Best Soft Plastic Lures for Bass (2024)

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Largemouth bass chasing a plastic worm.
Largemouth bass chasing a plastic worm.

The market has been flooded with soft plastic lures for decades now, but how do you tell which ones are the best soft plastic lures for bass? Don’t worry, Team Cast & Conquer has you covered. We've picked the best soft plastics in various categories to help you catch more bass.

Let’s start by going over the different types of soft plastics, key features to consider before making a purchase, rigging and retrieval techniques, and lastly, our picks for the best soft plastic baits for bass.

Types of Soft Plastic Lures

Worms: Soft plastic worms come in various styles, with ribbon-tail worms providing a seductive swimming motion, while straight-tail worms offer a subtle and realistic appearance.

Craws: Soft plastic craws are designed to imitate the movements and appearance of crayfish, a favorite meal for many freshwater species. Craws with intricately designed claws and appendages create a realistic profile, enticing fish with a lifelike presentation. The subtle movements of these appendages can trigger aggressive strikes from even the most finicky predators.

Creatures: Soft plastic creature baits boast an array of shapes and designs, providing a versatile option for various fishing scenarios. Creature baits can imitate anything from insects to small fish, offering versatility in enticing different species. Experimenting with different designs in your local waters can help you discover the most effective options.

Key Features to Consider

Material Quality: The quality of soft plastic significantly influences its durability and action in the water. Pick lures made from high-quality, flexible plastics ensures longevity and a realistic presentation.

Durable yet flexible plastics can withstand multiple strikes while maintaining a natural movement. Investing in lures with these characteristics ensures that your soft plastics endure the rigors of fishing and continue to attract fish.

Color and Transparency: The color and transparency of soft plastic lures play a pivotal role in their effectiveness. Considering the prevailing conditions and adapting your lure accordingly can make a significant difference in your catch rate.

Choosing soft plastic baits that mimic the local baitfish in coloration and size adheres to the "match the hatch" concept. This increases the likelihood of fooling fish into believing your lure is a natural part of their environment.

Rigging Techniques

Understanding how to rig soft plastic baits can make or break your fishing experience. Different techniques offer varying presentations, each suitable for specific conditions and scenarios.

Weighted vs. Weightless Rigs: Choosing between weighted and weightless rigs depends on the depth of the water and the desired lure action. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, and mastering both techniques expands your angling repertoire.

Weighted rigs allow for longer casts and precise depth control, while weightless rigs provide a more natural fall and can be ideal for shallow water. Knowing when to use each technique maximizes your chances of enticing fish.

Texas Rigging: The Texas Rig is a versatile and effective soft plastic rigging method. It’s key to ensure the hook point is embedded in the soft plastic and using an appropriate weight. This enhances the weedless nature of the Texas Rig.

Proper Retrieval Techniques

Mastering retrieval techniques is an art that can significantly impact your catch rate. Balancing slow and steady retrieves with occasional twitches can mimic the movements of injured prey, enticing fish to strike.

Slow and Steady Retrieves: A slow and steady retrieve imitates the natural movements of many aquatic creatures, making your soft plastic lure appear more enticing to nearby fish. Experiment with different retrieval speeds to find the optimal pace for the conditions.

Occasional Twitches for Realism: Occasionally twitching your soft plastic lure adds a touch of realism, simulating the erratic movements of injured or distressed prey. This can trigger aggressive strikes, especially in situations where fish are more cautious.

Our Picks for the Best Soft Plastic Lures for Bass

Best Plastic Worm: Yamamoto Senko

Best Plastic Worm Yamamoto SenkoBest Plastic Worm Yamamoto Senko

The Yamamoto Senko worm is not just any plastic worm. It's a legend, a work of art, and arguably the best plastic worm on the market. For years, it has dominated the fishing world, catching countless bass and other fish species.

The Senko's magic lies in its unique action. When fished weightless, it falls horizontally with a seductive side-to-side shimmy. This subtle movement mimics a dying baitfish or other natural prey, attracting fish like moths to a flame. Other worms may have a similar fall, but none of them can match the Senko's mesmerizing dance.

The Senko's versatility is another key factor to its success. It can be fished weightless, wacky-style, Texas-rigged, and even Carolina-rigged. This means you can tailor your approach to the specific conditions you're facing, giving you a significant advantage over anglers who are limited to one or two presentations.

Best for Flipping Heavy Cover: Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver

Reaction Innovations Sweet BeaverReaction Innovations Sweet Beaver

When it comes to flipping in heavy cover, there's one name that consistently rises above the rest: Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver. This innovative soft plastic bait has earned a legendary reputation among anglers for its unparalleled performance in thick vegetation and brush piles.

The Sweet Beaver boasts a unique, compact body with forward-facing ribs. These ribs create powerful pressure waves that attract fish from afar and provide a realistic texture that bass can't resist. The recessed center line ensures optimal hook penetration, while the thick nose prevents tearing, even after countless battles with lunker bass.

The Sweet Beaver's flat, beaver-style tail is splitable, allowing you to customize its action. You can choose a single, pulsating tail for subtle presentations or split it down the middle for aggressive, flapping action that triggers strikes in the thickest cover. Additionally, the bait features smaller, perpendicular appendages that add even more enticing movement to the profile.

Strike King Rage Tail ClawStrike King Rage Tail Claw

The Strike King Rage Tail Craw is not just a craw bait, it's a legend in the fishing world. This bait has earned its reputation for its incredible effectiveness, versatility, and durability.

The Rage Tail Craw is all about action. The large, flat claws produce a powerful kicking motion that bass simply can't resist. Whether you're slow-rolling it along the bottom, hopping it in grass, or burning it across the surface, the Rage Tail Craw puts out a vibration that screams "dinner!" to any bass nearby. It's especially effective in low-light conditions or murky water where bass rely on vibrations to locate prey.

This bait is incredibly versatile and can be fished in a variety of ways. Texas rig, jig trailer, Carolina rig, drop shot – the Rage Tail Craw shines in all of them. Its slim profile allows it to slip through cover easily, while its large claws provide plenty of surface area for attracting fish. Whether you're fishing shallow flats or deep brush piles, the Rage Tail Craw can be your go-to craw bait.

Kietech Fat Swing ImpactKietech Fat Swing Impact

The Keitech Fat Swing Impact is no ordinary swimbait. It's a legend among anglers, a lure that has earned its reputation as the go-to bait for countless species. From bass to crappie, pike to trout, the Fat Swing Impact has a proven track record of catching fish, making it well-deserving of its title as the best swimbait on the market.

The Fat Swing Impact's secret lies in its unique design. The ribbed body and the wide, scoop-shaped tail create an irresistible swimming action that mimics a fleeing baitfish. The tail kicks with a pronounced thump, generating vibration that attracts fish from afar. This lifelike action is simply unmatched by any other swimbait, making the Fat Swing Impact a deadly weapon in any angler's arsenal.

Best Jerkbait: Zoom Super Fluke

Zoom Super FlukeZoom Super Fluke

For years, anglers around the world have relied on the Zoom Super Fluke as their go-to soft plastic jerkbait. And for good reason. This simple yet effective lure has proven itself time and time again, catching everything from largemouth bass to smallmouth bass, spotted bass, pike, and even muskie.

The Super Fluke can be fished in a variety of ways. You can twitch it erratically on the surface, jerk it sharply to mimic a dying baitfish, or even slow-roll it along the bottom. This versatility makes it a great choice for a variety of fishing conditions.

The Super Fluke's thin profile and large tail give it a lifelike swimming action that is irresistible to fish. When you jerk the lure, the tail kicks back and forth, creating a V-shaped wake that attracts fish from a distance.

Best Stick Bait: YUM Dinger

YUM DingerYUM Dinger

Whether you're fishing for bass in thick cover, probing deep drop-offs, or targeting finesse-loving fish in clear water, the Dinger delivers. Rig it weightless for a natural fall, add a bullet weight for controlled depth, or Carolina rig it for a seductive glide - the options are endless.

The YUM Dinger's lifelike body undulates with a mesmerizing side-to-side wobble that entices even the most wary fish. The subtle action imitates a wounded baitfish, triggering predatory instincts and leading to explosive strikes.

Best for Drop Shot: Roboworm Straight Tail Worm

Roboworm Straight Tail WormRoboworm Straight Tail Worm

The Roboworm Straight Tail worm isn’t just another soft plastic bait; it's a precision instrument designed to tempt even the most finicky fish.

The Roboworm's slender body and straight tail create an incredibly lifelike swimming action. The slightest movement of your rod tip sends the worm into a mesmerizing dance, mimicking an injured baitfish perfectly. This enticing action is irresistible to bass, crappie, and other predatory fish.

The Roboworm's ElaZtech material is amazingly soft and flexible. This allows the bait to conform to any structure it comes across, giving it an even more realistic presentation. It also allows the worm to stay perfectly still during pauses, further mimicking vulnerable prey.

Xzone Lures Deception WormXzone Lures Deception Worm

The Xzone Lures Deception Worm is arguably one of the best trick worms on the market, and for good reason. This soft plastic worm is designed for finesse fishing and excels in a variety of situations.

The Deception Worm floats, making it perfect for weightless presentations like the Neko rig and wacky rig. It’s infused with super fine salt and Xzone's secret scent formula that attracts fish and encourages them to hold on longer once they strike.

Berkley PowerBait Pre-Rigged Atomic TubeBerkley PowerBait Pre-Rigged Atomic Tube

The biggest advantage of the Berkley Atomic Tubes is that they come pre-rigged. This saves time and frustration, especially when fishing from a boat or kayak.

Berkley's PowerBait formula is legendary for its ability to attract fish. The Atomic Tubes are infused with this irresistible scent and flavor, which keeps fish holding on longer, giving me more time to set the hook.

The cut tentacles on the Atomic Tubes provide a subtle, lifelike action that fish can't resist. This action is especially effective when fished under a bobber or slow-rolled along the bottom.

Best Ned Bait: Missile Baits Ned Bomb

Missile Baits Ned BaitMissile Baits Ned Bait

The Ned rig has become a staple in the arsenal of bass anglers everywhere. Its subtle presentation and ability to trigger bites from even the most finicky fish has earned it a well-deserved reputation. But with so many Ned baits on the market, choosing the right one can be difficult. Enter the Missile Baits Ned Bomb, a bait that stands head and shoulders above the rest.

The Ned Bomb's thick, ribbed body and thin, beaver-shaped tail create a lifelike swimming action that is irresistible to bass. The tail quivers with the slightest movement, even when the bait is at rest, attracting curious fish from a distance. This subtle action is what sets the Ned Bomb apart from other baits, making it perfect for finesse fishing situations.

Unlike other Ned baits that sink like a stone, the Ned Bomb is designed to float. This gives it a more natural presentation and allows you to fish it slowly over the bottom without it getting snagged. This buoyancy also allows for a unique "dead stick" technique, where you simply let the bait sit on the bottom and wait for the fish to come to it.