Best Soft Plastics for Bass: Must-Have Baits for [currenyear]

Written by: Dan R
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Which plastics are best for bass fishing? There’s no simple answer to that question. With plastics that can cover any fishing situation, on any lake or river, anytime of the year, it would be impossible to narrow it down to just a few. But here we are, trying to do just that.

Whether chasing smallmouth or largemouth and fishing lakes, rivers, or streams, every bass angler’s tackle bag is going to look different. But there are some plastics that should be part of that ensemble, which is why we put together a list of the best soft plastics for bass, wherever and however you might be chasing them.

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The Best Soft Plastics for Bass

There is no single ‘best’ soft plastic for bass, and that's a good thing. That’s why plastics are so versatile. There are, however, plastics that every bass angler should have and, in no particular order, these are our picks.

Yamamoto Senko

best senko colors

Available at: Bass Pro | Amazon 

Sizes: 3 to 7 inches

The Senko could possibly be one of the most well-known bass baits around, and that's saying a lot considering the amount of bass baits out there, hard and soft. Having first arrived on the bass fishing scene in 1996, the Senko has stood the test of time, not something many other soft plastic bass baits can claim.

The Senko features a larger profile than many other styles of bass worms, making the casting ability unlike anything else. Available in just about any color you can think of, and impregnated with salt, it’s not surprising bass have a hard time resisting it.

Pros

  • One of the most versatile worms on the market, the Senko can be rigged several different ways.
  • Available in a huge selection of colors to cover any condition.
  • The soft plastic construction makes it dance and move in the water like nothing else.
  • Salt impregnated for extra attraction and to make bass hold on longer.

Cons

  • More expensive than similar baits on the market
  • The same soft construction that makes it so natural looking does not hold up well to multiple fish.

Zoom Super Fluke

zoom super flukes silver

Available at: Bass Pro | Amazon 

Sizes: 4, 5 ¼, and 7 inches

Considered to be one of the original soft jerk baits, there's a reason why the style is copied so much and why the Super Fluke still holds up in spite of those copies: it catches big bass and lots of them.

The life-like design features a deep belly and split tail for the ultimate wounded baitfish action. When fished weightless, the soft jerkbait darts and dances around on or near the surface providing some of the best action from any soft plastic. But weightless isn’t the only way this jerk bait can be fished. Rigged with a weighted belly hook, the Super Fluke will be able to get down to any depth the fish are sitting while still maintaining its incredible action. Use the fluke on a drop-shot rig to pick up smallmouth that might be sitting right on the bottom or suspending over rocky humps.

Pros

  • Features a slit belly that helps maximize hook sets.
  • The lifelike design mimics real baitfish.
  • The soft plastic construction makes it move and feel like the real thing.
  • Available in a wide range of colors for any fishing situation.

Cons

  • The soft body construction means it isn’t as durable as other plastics.

Yamamoto Double Tail Hula Grub

Yamamoto Baits Double Tail Hula Grub

Available at: Bass Pro | Amazon 

Sizes: 4 and 5 inches

When Yamamoto baits are brought up in conversation, most anglers will think of the Senko, one of their signature soft plastics, but the Double Tail Hula Grub is where it all started.

Its unique design is a combination of a simple curly tail grub and a creature bait. Fished on a football jig, the Hula Grub provides great action without sacrificing its ability to stay on the bottom where big bass are feeding on the crawfish that this plastic imitates.

Having been on the market for sometime now, the Hula Grub is a go-to plastic bait for professional and casual bass angler alike.

Pros

  • The plastic composition is the perfect combination of soft and durable, holding up to multiple fish while being soft enough that fish hold on.
  • The free-moving tentacles and double tail creates an action unlike any other grub style plastic.
  • It’s loaded with salt to not only attract fish but also to make sure they hold on longer.
  • Whether fished on a heavy jig or weightless, this plastic has the versatility to fish the entire water column. 

Cons

  • More expensive than most other plastic baits.

Strike King Rage Tail Craw

Strike King Rage Tail Craw

Available at: Bass Pro | Amazon 

Sizes: 4 inch

Creature baits are a staple for bass anglers everywhere, whether fishing smallmouth or largemouth, and no creature bait is more popular than a craw. The market is flooded with plastic crawfish imitations, but it is the realism of the Rage Tail Craw that makes it stand out from all of the others.

Pitching it weedless into heavy cover, crawling it along the bottom on a football jig, or using it as a trailer on a skirted jig, this plastic does it all when it comes to fishing a crawfish. Whether the bait is dropping quickly, slowly crawling through heavy cover, or simply sitting on the bottom in a defensive position crawfish are known for, the soft plastic pincers are always moving and fluttering.

Pros

  • Highly versatile for a creature bait, this plastic can be rigged any way bass are caught.
  • With a slim body and large soft pincers, the Rage Tail Craw’s design is exclusive to Strike King, making it stand out amongst other crawfish imitations.
  • The recent addition of coffee scent to these baits add yet another fish triggering quality that no other bait can offer.
  • It’s available in a large range of fish catching colors.

Cons

  • While it’s hard to find a con to this bait, some customers report that the larger pincers are often what the fish will hit, resulting in a lower hook-up rate and the soft pincers being torn off.

Strike King Coffee Tube

Strike King Coffee Tube Soft Baits

Available at: Bass Pro | Amazon 

Sizes: 2 ¾, 3 ½, and 4 ½ inches

It’s sometimes said that a bass angler only uses 10% of the baits they carry with them, because it’s those 10% of baits that consistently catch fish. Of course, this is going to vary by angler, but there is no doubt that everyone knows the effectiveness of tube jigs.

While there are ample choices when it comes to selecting the right tube, the Strike King Coffee Tube stands out above the rest for one simple reason: the unique infused coffee oil scent. Not only do bass go absolutely crazy for the scent, but it is also one of the best ways to mask unnatural human smells that may turn fish off. Combine that scent with salt, and you’ve got a tube that fish can’t refuse.

Most effectively fished with an internal tube jig head for jigging, dragging, or bumping cover, the larger version can also be flipped or pitched on a texas rig.

Pros

  • Infused coffee oil and granules provide a strong, unique scent as well as a natural earth tone
  • Salt impregnated for added attraction and holding power
  • Made from highly durable plastic that will hold up fish after fish
  • Sold in packages of eight, offering great value

Cons

  • Some customers report a lack of consistency in size, with some tubes being fatter or slightly longer in the package.

Keitech Fat Swing Impact Swimbait

Keitech FS33418 Fat Swing Impact Bluegill Flash, 3.3'

Available at: Amazon 

Sizes: 2.8 to 7.8 inches

The design of the Keitech Fat Swing Impact Swimbait is something that is often imitated but never duplicated. Keitech uses a two-tone injection process that blends several different salted plastics. This process creates a swimbait that is perfectly balanced, all but eliminating the roll that other swimbaits can be prone to. The Fat Swing Impact also features a center rigging line and two small circles at the hook slot to ensure that the bait is always rigged in the perfect position for maximizing action and running straight and true.

The action of most swimbaits can often change depending on the speed that it’s retrieved. But the above mentioned features on the Fat Swing Impact means that the bait keeps its incredible action at any speed, the tapered design providing a natural look and the large paddle tail enticing even the weariest bass.

Check out our full guide on the Best Swimbaits for Bass

Pros

  • Multiple sizes and colors means the perfect swimbait for any situation.
  • A ringed and tapered body provides both a natural appearance and realistic baitfish action.
  • One of the most versatile swimbaits around, the two-tone injection process means perfect balance at any speed and fishing style.
  • It’s infused with both salt and a strong squid scent that bass love.

Cons

  • The softer plastic can be less durable than other similar swimbaits.
  • It’s available in many different sizes and colors, but not all colors are applicable to each size.

Berkley Powerbait Power Worm

Berkley PowerBait Power Worm

Available at: Bass Pro | Amazon 

Sizes: 4, 7, 8 ½, 10, and 12 inches

It wouldn’t be much of a soft plastics review if we didn’t mention big ribbon tailed worms. Big worms have been catching big bass for a very long time and the Berkley Powerbait Power Worm is one of the best at doing just that.

No stranger to plastics, Berkley has been perfecting the scent and action of their baits for years, and that kind of research and testing is one of the biggest reasons the Power Worm has been, and remains, one of the most popular worms around.

This worm features the right combination of soft and firm, and coupled with Berkley’s signature scent, offers a worm that fish will grab and hold onto while remaining durable and long lasting.

The action of the long ribbon tail makes it perfect for beginners and veterans alike, as there is no wrong way to work the bait. It’s that kind of action that makes this worm one of the most versatile and easiest to use.

Pros

  • Available in a wide range of sizes and colors
  • Easy to use, the Power Worm’s long ribbon tail is always providing the perfect action.
  • Berkley’s signature scent disperses evenly in the water, attracting fish even from a distance.
  • Highly durable

Cons

  • The long ribbon tail, especially on the larger versions, can get fouled on the hook easily during casting.

Final Thoughts

There are countless lures and baits available to bass anglers these days. Ask those anglers what one bait they could fish with forever, and there’s a good chance that they’re going to pick a soft plastic in one form or another. Strong smelling, lifelike, versatile: the list of reasons why could go on and on, but what it ultimately comes down to is that soft plastics work, and they work very well.

If you use any of these baits, or plan on using some after reading this, we’d love to hear from you. Leave us a comment and let us know your thoughts.

About The Author
Dan R
Dan was practically born with a fishing rod in his hand. Growing up in the Great Lakes Region fishing has been a major part of his life from a very young age. When not on the water you can find Dan enjoying time with his family.
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