Friday, April 22, 2011

Flick Shake

Japan's Little Secret
By Luigi De Rose

The under used Flick Shake.
“Man, this thing works!” I said surprisingly to my dad. We were working our favourite shoreline on our secret bit of bass haven in mid July. Giving the dock’s posts and shady floor boards most of our attention we were catching them well. Suddenly, the docks petered out but we kept on fishing.
With nothing to aim at we fired casts randomly along the sandy shore line. Switching from a craw to a wacky rigged worm on a light jighead, I started nailing them. Considering the heat and intense sun, bass were hammering the worm. After that  great day I vowed to learn more about this technique called flick shake.
Flick shake is another finesse technique with Asian roots but with an edge. The concept is simple. The tackle is simple. The results are simply amazing.
Hooking a finesse worm through the middle with a jighead is a staple in Japan. A pinnacle player in it’s design and popularity is Seiji Kato, a Japanese lure designer and founder of Jackall Lures. His reputation, he’s the creator of the TD Minnow (Diawa), Sammy and Pointer (Lucky Craft), has been a driving force. Winning the 2007 Bassmaster co-angler title on famed Lake Amistad with the jighead wacky rig, anglers took notice. 

“We wanted to create a name that encapsulated the entire system.” recalls David Swendseid, Jackall’s Product Specialist Manager for the U.S., “we needed a catchy name and that is how Flick Shake came about.”
Flick shake refers to the throbbing action of the slender worm. Marrying elements of  wacky rigging, doodling and jerk baiting, this rig consists of a soft 4” to 7” straight tailed worm rigged through the middle, wacky style, on an ultra light jighead. As the bait descends the whole rig flickers, wobbles, twists and throbs. Once on bottom or at a desired depth, pulsing the rod tip will transform this bait to life.
By incorporating a jighead the presentation can be worked faster, deeper and with greater feel of the bait than any other wacky rig. But most of all is it’s awesome action. It creates a tremendous amount of vibration and this is a critical feeding trigger.
A standard jig and finesse worm will net results but it‘s best to splurge and pick up the correct tackle. Worms must to be slender, soft with a firm middle section and loaded with salt and scent. Jigheads need to be of top quality too. Shot, strong, needle sharp hooks with a sizable gap are best. Some jigs come weedless. These ones sport a thin wire guard offering better protection. Luckily, with the rise in popularity of this technique, specialized tackle is becoming more wide spread.
A few Flick Shake heads.
Jighead are tiny. Ranging from 1/32oz. to 3/16oz, jigs are meant to slither through the water. The lightest jigs are best in the shallower applications. Upgrade to heavier sizes for deeper water or quicker paced fishing. Surprisingly, few anglers outfit the bait with a rubber O-ring. A common practice with wacky rigged senkos, the O-ring prevents the bait ripping off during the hook set. Key jig companies are Jackall, Bite-Me jigs, Buckeye Lures, Fin-tech, Gamakatsu, Pepper Jigs, Skinny Bear, Tru-Tungsten, and Zappu
Spinning rods are the natural choice. A flick shake specific rod is a rare and expense find. Any 6’6” to 7’ medium action spinning rod will do nicely. Cover will to dictated line choice. Clear water free of snags allows for thin mono or fluorocarbon. Switch to a light  super lines with a Fluorocarbon leader in cover.
Go natural and match the water conditions when picking bait colours. Some unlikely winners are also june bug and black neon. Experimentation with senkos, drop shot minnows, goby baits, leeches, even mini swim baits have all lead to success but the worm remains king.
The weird Octopus rig.
If you really want to wake the bass up, thread two worms on. This quivering mess can really ring the diner bell. Funny enough, this is called the “Octopus Rig” simply because it looks like one. 

“Most anglers only fishing this bait on the drop. They cast at cover , let it sink to the bottom and then make another cast somewhere else. They’re missing a huge dimension to fishing this technique properly.” declares David. The true power of flick shake is working it back to the boat.  

Flick shaking really comes into it’s element along travel zones where schools of bass roam. Limited only by dense weed growth or extreme depths, focus where concentrations of bass live. Likely places are: shallow and mid-depth flats, long tapering points, sand bars, inside grass lines and even plain shorelines. Really, anything that looks fishy in under 15 feet of water is ideal.
“Two situations where Flick Shake really works is catching bass that follow in another bait or when sight fish.”states Peter Savoia, 47, of Sharon, who is a fan of Flick Shake.
There are some intricacies with flick shaking that are critical. Keep contact with the line. Other than the tiny bit of slack created while snapping the rod tip, the line need to be semi-taunt. Any jump or strange feeling in the line means game on. Another is keeping any bow out of the line. It kills any sense of feel. Simply snapping the line back into place should eliminate any  belly. It’s a great fly fisherman’s trick that works well. Keeping the rod tip low, just inches above the water, is also effective. This works best when twitching the bait along cover.

Will flick shake catch on fire like other finesse techniques is difficult to determine. One thing is for sure; it is simple to uses with simply amazing results. Try it!

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