By Callum Munro
Soft plastic fishing for bass can be one of those harder techniques to figure out. As I was growing up and targeting Australian bass I really figured you need to have the right rod and reel to be able to ultimately hook and land more bass.
Bass tend to hit these baits softly where they will nibble on the plastic for a little bit before loading up. But using a fast action rod with a soft tip really allows the fish to grab the bait without feeling the rod too much. Ideally, the rod's flexible tip allows the fish to turn its head and start to load up before setting the hooks.
This took me a long time to figure out as I used to use stiff rods at the start of my bass fishing career, and I used to miss so many fish. I used to strike way too early and pull the plastic straight out of the fish’s mouth, or the rod would do that for you, resulting in a lot of fish missed.
The TD Commander 742 LXS Ocelot is really the perfect rod for targeting bass on plastics. It is quite a long rod which I love as you can get great casting distance. Plus the longer the rod the easier it is to keep the plastic up in the water column. This is a perfect rod for fishing weed edges where you need to keep the lure up at the start of the retrieve.
This rod is also perfect for targeting deepwater bass especially when using the slow roll technique. This is where the bass will nibble the plastic before loading up and with that soft tip on the Ocelot rod, the bass really do not feel the rod which helps in hooking and landing a lot more Australian bass.
This rod has some amazing features. It is built with X45 which significantly reduces blank twist and distortion, Air Sensor Reel Seats which give you the unmatched feeling of transmitting bites through your hands, plus it also features Daiwa’s brand new AGS carbon fibre anti-tangle shaped guides.
I match this Rod with a Daiwa Tierra LT 2000D which has 5.3:1 gear ratio that allows me to keep the soft plastic close to the bottom with a slower line return. I match this with 8lb Daiwa J-Braid Grand and at least 10lb leader in Daiwa J-Thread for the Queensland impoundments.