by Walker Smith
As much fun as it is to power fish with bulky plastics and cover water with big reaction baits, it doesn’t always work—sometimes the bass prefer an appetizer as opposed to a steak dinner. For this reason, I took it upon myself to learn and start regularly using the wacky rig a couple of years ago. It took me some time to gain confidence in throwing such a small bait in tournament situations, but in the end, I dramatically increased my success in tough fishing conditions. As a matter of fact, I jacked a 5-pounder on a wacky rig during the 2011 BoatUS National Championship on Lake Lewisville—talk about fun!
The slow, natural fall and tantalizing parabolic action of the wacky rig catches big bass for anglers all over the world. While I have tried many weighted wacky rigs on the market, I wasn’t very impressed with them—from issues with the hooks bending to problems with hang-ups—I couldn’t find one that fit my needs. I’m happy to say, however, that Eco Pro Tungsten has come to the rescue.
As I opened my package of Eco Pro Tungsten Flick Heads, I accidentally jammed a razor-sharp hook right into my thumb. Was it painful? You bet. Did I chuckle as I did it? Yes sir, I did. I know it sounds crazy, but I get absolutely fed up with dull hooks. The fact that I was bleeding all over my boat carpet actually made me happy that I was dealing with something that can lay the smack-down on some big bass. Joking aside, I have fished for many years and can honestly say that these are some of the sharpest hooks I’ve ever used.
I was equally pleased with how well the Eco Pro Tungsten Flick Head casts. Only 1/16-ounce, the Flick Head allows the angler to cast with ease. Whether you need to slide it under a floating dock or cast to brush piles, the Flick Head can do it. The bass are currently migrating into the creeks on my home lake, so I fished a lot of deeper docks with this finesse jig and was happy to see how easily the Flick Head skips. Just a quick snap of my wrist sent the Flick Head shooting across the surface of the water—no wild ricochets, no dive-bombs on top of the fish—just a very light, subtle landing. When long casts were necessary, the Flick Head sailed through the air with streamline accuracy. Be careful, though, as the Flick Head can sometimes skip ‘too’ well—I lost a few to some dock cross braces!
Another awesome feature of the Flick Head is the single weed guard shielding the point of the hook. A lot of anglers hate using wacky rigs because of their high hang-up ratio, but that isn’t the case with the Flick Head. The weed guard has the perfect amount of backbone to protect against gnarly structure and the ideal amount of flexibility to ensure a solid hookset. I fished the this finesse jig in some very thick brush piles and some nasty blowdowns while only getting hung-up one time—not bad at all for a rig with an exposed hook. I used to be very cautious when casting my wacky rig into hard-to-reach places, but I found myself putting the Flick Head into places I would normally flip a jig. Many anglers don’t have the time to deal with the hassle of multiple hang-ups, so when it comes to efficiency, Eco Pro nailed it with the Flick Head.
Of course, one of the most obvious features of the Eco Pro Tungsten Flick Head is the tungsten head. I have always been a big believer in tungsten when fishing baits along the bottom, but I wasn’t sure it was necessary when using a finesse jig to target the middle of the water column. After my first few bites, I quickly became a believer. As the Flick Head is ideal for fishing vertical structure, it was hugely helpful to feel every piece of cover that the jig was coming into contact with. Whether it was rocks, brush piles or simply a dock post, the extra feel that the Flick Head gave me was unreal. I could actually feel the individual splinters on old, wooden dock posts. Whenever I got a bite, there was no second-guessing—just a solid ‘bump’ followed by a big hookset.
As with any tackle review, it is imperative that I test whether or not the product catches fish. While I caught plenty of fish on the Flick Head, it wasn’t without some specific tackle modifications. For optimal castability, I strongly recommend using a 7-foot, medium-fast spinning rod with 20-pound braid for main line and a 4-foot, 8-pound Sunline Finesse FC fluorocarbon leader. In order to get achieve the best action, I found that a Zoom Mag Finesse Worm works wonders. While the Zoom Trick Worm also works well, the Mag Finesse Worm displaces a lot more water when rigged wacky-style, which I believe is the key to a successful wacky rig presentation.
I really enjoyed fishing with the Eco Pro Tungsten Flick Head, as it is light years ahead when it comes to small, finesse jigs. I’ve tried a bunch of them, and Eco Pro’s attention to the small details makes this finesse jig a ‘must-have’ in tough fishing situations. Priced at $3.29 per 3-pack, the Flick Head has some serious fish-catching attributes at a price that anglers can appreciate.
|When I got back into the office after testing the Flick Head on my home waters of Lake Sinclair, I was pretty pumped up about it. As I was writing the review, I began to realize how great of a presentation the Flick Head offers for our readers who may fish from the bank. To test my theory, I headed to a local pond with my spinning gear, a pack of Flick Heads and a bag of Zoom Trick Worms—nothing else. It felt a little weird to be on the bank, but it was actually a refreshing change of pace.
My first cast parallel to the bank produced a 2-pound bass—good, but not what I wanted. I kept paralleling the bank with multiple casts, and after a few smaller fish, I decided that I needed to change my tactics. Obviously, the fish weren’t hanging out in the shallow water, so I walked to the dam of the pond and skipped the Flick Head underneath some overhangs.
Immediately upon my wacky-rigged Trick Worm hitting the water, my line went tight and my reel started screaming. It was a donkey—there’s no other way to describe the feeling other than “heavy”. I set the hook, but soon noticed that I couldn’t do much with the fish, as my 8-pound test wasn’t much of a match for it. In my infinite wisdom, I accidentally picked up my oldest and flimsiest rod and reel combo as I hurriedly ran out the door to get to the pond before dark. Great—I’ve got a sea cow on the end of my line and I’m fishing with a wet noodle.
Without any other options, I just stuck my rod tip into the water, loosened my drag and let the fish manhandle me for a good minute. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a fish that size jump that much. I somehow kept her on through at least six jumps, and when she got close enough to reach, I stepped into the water and plucked her out.
I really didn’t think she was that big until I grabbed her by the lip, but once I got a good hold of her I couldn’t stop grinning. You know it’s a good one when her teeth are rubbing the palm of your hand raw. She was at least 8 pounds and fat for September! I can only imagine if she had eggs…
By far, the most impressive thing about this catch was the Eco Pro Tungsten Flick Head. That bad boy didn’t bend or flex one bit and somehow held that 8-plus-pounder on old 8-pound test line for over two minutes. I am seriously impressed, and I’m going to make sure to get some more packs of Flick Heads. In the course of 24-hours, I caught a ton of fish with the Flick Head on a 15,000-acre lake and an 8-pounder in a 10-acre pond. All on the exact same Flick Head, might I add.
In conclusion, the Flick Head is awesome—sharp, durable and affordable. It’s effective on big lakes with highly-pressured fish and small waters as well. Check ‘em out at Tacklewarehouse.com.