Pro Tips Weekly: Wesley Strader

Walmart pro Wesley Strader culling.

Braided line will last a lot longer if you take it off your reel spools and store it indoors when you're not going to be using it much. I have my own system for storing braided line. First, I go to the local Walmart and buy one of those foam "swimming noodles" that kids like to play with. Then, I'll cut off a section about a foot long, put a little notch in the section, tie an overhand knot in the end of the braided line and secure it in the notch. Those swimming noodles have a hole down the center of them, so next I'll push the drill chuck of a variable speed power drill into one end or the other. That's my winder. The drill turns the foam keeper. Walmart pro Wesley Strader employs a modified, standard childrenYou don't want to go too fast at first; just take a couple of winds to cinch the line and then you can speed up. I'll tighten my drag a little, too. Once you're done, put the line minder in a drawer and it's good to go until you need the braided line again. Just make sure to put a piece of tape next to the line with the pound test on it to remind you what it is. If you do fish braid a lot, considering how expensive it is (and fluorocarbon too), it's a good idea is to swap the ends of the line once a year. In other words, take an empty reel that you're going to fish with and wind the braid (or fluorocarbon) from the reel it's on. That way, the old part of the line will be next to the spool, and the new part will be on the outside end that you're going to fish. ---- Walmart pro Wesley Strader, Spring City, Tenn.

Tags: pro-tips-weekly 

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Power-Shotting on Beds

Tom Redington explains how power-shotting can be a productive technique to catch bedding bass. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-07-be-patient-with-bedding-bass

Be Patient with Bedding Bass

Probably the biggest reason why some anglers don’t catch bedding fish is that they lack the patience that’s often necessary. They might think, Well, that fish just isn’t ready to be caught, but a lot of guys miss fish that are actually catchable. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-01-running-a-spot-spawning-pattern

Running a Spot Spawning Pattern

In lakes where there are spotted bass, smallmouths and largemouths, the spawn can get complicated. Largemouths tend to bed in shallower, warmer water, but smallmouths and spotted bass might bed anywhere from the shallows to so far out it’s hard to see their beds. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-02-25-osinski-s-texas-rigged-swimbait

Osinski’s Texas-Rigged Swimbait

Lake Okeechobee Rayovac FLW Series champion Val Osinski relied on a unique Texas-rigged swimbait paired with a Gambler KO Punch Skirt on the final day of his tournament win. It’s an option that Tour pros might find handy next week when they take to the waters of Lake Toho. READ MORE »

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Skinning a Shadalicious

There’s not a time of the year that a swimbait isn’t an effective lure. The only thing that really changes is how and where you fish it. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-02-04-rubber-or-silicone-

Rubber or Silicone?

Jig skirts are made of silicone or rubber these days, but I think rubber skirts are superior overall, especially in the winter when the water is cold. Rubber skirts aren’t as affected by cold water and still have quite a bit of action, while silicone skirts tend to stiffen up more. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-01-27-slow-rolling-spinnerbaits-in-cold-water

Slow-Rolling Spinnerbaits in Cold Water

Crankbaits, jerkbaits and lipless crankbaits are popular search baits in the prespawn, but to me it’s hard to beat a spinnerbait. You might not get the same numbers of fish as the other baits will, but as a general rule you’ll get bigger fish. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-01-21-lighten-up

Lighten Up

There’s no telling how many times I’ve sat in my boat after dark or before daybreak trying to find a bait in a locker or spooling new line. All the while I’d be holding a Maglite in my mouth or trying to adjust a headlamp where I need the light. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-01-14-head-off-bass-on-the-move

Head Off Bass on the Move

Five or six years ago Guido Hibdon won a tournament at Lake Eufaula by sitting in one spot and casting crankbaits and soft plastics over and over again to a point that had a couple of big rocks off its end. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-01-07-go-big-for-bedding-bass

Go Big for Bedding Bass

Everybody has his own ideas about the best baits and approaches for bedding bass, but I’ve had the best luck using the 7-inch Mizmo Ish Tube for fish that weigh more than 5 pounds. READ MORE »

/tips/2014-12-31-pro-tip-combat-the-cold

Pro Tip: Combat the Cold

When the weather gets really cold, you start experiencing equipment failure and the effects of freezing temperatures. One of the best things you can carry with you on a winter fishing trip is a can of silicone spray. There are all sorts of products made for fishing line, but silicone will get the job done just as well as anything. In icy conditions, especially, you want to spray your line on the spool and your fishing guides fairly often so they don’t ice up as bad. Another thing you want to do is leave your braided line at home in really cold weather. It doesn’t cast very well when it soaks up water and freezes and loses a lot of its sensitivity. I go back to fluorocarbon, or even monofilament. Spraying it with silicone also helps it stay a little more limber so it doesn’t stiffen up so bad in the cold. READ MORE »

/tips/2014-12-23-fish-the-transition

Fish the Transition

Although you couldn’t tell it by the weather up north, bass are moving toward their spawning areas in a lot of Southern lakes. In south Florida, where the FLW tournament season is set to begin in about a week, they’re already spawning. Though there are certain rules that apply to fishing the spawn, I’ve developed an approach that has helped me catch fish when other things have failed. READ MORE »

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Pro Tips Weekly: Anthony Gagliardi

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Pro Tips Weekly: Keystone Light Pro Casey Martin

December and January are the two months when anglers really start preparing for the coming season, whether it’s firming up sponsorships, planning tournament schedules or restocking baits and equipment. This is also the time of year when a lot of anglers plant cover in the lake or the lakes where they fish so they’ll be productive the following year. READ MORE »

/tips/2014-11-26-pro-tips-weekly-dion-hibdon

Pro Tips Weekly: Dion Hibdon

The umbrella rig sort of follows its own script on Lake of the Ozarks and some other highland reservoirs. While it’s a good producer on other lakes in warm weather, we don’t catch bass on umbrella rigs around here in the summer. Instead, the bass will get on them starting in late fall and continue on until the spawn next spring. READ MORE »

/tips/2014-11-19-pro-tips-weekly-walmart-pro-mark-rose

Pro Tips Weekly: Walmart Pro Mark Rose

A strong, gusting wind can really have a negative effect on fishing. If you’re sight-fishing, fishing drop-shots or fishing targets in clear water that you need to see, wind definitely works against you. It affects the action of a lure, your ability to feel the bait and how you present it. READ MORE »

/tips/2014-11-11-pro-tips-weekly-keystone-light-pro-chad-grigsby

Pro Tips Weekly: Keystone Light Pro Chad Grigsby

For some reason, this time of year smallmouths like to hang around objects in the water, whether it’s just a small feature or something as big as a car. They’ll still move around, but it’s like they move from rock pile to rock pile – or whatever – instead of just swimming around aimlessly. So you’re target-casting at objects that are likely to be holding fish. READ MORE »

/tips/2014-11-05-pro-tips-weekly-george-foreman-pro-dan-morehead

Pro Tips Weekly: George Foreman pro Dan Morehead

I jumped on the big-spoon bandwagon and got some just in time to be in on the tail end of the prime-time season for them. It seems to me that it’s another one of those typical niche-type deals where it’s a heck of a bait when they’re on it, but not so much at other times. READ MORE »

/tips/2014-10-21-pro-tips-weekly-cheez-it-pro-shinichi-fukae

Pro Tips Weekly: Cheez-It pro Shinichi Fukae

In late summer, one fishing pattern is to flip and pitch jigs or soft plastics, or to fish frogs, in matted grass where bass are hunting for bluegills and minnows to eat. When does this pattern stop? READ MORE »

/tips/2014-10-15-pro-tips-weekly-straight-talk-pro-scott-canterbury

Pro Tips Weekly: Straight Talk Pro Scott Canterbury

Fall weather can provide some of the best fishing of the year. Lakes are usually not as crowded because the water gets too cool for some water sports, and a lot of guys give up fishing temporarily for deer hunting. READ MORE »