Hollow bodied frogs, bats, mice, and other critters have become a staple in the arsenal of most serious bass anglers. However, time and time again, I have witnessed experienced fishermen lose bass on hollow bodies due to a few, seemingly minor problems with their technique or choice of setup. Admittedly, I occasionally make some of these errors, as they can be unavoidable, easily overlooked, or an inconvenience to prevent at times, so don’t beat yourself up.
- Using Monofilament and/or Too Light Line
Although some anglers may disagree with me, monofilament line is not a great choice for this kind of fishing. This is due to mono’s propensity to stretch, which can prove problematic while fishing hollow bodies, as a consistently strong hookset is critical. Additionally, it is equally important to avoid using light line. Generally speaking, I am a proponent of using the lightest line that you can get away with, as doing so tends to provide much better lure motion. However, when fishing at a location with dense weed growth, sticking to such a philosophy can be devastating. I am guilty of both of the aforementioned blunders and, within the past year, have lost a few fish due to using incorrect gear. This mostly occurs on days when I don’t intend on using hollow bodies, but later decide to tie one on, despite having neglected to pack a suitable setup. To ensure that you don’t make this mistake, use heavy braid. My personal favorite for fishing hollow bodies is Sufix 832 Braided Line Camo (65lb).
- Over-playing Fish
When fishing hollow bodies, especially in areas with thick aquatic vegetation, it is imperative that the distance between the strike and the bank/boat be minimized as much as possible. Under most circumstances, I advocate playing fish thoroughly (tiring them out enough to be lipped or netted). However, when it comes to fishing hollow bodies, it is important to refrain from playing fish more than what is absolutely necessary. Why? It’s quite simple. The more leeway the fish receives, the more likely it is to entangle itself in thick, submerged vegetation, adding additional weight to the end of your line and increasing the likelihood that the fish will somehow shake itself free or break off. To prevent this, use a reel with a high gear ratio, as well as heavy braided line. That way, even large fish can be brought-in quickly, with less opportunity to burry themselves in aquatic foliage. With a 7:1 gear ratio, the KastKing Royal Legend is a good option.
- Using a Snap Swivel
Under no circumstances should you ever use a snap swivel while fishing hollow bodies. In fact, I struggle to think of any scenario in which using one is practical. Yes, they do make changing baits easier, but the drawbacks are many. Snap swivels can add additional bulk to the front of the bait, which can result in unnatural action. Additionally, vegetation and debris tend to accumulate around snap swivels, which, along with distorting the bait’s action, can add additional weight, leading to an increase in break-offs. Repeated build-up of debris also runs the risk of bending the thin wire clasp, making it more likely to fail during a cast or while fighting a fish. Play it safe and tie a strong knot. Both the Palomar and Loop Knot are tried and true alternatives.
Written by: Keegan Bailey
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