a little, something you can only do when you're up close and personal! Also remember that many rubbers are best suited for just sitting on the bottom. Often predators will study them for a few minutes before coming in to attack.

Keeping Contact with the Lure

I can't over emphasize enough that it's important to stay in contact with your rubber lure. Fish like bass and perch will often mouth the lure without moving away, so be ready for any indication on your line. If the water is clear, try fishing shallows to see it the lure is taken. Are fish investigating the rubber without trying to eat it? This could be a clue telling you to change the shape, color, or size of the lure. Fishing rubber lures is all about intense concentration. It also requires smarts and imagination. A little twitch or lift of the rod lip, giving some slack line... all these little tricks could mean the difference between success and failure. A key to fishing is believing in what you're doing, it's only after you've gained confidence that success will be sure to follow.


Don't be afraid to take some chances with your rubbers. You might try fishing a rubber worm up the side of an underwater rock formation. Allow your lure to sink to the bottom between two large rocks. Let it settle for a bit before twitching it slowly up to the surface. Cast a rubber frog onto a lily pad. Let it sit for a minute and then just twitch it slowly with the lip. You could encounter an explosive hit from a bass or a pike. Sometimes the most extreme colors can do well. Don't be afraid of wild colors like pink or purple.


Success at rubber lure fishing is very dependent on using the senses, and a lot of success comes through using the feeling in your fingertips. With most lure fishing, you're retrieving at a constant speed and expecting a good bang on the rod lip. It's not the same with rubbers. I've already said how gentle the take can be, so always be looking out for the slightest sign that you've tricked a fish. This form of fishing is kind of like nymph fishing using a fly rod. Lose concentration for a split second and you could miss the catch of a lifetime. This is another reason why I love this kind of fishing: fish them properly and a whole day by the water passes in an instant.

How To Rig Your Soft Fishing Lure

How To Texas Rig A Worm Lure

More Tips And Tricks For Rubber Lures

1. In heavily fished areas, fish, especially larger older ones, may grow tired of seeing the same lures over and over again. If these fish haven't hit these lures up to now, chances are they won't in the future. Try using different, even offbeat lures and you might have some success against these old timers.

2. Adding scent to soft plastic or rubber lures is a tried and true technique used by veteran anglers. You can buy lures already impregnated with scent, or devise your own secret concoction to dip the lures into before casting. Either way, it's another way to gain an edge when trying to catch a wary fish.


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