Crash the mats with a Warhead weight

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013
by Mike Pehanich

The Kalin’s Sizmic Warhead sinker offers a weighty, streamlined way to penetrate thick mats of vegetation and reach bass that thought they had it made in the shade!

You know they are there, but how in the world do you reach them?

That’s the challenge when big summertime bass take up residence beneath a thick carpet of surface vegetation!

Matted vegetation is hard for a bass – particularly big bass – to ignore. It provides shade, protection from sun and predators, dissolved oxygen and prime ambush positions in areas that offer a diverse menu of foods that bass love, from frogs and salamanders to baitfish, snakes and dragonfly nymphs. Even if the lake has an abundance of prime deepwater habitat, you can bet that some of its biggest, fattest residents are lurking in the shade of a thick grass mat.

Kalin’s Sizmic Warhead

Heavy jigs and conventional bullet-weighted Texas rig plastics suffer the same handicap when forced to go to the mat. Even when upscaled to one-ounce-plus sizes, they provide too much resistance and expose too much surface area to the stalks, leaves and stems that comprise the mat. Even when they are heavy enough to penetrate the thick cover, they often carry shreds of the grass mat with them on their descent.

But Kalin’s Sizmic Warhead offers a sinker option tailor-made to mat fishing with the shape and size to penetrate the carpet and to clear the way for flipping baits to do their magic.

“It’s like a bullet sinker that you would use with a Texas-rigged plastic, but it is solid, with no hole for the line to pass through,” explains Matt Bichanich, Uncle Josh marketing head. In lieu of the line hole is a horseshoe-shaped capture wire that anchors on the hook bend and holds the plastic in place.

Compared to a conventional Texas rigged plastic with a bullet sinker, the Warhead rig is an “upside down” creation with weight on the bottom and lure above. But if you apply mat fishing logic, there’s nothing “upside down” about it at all!

The point of the bullet weight head marks the initial point of contact with the matted vegetation, and it clears a straight path for the plastic to follow into the shade. Sinker and lure clear the carpet clean and ready for action!

 Compare that to a Texas-rig employed for this very same jungle duty. Line, sinker flank and side of the plastic bait itself contact the mat in rapid or almost simultaneous sequence. That means too many contact points, too much resistance and too many joints, junctures and points of contact to interfere with effective mat penetration! That’s why the Warhead is such a bombshell in the jungle!

The weight of the Warhead sinker itself also contributes to its effectiveness. Warhead weights range from ½-ounce (for light cover) all the way to 1-1/2 ounces for the thickest pad and carpet cover.

“I typically use the one-ounce Warhead,” explains Bichanich. “It seldom has trouble penetrating the vegetation. “And I typically stick to the profile of a 3.0 to 3.5-inch plastic. You can either Texas rig the bait with a wide gap worm hook or use a hook with a screw device at the eye.”

Many styles of beaver, creature or crawfish plastic baits work well with the Warhead Weight. But those streamlined baits with very small and supple limbs or no protuberances at all often produce best. Some Warhead Weight practitioners will actually remove any tiny arms or appendages from the bait to aid its effectiveness in the grass.

How to rig it

It is simple to rig a plastic with the Warhead Weight.

1)   Tie on a wide gap hook or hook equipped with a tiny wire device at the hook eye that screws into the head – or tail – of the plastic.

2)   If you choose to Texas rig your plastic, push the hook point through the nose (or tail) of the bait and have it exit on the side of the bait approximately a quarter inch from the tip. If your hook has a wire screw-type plastic keeper, screw it into the head of the plastic.

3)   Push the flat end of the horseshoe wire on the Warhead into the bottom of the plastic bait.

4)   Run your hook back through your bait and through the Warhead wire at the same time.

5)   Skin hook the plastic to keep the bait “weedless.”

Rigged properly, the lure now is positioned in a straight line with the weight dangling from the bottom of the hook and bottom (or top) of the bait.

“When you flip it, the sinker is on the bottom and your line is on top,” notes Bichanich. “It is going to penetrate straight through the mat.

“And there is something different about a presentation with this Warhead weight, how fast it penetrates the vegetation and draws a reaction strike under a dark mat!”