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Discussion Starter #1
My brutha from anutha mutha dug these out of the archives from anutha place.
First article is "Tips for Fishing and Life". A Very dear friend wrote this many years ago. I just makes me laugh, and if you knew the guy, you would too.

Tips for Fishing and Life

• On high-competition smallie rivers, he who castest the mostest, usually catches the mostest. Keep yer danged lure in the river! Converse: If you don’t want to catch dinks, don’t throw to dink water.
• There is no magic lure … just magic moments … so never be ashamed to switch to what your partner is slayin’ ‘em on that day. And always be willing to share your killer baits with your partner. But consider fishing with someone else if he constantly bums baits he knows he should have brought based on previous trips.
• If you ain’t eddy-turnin’ below every drop to fish the hole with the roar of the rapids in yer ears, buy a jetboat and go fish something flat, you just ain’t a floatfisherman.
• Fishing with people you love is only about a billion times more important than catching fish in front of people you love.
• Losing a big smallie shouldn’t break your heart; it should thrill it … once you learn the truism that when the smallie wins so do you, you’ll really understand why it is a better gamefish than a largemouth.
• Never, ever draw to an inside straight, and get it through your thick head that jacks over is NOT a winning hand in seven card stud if at least two other people call.
• If you haven’t camped on an island in the middle of a smallie river, you haven’t encountered the river in all its grandeur. Do a genuine overnight float this year.
• If is true that watching a kid catch an 11-inch smallie is infinitely more enjoyable than catching a 15-inch smallie yourself, so if you wanna have fun, take a kid fishing.
• Bass-lip thumb is a wonderful and painless ailment that will go away tomorrow; catch some fish, even if they ain’t bigguns.
• A broken rod or frozen reel is not the end of the world. Either one without a backup in the boat is.
• If throwing cigarette butts into the river doesn’t make you feel guilty, it should. So carry an empty film canister as your personal ashtray. But never tell the on-smokers who appreciate you doing so that it’s mainly to keep yourself from feeling bad.
• The classic “shore lunch” is the single greatest waster of fishing time ever devised. Gobble your sandwich and get back to fishin’ … better yet, cast between bites.
• The current is your FRIEND. Fight not with your friend; rather, juxtapose strengths to achieve harmony.
• Wind is your ENEMY, no matter where it’s coming from. Curse it. Loud. Often.
• The River Gods are impartial yet capricious. Know ye that one day they will screw with ye, and the next shine upon thee. Accept this, and just fish.
• Give a man a fish and he’ll burn dinner. Teach a man to fish and he’ll flip your canoe – after forgetting to bring sandwiches.
• Adversity becomes adventure upon fond remembrance.
• Weather only counts when you’re in it … and with the right attitude, not even then.
• Don’t stop my boat to take time and smell the roses … but if you don’t retrieve blindly in order to watch the deer, you need to get your mind right.
• Speaking of that, there are lots of critters to enjoy while on the river. Maybe that’s why they call it a “fish hook” rather than a “critter hook”.
• God won’t subtract from your total the number of days spent on the river … but he’ll punish you for every single hour spent drinking the night before!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
And another great read on fishing a tube. Probably written over 10 years ago, just as a response on a message board. But the guy writing it, and the information within it....pure MONEY.

Jeff Kelble on fishing a tube

- "You should 100% of the time start out with a 1/4 oz weedless jig head for the average four inch mizmo/Shuberts/Venom/BPS Magnum Flipping tube. I go to 3/8 oz when fishing a "fatass" style triple dipped tube. I'm NOT counting on bites during the drop or just after, rather I'm counting on bites while I'm moving the tube or just after I've moved it. A lot of people feel that you need to use the lightest weight possible, and I agree if fish are biting on the fall. That seems most common in the summer or warm water periods. But don't do that here. And I don't recommend texas rigging for this retrieve either.

You want the weight in that tube to attach it to the bottom, and I like the round bulbous head that an internal jig head makes. The movement starts with a VERY SLOW tightening of the line using a very slow upward movement of the rod, I start at 60 degrees and go to at least 90 and most of the time my rod will be between 60 and 100 degrees to the water where it is most sensitive - and where movements of the rod tip more or less directly tranlate into the same amount of movement in the tube. Did I mention it was a very slow tightening of the line, if you dislodge the tube at this point you've more than likely blown the first half of the cast and turned any big fish off that was considering the bite. You already got the slack out of the line by shielding the spinning reel spool on the cast with your left hand. This adds enough friction to the cast to slow the tube down so that when it lands the line is straight, this helps with wind too. I shield every cast I make on the river, which requires slight overpowering of the cast and feathering for accuracy, It's like thumbing a baitcasting reel.

So now you're just holding mild tension on the tube to feel for a bite while it sits there after the fall. Now It's important to understand that each retrieve is going to be unique and it's dictated by what the tube runs into on the bottom while you're moving it, I'll come back to this point. I should have mentioned that I use eight pound test monofilament and a very sensitive six foot rod, I prefer St. Croiz Legend Elites and Loomis GLX but I don't have the money to own those so I use St. Croix Avids (about $140) and i like them. But something on that caliber of rod will help. Anyway, after you've cast, shielded, and let the tube fall, let it sit for an unpredetermined amount of time, usually fairly long if the water temp is under 42 degrees and not that long if it's above 42. Vary it to see what the fish want.

The meat of the retrieve starts by increasing the mild pressure until the tube "breaks free", this is the critical moment, and I think "breaks free" is too strong, it "scratches free" if done right. If the tube was sitting on sand or gravel it will "scratch free" easily and start moving, if it was sitting up against a rock or piece of wood or ledge feature it will take more mild pressure. It is vital that once you start to feel it scratch free you let off the pressure completely for an instant to keep it from coming up off the bottom. If I'm doing this and I lose contact with the bottom at all, I've lost confidence in the cast. The line will sag slightly when you let off the pressure and it won't tighten again for the remainder of the movement.

So now it's scratched free and I've momentarily let off pressure, now you need to gently but quickly resume pressure to keep the tube moving. It should be floating along the bottom, lightly tapping or bumping the bottom features constantly. Don't visualize dragging because that's too much contact with the bottom, it's more like it's hovering. Here's where the bites come.

You've moved you're rod from 60 degrees to 100 degrees and the tube has moved, I don't know, 3 or 4 feet. Stop moving the rod and HOLD, HOLD HOLD. The tube will usually continue to move and it will slow to a stop. Tap. That's where you get the bite 75% of the time, when its slowing to a stop. I have my theories why that is, but there must be a lot or reasons because it's very predictable.

The most successful retrieves are ones that tick tick tick tick objects on the bottom as it goes, the more pronounced the ticks it seems the more often you get a bite.

If you don't get the bite there, repeat the process for two or three destinct movements separated by pauses, then that seems to be about it. I don't see many bites after the third movement. Reel in - cast again.

Now along the way here's what you'll encounter and how I think you can deal with it.

The tube won't break/scratch free from mild pressure. Resist the urge to pull harder because when you do the tube will jump off the obstruction and kill the presentation. Instead, do a pull-push-pull. Start with slight pressure, push or thow the rod forward a couple inches and quickly but gently pull it back. That's usually enough of a change in the pressure of the line on the tube to free it. Be on your toes because when it frees you need to jump right in to that float retrieve without delay. I'll try the pull-push-pull a few times to get it to move before I go to the next step.

If it still won't move, I'll use a light jiggle with mostly slack line, I'll feel the tube at the end of each jiggle. When it breaks free go right into the movement.

If that doesn't work use a light "pull the line tight-let go snap-push the rod forward technique" I used to call it the banjo. This time when the lure breaks free I'll let it settle and take a long pause. The banjo technique makes the tube come unglued too abruptly for my taste, so I want to settle everything down again. Or just reel it in and throw it again.

The next thing you might encounter is solid contact in the middle of your movement, sometimes is stops the tube, this is good. Use the pull-push-pull without delay and finish the movement, lot's of bites will come after the tube stops here. If the pull-push-pull doesn't work to keep the tube moving then start the whole process over again like you just cast tube and now you're starting to apply light pressure again.

The next thing you might encounter is loss of contact with the bottom. This may happen because you're moving it too fast. If you make it move those three or four feet in less than 4 or 5 seconds it's too fast. But let's say that your moving it slow enough, then that loss of contact probably means an elevation drop, you have to react. I react first by stopping the rod tip movement and actaully lifting my hand and rod up slightly, this will keep contact with the tube while letting it float or fall down the elevation drop. No movement of the rod tip through the arc here. This is the other place you get a lot of bites. While it's floating down toward the bottom of the elevation drop. Four out of six of my biggest river smallmouth have come at this point (21 3/4", 22 1/4", 22 3/4" and 23 3/4") All in the last three years. Big fish are in those depressions or related to those structural features. I watched RichC take a 5#2oz fish on the New River this spring while doing just this. He threw upriver just short of a primary ledge, scratched over a secondary ledge downriver of the main ledge and when it broke free he let off the pressure and the line jumped about two seconds later.

I make sure the tube is rigged to swim straight and doesn't roll to the side or spin. I check it at the side of the boat before I fish it.

One of the beautiful things about this presentation is that you are almost always in contact with the tube and it's moving slightly when you get bites so you almost always get a "tap" bite. Rarely do you ever get a mush bite and therefore rarely do you ever gut hook a fish. I use this retrieve year round for that very reason. It seems to work as well as the other retrieves and FEW DEEPLY HOOKED FISH during the warm water periods.

I have gone on long enough but I wanted to describe this thoroughly.

The other technique that seems to be hot (Yakfishes technique) is the "throw and let sit". Correct me if I'm wrong Yakfish. He prefers lighter weights, on the order of 1/8 to 1/4 oz lighter than I use. Both of our techniques rely on stealthy approach and hopefully knowing where big fish are or where they might be. He always leaves a long pause after the cast, and I presume he's letting the tube sit and/or do it's own thing if there's current. I've noticed some limpness in his line while its sitting. He tends to jiggle and or drag. Sometimes in the winter he'll just let it sit and jiggle it. He has gargantuan rattles in his tube. Then he drags I think? Then he lets it sit. But I know he doesn't make a very lengthy movement in his presentation. A couple feet and he's on to the next cast. RichC tends to use both of these or combine them.

Yakfish jump in here dude.

Yakfish catches huge fish with his technique. RichC catches huge fish with his.

If these two techniques don't work, try a jig and pig. Barry Loupe, Shmang and Lou Giusto are the best jig and pig fishermen I've seen. I'd listen to anything they had to say about jig and pig fishing. "
 

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On the water
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Thanks for sharing. Tihs is some really good stuff. By the way, what's been a successful 1/4 oz or similar sized weedless jig head for tubes? I haven't really found a weed-guard I like.
 

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I jig therefore I am!
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My brutha from anutha mutha dug these out of the archives from anutha place.
First article is "Tips for Fishing and Life". A Very dear friend wrote this many years ago. I just makes me laugh, and if you knew the guy, you would too.

Tips for Fishing and Life

• On high-competition smallie rivers, he who castest the mostest, usually catches the mostest. Keep yer danged lure in the river! Converse: If you don’t want to catch dinks, don’t throw to dink water.
• There is no magic lure … just magic moments … so never be ashamed to switch to what your partner is slayin’ ‘em on that day. And always be willing to share your killer baits with your partner. But consider fishing with someone else if he constantly bums baits he knows he should have brought based on previous trips.
• If you ain’t eddy-turnin’ below every drop to fish the hole with the roar of the rapids in yer ears, buy a jetboat and go fish something flat, you just ain’t a floatfisherman.
• Fishing with people you love is only about a billion times more important than catching fish in front of people you love.
• Losing a big smallie shouldn’t break your heart; it should thrill it … once you learn the truism that when the smallie wins so do you, you’ll really understand why it is a better gamefish than a largemouth.
• Never, ever draw to an inside straight, and get it through your thick head that jacks over is NOT a winning hand in seven card stud if at least two other people call.
• If you haven’t camped on an island in the middle of a smallie river, you haven’t encountered the river in all its grandeur. Do a genuine overnight float this year.
• If is true that watching a kid catch an 11-inch smallie is infinitely more enjoyable than catching a 15-inch smallie yourself, so if you wanna have fun, take a kid fishing.
• Bass-lip thumb is a wonderful and painless ailment that will go away tomorrow; catch some fish, even if they ain’t bigguns.
• A broken rod or frozen reel is not the end of the world. Either one without a backup in the boat is.
• If throwing cigarette butts into the river doesn’t make you feel guilty, it should. So carry an empty film canister as your personal ashtray. But never tell the on-smokers who appreciate you doing so that it’s mainly to keep yourself from feeling bad.
• The classic “shore lunch” is the single greatest waster of fishing time ever devised. Gobble your sandwich and get back to fishin’ … better yet, cast between bites.
• The current is your FRIEND. Fight not with your friend; rather, juxtapose strengths to achieve harmony.
• Wind is your ENEMY, no matter where it’s coming from. Curse it. Loud. Often.
• The River Gods are impartial yet capricious. Know ye that one day they will screw with ye, and the next shine upon thee. Accept this, and just fish.
• Give a man a fish and he’ll burn dinner. Teach a man to fish and he’ll flip your canoe – after forgetting to bring sandwiches.
• Adversity becomes adventure upon fond remembrance.
• Weather only counts when you’re in it … and with the right attitude, not even then.
• Don’t stop my boat to take time and smell the roses … but if you don’t retrieve blindly in order to watch the deer, you need to get your mind right.
• Speaking of that, there are lots of critters to enjoy while on the river. Maybe that’s why they call it a “fish hook” rather than a “critter hook”.
• God won’t subtract from your total the number of days spent on the river … but he’ll punish you for every single hour spent drinking the night before!
Love it! Thanks for sharing.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I know that the three dudes mentioned in that article all pour their own jigheads. And I'm 99% certain they all use a single wire weed guard as opposed to the brush style.
Shoot, I think all of them also pout their own tubes.
I guess when you talk about tube fishing to that level, you're probably going to be of the mind that you make your own tackle and baits too....
 
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