March 18, 2019
By Ned Kehde
In November of 2018, we began corresponding with Chad Cheney of Lake Stevens, Washington. He is the proprietor of Big Sexy Baits. The purpose of our correspondences was to garner some insights about several of his soft-plastic finesse baits.
The Paddle Worm is one of Chaney’s baits that have caught the eyes of some Midwest finesse anglers.
In the minds of some veteran Midwest finesse anglers, it exhibits a few of the features of the four-inch Ensley Reaper that Mar Lynn Lure Company of Blue Springs, Missouri, used to make back in the formative years of Midwest finesse fishing.
The Paddle Worm is 4 1/16 inches long.
It is endowed with a thin and flat tail that is 1 5/16 inches long. Both sides of the tail are adorned with 12 segments or ribs. It is nine-sixteenths of an inch wide at its widest spot, and that spot is situated at segment number six.
Its torso is 2 3/4 inches long. The torso is cylinder shaped and encircled by scores of minute ribs. At its widest spot, it is five-sixteenths of an inch wide with a circumference of about 1 1/8 inches.
The dimension of the torso’s anterior section decreases as it approaches its head. The head is flat, and it is an eighth of an inch wide with a circumference of about nine-sixteenths of an inch.
Likewise, the size of the torso’s posterior section decreases as it approaches its junction with the flat tail. At this junction, the torso is three-sixteenths of an inch wide with a circumference of about eleven-sixteenths of an inch.
It is manufactured in the following hues: Beatdown, Junebug, Laguna Tiger, Oxblood with Red, Pumpkinseed with Purple, and Watermelon with Black and Red.
The Paddle Worm is not impregnated with salt, and they are buoyant. These are two attributes that many Midwest finesse anglers adore.
Rather than being impregnated with scent, the Paddle Worm is marinated in BSB Pro Scent. According to Cheney, marinating them after they are manufactured does not interfere with any of the soft-plastic’s properties, and in fact, it enhances the durability of the Paddle Worm. He notes that it is marinated before it is packaged and in the package.
A package of 15 cost $4.25. At the end of each month, Big Sexy Baits donates a percentage of their profits to Homes for Our Troops.
(1) Here is a link to Big Sexy Baits’ website: https://www.bigsexybaits.fish/product-page/4-bsb-paddle-tail.
(2) Midwest finesse anglers will affix the Paddle Worm onto a small mushroom-style jig.
As we have noted many times in the past, Midwest finesse anglers are inveterate customizers of soft plastic baits. And before they affix the Paddle Worm to a mushroom-style jig, some of them will put their Fiskars Scissors to work on the Paddle Worm. Some of these anglers will shorten it by removing an inch or so from the torso’s anterior section. Others might split its flat tail in half.
Whether it is employed in a customized or an uncustomized fashion of the Paddle Worm, Midwest finesse anglers will utilize it by employing all six of the standard Midwest finesse retrieves or slight variations of those retrieves. Here is a link to a Midwest finesse column that explains how to execute those retrieves: http://www.in-fisherman.com/editorial/six-midwest-finesse-retrieves/153946.
(3) Besides rigging the Paddle Worm on a mushroom-style jig, Midwest finesse anglers might consider working with it on a split-shot rig. The split-shot rig was the first way that we used a plastic worm. Those endeavors stem back to our days in the 1960s with the Hibdon family at the Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri. Big Gete, Teen, Gail, and Little Gete Hibdon showed us how to affix one of Nick Creme’s worms to our standard live-crayfish rigs, which consisted of a split shot placed about eight inches from a small and short-shank hook, and the point of the hook was exposed. Eventually, we used a barrel swivel instead of the split shot; the swivel prevented our lines from becoming twisted.
Nowadays, Midwest finesse anglers will use a small offset-style worm hook rather than the small crayfish hook that the Hibdons used decades ago, and they will affix the Paddle Worm to it with a Tex-pose motif.
It needs to be noted that there is a contingent of California split-shot anglers who contend in the early 1990s that a curly-tail worm will significantly outperform other styles of soft-plastic finesse worms. But the Hibdons and other Midwest finesse anglers have not found that to be true in their waterways.
(4) Here is a link to our gear guide about Big Sexy Baits’ Spade Grub: http://www.in-fisherman.com/editorial/big-sexy-baits-spade-grub/330747.