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Big Game Fishing Tips Archive III

The Moldcraft Softhead Widerange SR is one of the most popular big game trolling lures world wide. It is probably responsible for more big marlin cathches than any other lure. Also, for a pretty big lure it does quite well on a number of medium sized gamefish. Here's a few things some of the Kona guys say about using this lure, as well as rigging lures with a single trolling hook.

Mold Craft Softhead Tips By Jim Rizzuto

moldcraft widerange sr black purpleThe Softhead has the reputation for being a lure you can just toss over your shoulder and position anywhere in the wake with the same great results. No worries about where to put it on a wave to get the right action, the...

perpendicular face of the lure adjusts to all wave angles. The weight of the lure is balanced just right to pop, grab air, drop, shoot out a stream of bubbles and then repeat the cycle endlessly.

What’s more, the head and skirt are fused together as one unit. Oops! There’s a problem. Softheads are made in three pieces, which can tend to come apart with use. Depending on the detergent you use to clean the lure, the chemicals sometimes attack the bonding agent. Best to keep them away from cleaners containing Chlorox, for example, unless you actually do want the pieces to come apart. Once the lure pieces separate, however, you can bond them back together. I contacted Frank Johnson, of Mold Craft Lures who told me you can reattach separated pieces with PVC pipe glue or Superglue. “But don’t expect to get as strong a bond as we get at the factory,” Frank said. Fortunately, you just need a bond strong enough to keep the lure together until the next fish takes it apart again.

Skipper Steve Tarbill and crew John Rooney caught our 700-pound inspiration for this report on Kona Concept. To facilitate releases, Steve and John are now using single-hook rigs on their lures rather than the traditional tandem-hook sets. "Having only one hook is very helpful when taking the hook out and you don’t have to worry about catching yourself with the trailing hook," Steve said. When rigging the single, Steve positions the hook so the bend sticks out behind the tail and the point is buried in the tail tips. He rigs it to stay there by using two sleeves to attach the trailing hook. The sleeve nearest the eye of the hook secures the loop. The sleeve nearest the lure is positioned to keep the lure the right distance in front of the hook.

Some fishermen get the right distance by threading a row of beads on the leader. The beads also keep the crimped sleeve from working its way up into the soft head of a Softhead lure. As for the single hook’s ablility to hang onto a fish, one point seems to be as good as two, so far, says Steve. "We are getting good hookups right in the corner of the mouth," Steve says.

The highly popular purple/black combination can be difficult to see under some lighting conditions. The lack of visibility can be a problem for the deckie who has to place it where he wants it. To make the lure easier to see, some skippers tie a half-dozen strands of pink skirt to the trailing hook so the lure color “pops” against the darker background. When a hooked fish runs hard, the Softhead slides up the leader until it hits the swivel. Hard head lures stop there because the leader sleeve prevents it from going further. Not so with a Softhead. A hard-charging fish sometimes forces the Softhead ™ right up over the sleeve, the snap and the swivel. After that, there is nothing to stop the lure from sliding right back up the line. What happens if a sharp-toothed ono gets curious about the activity and decides to go for the lure. Goodbye fish, hooks, lure, leader, snap, swivel and whatever length of line was out when the ono cut it off.

1,075 pound blue marlinBest to toothpick the front of the lure on opposite sides of the leader. The thin wooden slivers won’t prevent it from sliding up the leader but will help stop the lure from gobbling up the crimp, snap and swivel.
Each year Kona captains catch a variety of fish with the Softhead including some of the biggest Pacific Blue Marlin in the world. The Long Ranger's grander, in June, on the short rigger.

Aloha! Thanks for visiting our Big Game Tips page. Read up on some great offshore fishing tips from our family and friends. Also look for information on how to use some of our most productive lures!

Find more amazing Kona fishing stories in Jim Rizzuto's: Kona Fishing Chronicles

Return to Big Game Fishing Tips

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