Dinger vs. Senko.
Senkos, dingers, ochos, whatever you want to call them, stick baits are an essential soft plastic to any and all bass anglers. Skip em, flip 'em, drop shot 'em, texas rig, wacky rig, do whatever the hell you want with it, and as long as theres a hook involved, the odds of landing a lunker bass are stacked greatly in your favor. The stick bait is undoubtedly the most versatile bait in my tackle box, as well as my number one "go-to" lure for almost any situation. When I think stick baits two companies come to mind; YUM dinger, Gary Yamamoto Senko, but which is the best? I will attempt to answer this question in this review. But first let's take a look at a few of the most prominent stick bait fishing techniques.
If you have ever fished a standard ribbon tail worm you should know how to texas rig, and if you do not, here's the drill. First you will need a texas rigging hook (shown below).
The first thing you will do is notice the size of the flat section before the bend below the eye (red circle).
Push the hook into the center of the thicker end of the stick bait and out the side, so that the distance from where the hook entered to where you pushed it out the side is equal to the measure of the flat section shown above.
Now, push the stick bait up the hook so the flat section now occupies this hole just made, the bait should stay in place on the flat section.
Now lay the rest of the hook over the top of the bait and see where the hook will pass through without causing the bait to bend.
Push the tip of the hook through this spot and through the other side, and you are done. I suggest pushing the tip of the hook back into the bait a tiny bit to make it a weedless texas rig. This rig is great for fishing in heavy weed cover and underwater structure while rigged weedless. I have had most of my quality catches on texas rigged stick baits dropping them into pockets in between heavy lily pad cover.
Take a stick bait out and hook it right through the center. Drop it in the water and watch the action. You will see a slow sinking presentation with both tips of the bait oscillating as it sinks down. Many strikes will occur while the bait is sinking, however you can spice it up by adding some small jigs pulling it up to a new spot to sink down.
Although I find the texas rig to be a more effective rig for skippin', it can be done while wacky rigging as well. Imagine yourself out on the water in the heat of the summer, temperatures well over 90 degrees. The bass are lethargic and there isn't any bite in the open water. You notice some trees overhanging a few feet over the water along the shoreline creating patches of shade. The tips of the tree limbs are only six inches to a foot above the surface of the water, you know this is where the fish are holding, but it is nearly impossible to sneak a lure between the tips of the branches and the water.
This is is where you tie on your stick bait and flex your skippin' muscles. Use a low sidearm cast, the lower you can get your rod towards the water the tighter your bait will hold to the surface of the water while skipping. With your rod positioned correctly make a sidearm cast aiming the stick bait about 6 inches to a foot in front of where the branch overhangs the water. Your bait will skip across the surface of the water and back into the strike zone of the bass hanging back in the shade. The harder you cast the longer the bait will skip, so you can control how far behind the tree line your bait will sink. Furthermore, the skipping action across the surface ads an enticing top water element to your presentation.
In comparison with the Gary Yamamoto Senko, the YUM Dinger is constructed of stiffer material, which lends to a single dinger lasting two to three times as long as a Senko. On top of this, a 7-pack of Dingers will run you around $5.00, where a 5-pack of Senkos is up around $7.00. This price difference along with the fact that you will probably run through two bags of Senkos before finishing one bag of Dingers, may take a serious economic toll on those of us who depend on the stick bait as a staple in our tackle box. Furthermore, YUM offers a fork-tailed variety as well as a hook channel in the side of the bait to assist in texas rigging.
- Cost effective
- Large color selection
- Forktail available
- Texas rigging hook channel
- Not salt impregnated
Gary Yamamoto Senkos
Apart from the fact that Senkos are softer to the touch, they are also salt impregnated, where YUM Dingers are simply in a bag with salt coating them. I find that this salt simply rinses right off after a few casts, where the flavor of the Senko is built right into the bait, and therefore lasts as long as the Senko does, which tends to be not to long due to the softness of the plastic.
- Salt impregnated
- Great action
- Swim version available
- Not very durable
The softness difference between the two stick baits is the first point of interest. You are undoubtedly going to get a lot more mileage out of a pack of Dingers, yet many argue that the softer construction of the Senko lends to better action, and along with the salt impregnation justifies the price difference. Many, on the other hand, enjoy the wide color selection provided by YUM and swear by the forktail variety. The texas rigging channel, also being a plus for the dinger. In the end I have to make a choice, however, and it is the YUM dinger. For me YUM offers a win win deal with dingers, pay less, get more. I have fished both extensively, and actually prefer the feel and action of the Dinger over the Senko, and have landed more, and bigger fish on the Dinger. The fact of the matter is this: if you drop a dinger in front of Mr. Bass, he will eat it, and how can you get any better than that?
-Happy Bassin' (Discuss This Article and Much More On The BASStard Forum!)
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