Randall Tharp’s Perfected Punching Setup for Bass

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Yeah, we’ve read the articles and seen the videos, but we still think this one is worth watching. Renowned Florida-based bass pro Randall Tharp is widely considered one of the best shallow-water anglers in the country. Tharp dishes out the details on his nuts and bolts setup for punching bass living underneath matted vegetation, with slight tweaks to this setup legit anywhere gardens grow lush.

Tharp starts by discussing his go-to rod and reel setup for getting high-percentage hookups with heavy braid and also advises on adjusting your rod power based on hookset strength. He explains why he forgoes ultra-fast reels instead, preferring “mid-range” high-speed reels in the 7.1:1 range, spooled with a smooth 65-pound braid.

Next up is tackle selection, ranging from a plastic, heavy tungsten flipping weights, and a 4/0 HD flipping hook, all kept in place by a single peg (not 2, he explains why). Of particular interest is how Tharp ties his snell knot. The “perfect Randall Tharp snell knot” has a few unique attributes that make tying easy while adding strength. He walks us through the full knot tying setup, followed by finalizing the rig with a plastic and peg.

Despite the simple assortment of tackle, the devil is in the details on how it’s all assembled. We hope you find a takeaway or two to elevate your heavy cover punching game.