ThrowinPlugs

Cant seem to get SS darters to swim...

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Hey all, strange conundrum right now. Conditions were good, fair amount of current and sweep without being ridiculous. Throwing them with a custom 1201m blank based rod, VR200 loaded with 50lb braid to a 3 foot leader of 50lb mono with a TA clip. Any lure I threw swam correctly, redfins, bottles, Sporting Wood darter(which swam REALLY nice) but for some reason my SS darter did absolutely nothing. Basically just swam in a (at best) super tight lazy wiggle, almost straight. Now I was perched on a jetty about 5 feet above the water line but it did this lower too, rod tip up, straight out, didnt matter. Once it hit the water I tried getting it to dig, and it seems to have an issue. If I cranked too fast it just just put like a breaching whale. What gives?

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Hate to tell you but that's what they do. They don't have a wiggle or feedback. They just get below the surface and wander. Could be a bad one but if you try another you'll likely find the same. Very effective in the right conditions.

Edited by xjclint

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21 mins ago, giant basshole said:

What hooks are you rigged with ? I use a 4/0 front and a 3/0 tail . 

Factory Standard hardware...

 

19 mins ago, xjclint said:

Hate to tell you but that's what they do. They don't have a wiggle or feedback. They just get below the surface and wander. Could be a bad one but if you try another you'll likely find the same. Very effective in the right conditions.

See maybe I'm just crazy but I figure a darter should well, dart. The sporting wood is CRAZY good with no effort. Perfect zig zagging. Maybe I'm expecting too much out of it.

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10 mins ago, ThrowinPlugs said:

Factory Standard hardware...

 

See maybe I'm just crazy but I figure a darter should well, dart. The sporting wood is CRAZY good with no effort. Perfect zig zagging. Maybe I'm expecting too much out of it.

I use a 4/0 front for more dig . Is your sporting wood a bottle darter , a much more pronounced lure . S S darters are subtle swimmers , erratic . Try letting the darter dig , slow your retrieve down and you should feel it pulsing in the rip .

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2 mins ago, giant basshole said:

I use a 4/0 front for more dig . Is your sporting wood a bottle darter , a much more pronounced lure . S S darters are subtle swimmers , erratic . Try letting the darter dig , slow your retrieve down and you should feel it pulsing in the rip .

Nope, regular darter. I have a bottle darter as well. Maybe I'll try slowing it down. It's really my first go this year with darters so I know its a learning curve.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Like Giant basshole said a 4/0 on belly helps the ss plug dig in the moving water better. In a strong rip you will feel the ss darter moving back and forth . It also helps to point the tip of the rod at the plug while you are reeling it. Another secret of this plug is reel slow, slower than most other plugs. Just crawl it. You should feel more “drag” than action. I used to think that this darter was a dud too because of the lack of action. Then I learned how to set it up and fish it correctly and it has become my # 1 plug in current. I’ll say too that many nights this SS plug  is the best producer in the rip. There is just something about this plug’s subtle action that bass love. 

Edited by VanStaalSteve

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I did a little darter testing a few weeks ago and the SS darter was one of the least active. But it seems as if that might be its best asset! 

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The SS darter is hands down my favorite plug and I fish it under most conditions, but it took me a while to get the feel for it. 

 

They work best in some form of current whether it be from an inlet, rip, or sweep.  If it’s really ripping I’ll use another plug, but the SS usually does the job. Some people do crawl them on the surface along sandy beaches with success as well. 

 

Like others have said, the action is very subtle, at least that’s how I usually fish them. The main thing to remember is that you want to feel tension on the plug, not necessarily a swimming motion. Stay tight to it and give it subtle twitches here and there, but always try to maintain contact with the plug. 

 

Once you gain confidence in it you’ll probably never take it out of your bag. One of the most versatile lures made and they catch big time. 

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SSs look like darters, but they don't swim like darters. They just kinda wiggle. I run Linesider69s every time. They don't all swim exactly the same, but they all swing nicely to and fro

 

 

Disclaimer: I was one of the test pilots for the above, and have little experience with the works of other builders.

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You have to be in the zone to fish SS darters. They have a very gentle feel to them because they dart and zig zag rather than swim. If you watch bunker in a strong current then you will understand why these plugs are killer.

 

My advice is cast a touch up current, dig it with one smooth faster crank, then crawl that thing til its at your feet or out of the strike some. But ill stress again that you gotta be in the zone. Slow your breath, heart rate, soften the eyes a bit and picture the plug working in the current. Youll know what I mean when you get it.

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I found the same results as ThrowinPlugs. I had a very difficult time getting it to dig and when it finally would it was tough to stay in contact with. Meanwhile the Northbar darter dug in immediately and got great action.  

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As a few have said, you don't get it to swim.  It does it's own thing.  I loved them at Montauk when fishing strong currents.  Cast them as far into the current as you can, quickly take in all slack and give it a very hard sweep away from to plug to get it to "set" in the current.  Then it just a matter of a slow retrieve with the rod tip either parallel or below parallel to the water surface.  Now if you watch the rod tip closely, you will see it pulsate slightly.  It is not a bottle plug and works subtly.  Have no fear, they produce in the right areas.

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8 mins ago, Mojoe said:

I found the same results as ThrowinPlugs. I had a very difficult time getting it to dig and when it finally would it was tough to stay in contact with. Meanwhile the Northbar darter dug in immediately and got great action.  

Northbar darters are more of a swimming bottle plug than a true darter.  That's why it gets "great" action.

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