When second best is a success

A closer look at the Trigger X Flutter Worm.

I'll admit it; I'm a Senko aficionado. My friends, family and even co-workers chide me for how often I throw Yamamoto's famous soft-plastic stickbait. Guess what? I don't care. Mock me all you want, but if you're a serious bass fisherman, you appreciate the efficacy of the Senko. It's simple, and in the spring, it's nearly impossible to beat. As much as I love the Senko, I don't necessarily love the price tag. Most retailers in my area sell a pack of 10 for $7.99. (Yes, I also get made fun of for being cheap.) During the peak of spring fishing in Minnesota and Wisconsin, it's not all that unusual to go through four or five packs in a single day. So while I will never stop throwing the Senko, I'm constantly searching for the best alternative. Over the past five years, I've tried at least 15 different knock-offs. All of them have their pluses and minuses, but still left something to be desired. Last June, I stumbled onto one that really surprised me - the Trigger X Flutter Worm. The Flutter Worm was first introduced at ICAST 2009. If there was any fanfare surrounding its arrival, I don't recall. And that's coming from an editor who lives just a few miles from parent company Rapala's corporate office. Lack of initial buzz aside, the Flutter Worm works. The more I threw it, the more I became a believer. Then I started asking around and it turns out I'm not alone. I think I've heard the word Trigger X uttered among fishermen more in the past three months than I have in the past three years combined. A wacky-rigged Senko is always a producer in the spring.What I'm mainly looking for in a soft-plastic stickbait is the "clapping," or side-to-side wiggling tail action. I mainly fish these stickbaits weightless and wacky style and when I see one seductively sinking I envision it speaking the words "come, get, me." With fluorocarbon line, the Flutter Worm claps hard - maybe even harder than the Senko, but still sinks slowly. Equally important, it claps consistently. I've never officially weighed it, but the Flutter Worm feels a bit heavier than Gary's original. It's definitely bulkier with more pronounced ribbing. And while both are listed on the package as 5-inchers, the Senko measures 5 1/4 while the Flutter Worm reaches 5 3/4. In terms of durability, the Flutter Worm is superior to the Senko. While a pack of eight Flutter Worms retails for $4.99, the real costs savings stem from the strength of the material. On average, I estimated replacing my bait every fifth or sixth fish, whereas the Senko gets you three per bait on a good day. Many fishermen use an o-ring to combat tearing and I agree it helps, but would also argue that it reduces some of the action. If durability is that important to you, I would highly recommend the Z-Man ZinkerZ. The wiggle on the ZinkerZ is still pretty good, but you will honestly catch 10 or more fish before the ElaZtech material splits. The Flutter Worm's most impressive feature is how long the fish hold the bait. Last Fourth of July weekend, I spent some time testing under what admittedly was a strong bite. It was the final day before a cold front and thunderstorms were on the horizon. After getting my proverbial fill, I stopped setting the hook and instead just watched as bass after bass bit - not engulfing the entire bait at first, but then slowly taking it all down in two or three slurps. It's not all that unusual for bass to quickly spit plastics after the initial bite, but never once did this happen. I tried several times to see how long I could wait before setting the hook, but the addict in me would always take over after a ridiculously painful seven or eight seconds. (I don't recommend waiting this long as there is a risk of gut-hooking.) A side-by-side comparison of the Yamamoto Senko and the Trigger X Flutter Worm. What the Flutter Worm doesn't quite have is the erratic turn and dive; immediately after hitting the water it starts clapping. Depending on the scenario, that can be a positive or a negative. By and large, I like the unpredictability of the diving Senko, but in cold water it can be too much action as the Senko cuts through the strike zone quickly. Overall, I'm not suggesting the Flutter Worm will replace the Senko, nor do I believe it's a superior bait. It is however, a different, effective alternative that carries a friendlier price tag. In this case, I think second best in the stickbait category is a major success for Trigger X.

Tags: blog  brett-carlson 

/tips/2015-05-28-running-a-college-club

Running a College Club

The sport of college bass fishing is growing at an incredible pace. During my freshman year (2011-2012), tournament fields were limited to 50 anglers, and boats were supplied by Rayovac FLW Series volunteer competitors. During the end of my senior year this season, field sizes grew larger at every tournament, and we saw more colleges providing boats for student anglers – signs of growth for sure. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-05-28-blog-i-m-hooked-

Blog: I’m Hooked

When I was 10 years old I could only dream about being a professional fisherman. I would spend all my time outdoors playing sports, hunting and fishing. Then, in high school, I competed in my first bass tournament and I was hooked. From that moment, my goal was to become a professional angler some day. Now, almost three decades later, after much hard work and dedication I’m competing in the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour. And I’m more excited than ever. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-05-26-blog-the-first-time

Blog: The First Time

This begins a series of blogs by Walmart FLW Tour co-angler Jaime Luengo of Mexico City. He joined the circuit in 2005 and has three top-10 finishes to his credit. Luengo is the author of La Magia de la Lobina Tecnicas Avanzadas, a book on bass fishing techniques, and is host and producer of Nuestra Pesca, a television series available on all cable stations in Mexico. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-05-19-blog-what-might-have-been-at-eufaula

Blog: What Might Have Been at Eufaula

Lake Eufaula is in the books, but ever since the tournament I haven’t slept very well. If you know me, you know I just “love” losing fish, but I think this latest event was the worst of my career. I finished 12th, which isn’t so bad, but the “what could have beens” got me again. On the last day of practice, I caught nearly 30 pounds, including one around 10 pounds and a 7 1/2-pounder, making it a day I’ll never forget. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-05-12-blog-frogging-of-a-different-kind

Blog: Frogging of a Different Kind

As a bass fisherman, I have a special feeling for that time of year when I can start fishing a frog again. I’m not sure if the rush of adrenaline I feel is from that first explosion when a bass crashes the frog, or the anticipation of it. Whatever it is, I love it! READ MORE »

/tips/2015-05-06-blog-make-a-plan-and-work-the-plan-

Blog: Make a Plan and Work the Plan

I’m not going to sugarcoat it: I’m bombarded with an array of emotions and a new to-do list every day. I’m not good enough. I don’t have the money. Make a Facebook post. Call mom. I don’t have enough time. I’m too tired. I’ll be treated poorly. Rig rods. Do sponsor work. People won’t like me. My son will miss me. I’ll miss my family. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-24-blog-east-vs-west

Blog: East vs. West

I’m not going to say the West is better than the East, or vice-versa. However, I am going to say that where fishing is concerned, there are some distinct differences between the two. The list is long and I’m sure that you can think of many additional differences, but here are a few things I have found that separates the two locales. For the purposes of this blog, let’s make the dividing line the Mississippi River although I think we should include Texas with the East. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-21-blog-the-bucket-list

Blog: The Bucket List

I lived my first 25 years in the Midwest, and I used to get horrible cabin fever this time of year. Sitting in front of a television and watching Jimmy, Hank, Roland and Bill catch monster bass on a spinnerbait on every single cast only made it worse. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-14-blog-back-in-the-groove

Blog: Back in the Groove

It feels good to be in full swing of the tournament season again. We just finished the second stop of the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake, and it was an excellent event. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-14-5-pivotal-moments-in-my-career

5 Pivotal Moments in my Career

The FLW College Fishing Open on Kentucky Lake marked the beginning of my senior campaign. While it was great to get on some open water for the first time in months (though we didn’t finish very well), it also had me looking back at five events that, more than any others, led me to this point. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-14-a-year-of-new-firsts

A Year of New Firsts

There are a lot of firsts in my life now: my first full year on the Walmart FLW Tour, the first time not to fish any full B.A.S.S. circuit in many years, the first time to fish with co-anglers in a long while, the first time to compete at Beaver Lake, and so on. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-10-up-then-down-again

Up, Then Down Again

The highs and lows in this sport are amazing. They are amazing and sometimes hard to deal with. Sometimes you just have to test yourself on how thick your skin really is. For example, consider my highs and lows in the last few months. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-07-sweet-home-alabama

Sweet Home Alabama

Hey everyone, I'm just getting back and caught up from the second stop of the Walmart FLW Tour at Lewis Smith Lake. The lake was fishing like never before, and all the fish have grown up quickly on those blueback herring. Now that I've been back home a week and watched all the videos and read all the articles about the top 10 anglers I can say I have zero regrets! READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-02-when-everything-comes-together

When Everything Comes Together

Dave Lefebre describes what baits and techniques he used to win the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lewis Smith Lake in this week's blog. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-03-18-expect-change-and-adapt-to-it

Expect Change and Adapt to It

Ish Monroe explains how to adapt to changing conditions and recommends to always fish your strengths in this weeks blog. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-03-17-so-you-want-to-be-a-co-angler-

So You Want to be a Co-Angler?

First and foremost, I know I’m fishing the tournament as a co-angler and I make sure that I not only stay out of my pro’s way, but I do what I can to assist him throughout the day. This starts at the ramp with assisting him with the launch where possible. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-03-16-a-30-piece-puzzle-with-four-pieces-missing

A 30-Piece Puzzle with Four Pieces Missing

The whole time I was down in Florida during the FLW Tour opener on Lake Toho I felt like I was trying to put together a 30-piece puzzle with four pieces missing. The weather was right, the water temperature was right, the thousands of acres of vegetation looked right, but one thing was wrong: the fish! READ MORE »

/tips/2015-03-12-a-clean-slate

A Clean Slate

The 2015 season opener of the Walmart FLW Tour wasn’t at Okeechobee, as in recent years, but at Lake Toho in central Florida. I was excited about the change, and even more pumped to start a fresh new season after blowing my motor on day one of the first event last year. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-02-27-toho-bound

Toho Bound

You have to understand that having home field advantage in fishing is the absolute worst. There are so many demons; you have too much information, you start fishing the lake’s history – it goes on and on and it’s very hard for a professional angler to mentally break that barrier. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-02-25-3-thoughts-on-toho

3 Thoughts on Toho

I was without power for three days after the first storm, but it snowed again this weekend and there is supposed to be more weather on the way. Suffice to say, I can’t get to Florida and Lake Toho fast enough. READ MORE »