The shaky head is a staple in the bass fishing world. While anglers have used a variety of worm types and brands, there is one soft plastic worm that stands out over all the rest.
The best worm for a shaky head jig is one that is made from Elaztech. This soft plastic material is buoyant and the worm will stand up straight all of the time.
There is a difference between what we, as anglers, think our lures our doing underwater and how they are actually behaving.
Most Misunderstood Aspect of Shaky Head Fishing
When the shaky head first burst onto the bass fishing scene it was portrayed as a method that will stand the worm straight up.
With traditional soft plastics, that is definitely not the case.
A normal soft plastic worm will present more in a “rainbow” or “arched” shape. The part of the lure that is held up by the hook will present as we think, but any of the plastic that is above the hook point just lays over to the side.
The below image will give you a great example of what I am talking about.
While there is no doubt that the worm is up off the bottom more than if you were using a Texas-rigged lure, it is still far from what we picture in our mind’s eye.
The Difference an Elaztech Worm Makes on a Shaky Head
Elaztech plastic is much less dense than traditional soft plastics made with Plastisol.
The result is a lure that reacts much differently in the water.
You can see in the below image, how the Elaztech worm stands straight up, as we think a worm should.
When the plastic worm sits like this, the possibilities for presentations are wide open.
Anglers can literally leave the worm sit and let the natural convection currents in the water add subtle action to the tail. I also like to add action to a shaky head in these two manners as well.
First, and my favorite, is to leave the shaky head sit and then squeeze the rod handle while using a tight line. Squeeze the rod with your hand hard enough that your arm vibrates from the tensing muscles.
When using a tight line, this rapid vibration transfers directly to the worm and imparts an incredible action to the lure. It looks very life-like.
The second action I like to use involves a slack line. I mainly use this with soft plastics that are flat on the bottom, like a Texas-rigged worm, but it also works well with a shaky head.
While the line is slack, bounce the rod tip quite aggressively. The slack in the line will keep the lure from having too much action, yet creates a realistic shimmy and twitching movement to the worm.
Both of these actions can be seen in the below video.
Traditional Shaky Head Retrieve and Elaztech Worms
A more traditional shaky head presentation is to drag the lure across the bottom. Anglers can do this by either reeling the lure very slowly or lifting the rod tip.
Both will scoot, or drag, the lure across the bottom.
The wonderful characteristics of Elaztech plastic will keep the tail higher in the water column during this process. As the shaky head worm runs into debris or vegetation on the bottom of the lake or pond, the tail will continue to stand up straight and be seen much more often than traditional plastics.
(Here is an article on catching bass on sunny days – which is perfect for a shaky head.)
Fish a Shaky Head With Confidence Knowing the Elaztech is Always Working
One of the dilemmas we face as anglers is lure efficiency. We assume that our lures are working for us all the time when in reality they are not.
As mentioned earlier, they could be covered in debris, slipped into vegetation or a rock crevice, and not visible to the bass.
The extreme buoyancy of the Elaztech worm and added height off the bottom means that your lures are working for you almost 100% of the time. This directly translates to more bites and many more bass caught.
The number of fish I catch on this style of shaky head worm compared to traditional soft plastics is incredible.
I like to use the Strike King Super Finesse Worm for my shaky head presentations, but any Elaztech-based lure is going to work well.
Store Your Elaztech Worms in Their Own Bags
The chemical makeup of Elaztech does not mix with traditional Plastisol. Keep the two types of plastic worms separate and do not let them touch. Otherwise, you will get a gooey mess and a bunch of worms that are no longer usable.
Most anglers make this mistake once, but then learn from it and never have a problem again.
Keeping the Elaztech worms in their original packaging is the best way to solve this potential issue.
Good luck out there and be sure to encourage someone today. You never know how you may change their life forever.