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Bucktail Trailers

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The plastisol curly tails are fine, but they don't last long.


If you're catching a bunch of fish, most ppl use some combination of otter tails, fat cow jig strips or uncle josh pork rind baits which will last for many fish unless they fall off or you run into bluefish.


Uncle Josh disappeared from the market for a few yrs....but they're back now.


Prices for all have doubled in the past 5 yrs....now expect $10-$12 per jar.

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C/P from elsewhere.


A couple of years back I was fishing a late Oct Blitz. Fish in the white water pushing waves of rain bait, likely juvenile sea herring up and on the shoreline. I was throwing a 1 1/2 oz buck paired with a strip of NO. 57-S Uncle Josh Pork and getting noncommittal taps and short strikes on every other cast. The 57-S is a fairly large forked strip at 7" and did a poor job of matching the profile of the smaller rain bait being blitzed. A quick modification with my dive knife, cutting down the length and spliting the forked strip into two smaller strips resulted in a fish on almost every cast. The point is when it comes to bucktails and bucktail trailers it’s important to adapt to the given conditions, bait and responsiveness of the fish.


For many years the natural pork rinds produced by Uncle Josh were the gold standard when it came to bucktail trailers. The company initially produced a pork “frog” for the freshwater bass market and soon after began offering straight and fork tailed trailers which surfcasters quickly adopted for their bucktail jigs. These pork strips have an almost unmatched flowing, lifelike action behind a jig.

Back in late 2015/early 2016 Uncle Josh temporarily discontinued producing their pork strips due to a lack of quality skins. During this time a number of other synthetic competitors gained traction within

the market to include Otter Tails and Fat Cow Jig Strips not to mention an almost endless linup of compatible soft plastic shad and grub (twister tail) bodies. UJ has since relaunched their lineup of Pork trailers.


You have options. As I said natural pork has an almost unmatched action in the water, it’s durable and proven by decades in the surf. It’s only con’s seem to be that it’s comparatively expensive and must be returned to the jar after each trip or it will dry out. I still have a small stash of the original UJ pork I save for certain special tides.


Personally I’ve become a fan of the synthetic options on the market today. Specifically the Fat Cow Jig strips. They might not have quite the same action as natural pork but they are certainly a very close second. I keep jars of the 5 1/2" eel tail, 5" split tail, and 3 15/16" fork tail in the car and rotate through as the situation requires. These strips are durable, won’t dry up and have a surprisingly realistic action in the water.




It’s worth noting that twister tails and shad bodies have been used as bucktail trailers for years with good results. These plastics offer a somewhat bulkier profile and dull vibrating action on the retrieve.


Anouther honorable mentioned is Chamois, a thin fabric usually made from sheep or goat skin. This material is sold online or at automotive stores and is usually used as a fine polishing rag. Sheets of it can be cut into trailers of varrying sizes and shapes. It’s a thin material and in my experience offers little in the way of bulk or substance to a jig, rather it offers a faint flutter and flash on the retrieve, similar to that of a bucktail tied with additional sparse hackle feathers.




As I said trailer selection is situation dependent. In most conditions I’ve found a 5" trailer pairs well with bucktails bewteen 1 - 3 oz. The 5" Fat Cow split tail and UJ 70-S are both good candidates.


When fishing a smaller bucktail (3/4 and down) or when small bait is present a cut down pork strip or 3" Fat Cow strip is probably a good choice.


If larger baits like mullet or sizable peanut bunker are present or conditions (whitewater or current) call for a larger presentation then a 57-S or even a sizable shad/grub are likely candidates.


When punching into a heavy onshore headwind it can sometimes be a good decision to split your strip completely down the middle to reduce wind resistance on the cast.


Chasing false echoes

Send lawyers, guns, and money - Zevon

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro - Thompson 



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