I mainly target smallies in the Scioto, and I've been learning how to fish tubes lately. I was wondering if you fish them weightless, or not. Is it just preference, or does a little extra weight help?
I find that a little extra weight helps with the action. When fished weightless I tend to find they drift more then "hop" which, when using tubes I personally prefer the hopping action to a side to side drift. To each their own though, what ever produces fish!
I like adding a tube rattle to mine, adds the perfect amount of weight and some extra noise for attraction. Weightless might be okay in a calm shallow area but othere than that I would put some weight on it.
If you're in a river definitely texas rig....and pending the flow of the river will depend on weight.....slow to no current I would use a small split shot above the hook.....faster current I would move to a slip sinker or weighted rattle tube hook....rippin it off the bottom!!
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I throw tubes with the weight inside. I roll out anywhere from 1/16 to 1/4, depending on depth and bottom features. I'm usually fishing 1/8 though, in water depths anywhere from 2ft to 10ft. Deeper than that, then I'll step up the weight. Faster current will get me to beef up the weight too.
Tubes are pretty much my go-to bait anymore, especially in rocky areas or in big sandy spots inside of big weed beds. They catch absolutely everything. I was out last weekend and banged a bunch of pike on em while bass fishing.
Something interesting I've been trying is to wacky rig a tube when I'm fishing current. I havent gotten any fish yet, but man do you get some killer action off of it. This method I'm fishing weightless and just twitching it. Looks like a seriously wounded baitfish.