Huddleston ROF 5 Fishing 101 July 13, 2015 05:19 2 Comments

One of the most game changing lures to ever hit the market, I wouldn’t be surprised if more fish over 10lbs have been caught on an 8” huddleston trout swimbait than all others combined. Its simplicity was seen as a weakness by most when it was first available. They said it didn’t have enough swimming action. It was too subtle. It was “too big” LOL. See the lesson to be learned here? The lesson to take away from that is to never underestimate the effectiveness of a lure based off SOMEBODY else’s assumptions.

This is a write up on one of my most effective weapons and the techniques and philosophies in which I utilize. Take it for what it’s worth, you don’t need to rig them “My Way” to be successful, you don’t even need to believe anything I tell you here. You should honestly put in the time on the water with this bait and any other lure you want to master and learn the old fashioned way. It’s frankly the BEST way to learn, but alas it can take a lot of time and a lot of money in doing so. So here we go, a basic foundation which you should feel free to BUILD upon and not take as gospel.

When –

I throw the ROF 5 like most big baits, all year long. Contrary to popular belief, there is no perfect time, no wrong time to throw this or ANY bait. The time when I do feel the ROF 5 shines however is when the fish are either in a straight up feeding mode or a very lethargic mood. Here’s my theory on this. The slow methodical style retrieve in which this particular ROF 5 excels makes for an easy target when bass are actively hunting prey. It’s easy to track, and capture and has a high hook up ratio so it’s a great lure choice in this situation.

When the fish are inactive and NOT feeding, the ability to fish this bait slowly and keep it in a zone where a fish is likely to respond makes it a good option. There are times when they simply don’t want to chase anything. You’ve probably seen followers on your glide baits that sit way back and just kind of cruise along slowly without too much excitement. These are fish that MAY eat a ROF 5. Many people put down big baits in the summer, for some reason people think they stop eating them. They will continue to eat them year round, fish don’t have calendars and don’t pay attention to stocking websites, internet forums or the famous internet experts that spew so much “knowledge”. They aren’t smart enough to realize that a trout shouldn’t be swimming around in 80 degree water. They don’t go, “hey it’s August 8th, you’re not supposed to be here. Can’t fool me buddy.” They are truly opportunistic and Big Fish will tend to want a big meal regardless of the time of year.

I am giving you the skinny on the ROF 5 because it’s a bait you can fish above and around the grass that is prevalent on many systems during the summer months.

 

What –

Snags are a big deal. You have to put these baits where the fish live, and that’s typically in and around cover. I used to rig my hudds with wire to a treble hook and pin it to the dorsal fin area for all my ROF 5’s. I’m not a fan of the rig where the treble is clipped on one hook and somewhat inserted directly behind the line tie. 3 big reasons why –

1. Cutting a hook point off reduces the amount of hook points by a 1/3.  Many times while battling these fish they will be hooked by other hook points, even after coming off the original point of contact. In my opinion you just reduced your chances by 33.333 percent of keeping that fish PINNED.

2. Contrary to popular belief, bass do not ALWAYS strike at the head of a bait.  At least not 100% of the time.  Having the hook point near the dorsal fin has resulted in a higher bite to hookup to LANDING ratio for me.

3. Having the treble (now a double) affixed directly to the line tie pretty much means the hook is still directly attached to the heavy bait. The short wire leader from the line tie to the dorsal area is JUST enough to keep most of that weight off the hook and gives the fish less leverage to throw it. My friends who’ve I’ve turned onto this rig and myself have had a very high bite, to hook to landing ratio with this rig.

Here are the components I use for the wire crimped rig. 

Wire - Berkley SevenStrand Sevalon Wire 135lb

Crimps - Berkley SevenStrand Standard Sleeves A4

Hook – Decoy Quattro X-S21 Treble Hooks #2

You will need a high quality saltwater style crimping tool to make sure you are locking the rig into place.

I like this one from P-Line

Where –

Once again, there is no right place or type of cover to throw a ROF 5. Until recently, there was only a belly ring option for the ROF 5. I knew a lot of guys that used either a treble attached via split ring to the belly or a frog hook attached to the belly ring. Personally I never liked these rigs for 2 reasons. Snags and dead fish. Bottom hooks just kill more fish than top hooks with the higher likelihood of snagging the gills. People will make comments about me boat flipping fish all they want but I do care about the well being of these fish.

The wire to quad hook rig excels when the cover is sparse, in open water or somewhat rocky situations. It is not as effective when skipped, in heavy cover or around grass due to the multiple points grabbing vegetation and the hook moving out of place.

For these types of situations, the new option of a jig hook ROF 5 huddleston offers more “fishability” due to the single hook coming through cover much easier. The tradeoff? The weight of the big lure is directly affixed to the hook, you’re going to lose some fish on the jump when they shake their head. So you will spend less time keeping your bait rigged, meaning your lure is in the strike zone longer. However there is always a trade off, and in this case it’s some lost fish. At this time, there isn’t anything that offers the best of both worlds, but it’s coming… :D

 

Line –

I throw 2 types of line when fishing the ROF5, monofilament and Flourocarbon. I prefer the stretch of monofilament line when targeting giant fish, it has stretch which in my opinion is a good thing when fishing for giants. It’s another shock absorption factor that plays in your favor. It helps keep fish hooked and takes a lot of abuse when you fish with ZERO drag. Monofilament is my choice when I want to keep the bait high up in the water column as it is not as dense as Flouro. Flouro is nice when you have extremely clear water for confidence sake, but frankly I believe that fish that tend to commit to this style of bait are not line shy. Mono has been bit thousands upon thousands of times for me even in the clearest water in California. I prefer flouro when I want to keep the bait lower in the water column. I also prefer 100% flouro versus fluorocarbon coated lines designed for better castability. Screw castability if the line will break. Ain’t nobody got time for that! 100% flouro is stiff and more abrasion resistant. I’d take some coiled, memory prone line that will not break when I tie into the fish of my lifetime (which I hope is still to come). This makes it a great choice when fishing near wood, rocks, docks, and other types of cover.

Braid is bad news, no stretch. Hope you like buying baits because you’ll be casting plenty of them off when the braid digs into the spool for no reason and you heave your entire body weight into the longest cast of your life, too bad your bait isn’t attached to your line anymore LOL. It’s also harder to differentiate between the bait making contact with cover and bites and that’s no bueno.

I also like to utilize a size #4 black owner hyper wire split ring attached to a 80lb Spro Power Swivel when I fish these baits, after casting them repeatedly you will build up line twist. This prevents the line twist, it actually almost eliminates it and gives the bait a little bit more body wobble. That subtle difference can be the difference between getting bit when throwing this bait at heavily pressured fish.

How –

Deflection is always a bite trigger. Works with crankbaits, works with jigs, works with spinnerbaits, and it works with big baits. Bump this thing into anything and everything. It’s asking to get drilled when it’s clumsily swimming along. It deserves to be removed from the food chain. Don’t be scared to put this bait where the fish SHOULD be holding, in and around the cover. Frankly that’s probably exactly where they are, waiting in ambush.

This bait will also excel swimming in open water over flats, grass beds, points, etc. Here’s a secret tip for you loyal supporters of mine…break up your retrieve. Stutter the swim, stall it, speed it up slightly. CREATE artificial deflection. You’re welcome. 

The Reel -

I prefer a round reel with a 5:1 gear ratio for fishing the hudd.  It fishes well at this speed and you can really get in tune with what the bait is doing on the other line, you can feel it through the handle.  

The Rod -

I fish a Fast Taper Rod, 8 foot or so.  Fishing a soft swimbait is much like fishing a soft plastic or jig.  You want a fast taper rod to help with hook penetration and yes you swing on these bites.    

The Bite -

You have to be prepared for your opportunity. We work too hard for it to blow it. To leave it up to chance. Failure to capitalize on 1 split second can make the difference between being an Instagram super star or posting another sunset picture. Here are some tips. When retrieving your bait, keep the rod tip pointed directly at the lure. When you get bit you can then immediately go into your hookset without having to worry about picking up slack line from being out of position. Watch my videos? With most soft baits, these fish will engulf the lure and CLAMP down on your bait. You need a solid hookset to pop that fishes mouth back open so you can create forward momentum to create hook penetration. That’s why I bang on these fish so hard, and that’s why you need to make sure all your tackle is top of the line and in tip top shape. There is no room for error. When fishing a Huddleston swimbait, you need to set the hook.

Conclusion –

I hope you found some insight that will help you land the fish of your DREAMS through this first of so much more to come, members ONLY content. $7.95 a month and now you guys have direct access to a lot of what bounces around my head. I spend as much time on the water learning the hard way, through mistakes and lost fish and opportunities as some of the “internet experts” spend behind their keyboards pretending to live this life.

I’m sorry you couldn’t buy that pack of senkos this month because you decided to have faith in what I’m offering here HaHaHa. I promise, the things you learn through this new resource will pay itself back hundreds of times over if you are open to new ideas. I truly believe I can offer some real insight that will directly affect your catch rate in a positive fashion. Keep egging the naysayers on with OUR continued success. We’re not just DREAMERS, we’re DOERS.

Thank you guys for believing in the movement that not only I have created, but one that YOU have been an integral part of. Defy the Norm. Defy the Status Quo. Defy CONFORMITY. AIM High and DREAM Big. See you guys on the water!