February 20, 2015
By Ned Kehde
This year we have started publishing a few gear guides that feature finesse baits that were created before the advent of our Midwest Finesse column and are not part of the Midwest finesse anglers' repertoire. In that vein, this column is focused upon Damiki Fishing Tackle's Air Pocket Worm.
It was introduced to the American market at the 2010 International Convention of Allied Sport Trades show, which was more than a year before we began publishing gear guides about finesse baits.
It is five inches long and exceptionally soft and flexible. It has a flat nose. The front portion of its torso is round, smooth skinned, and thick enough to accommodate a wide-gap hook. It is also embellished with a clitellum or egg sack. From the clitellum to the tail, its body becomes thinner, and this section is encircled by a series of 13 ribs or rings.
The diameter of the tail is fatter than the ribbed section of the Air Pocket Worm's torso. There is an air pocket inside the tail, which makes it buoyant and allows the tail and much of the torso to rise off the bottom. It also generates what the folks at Damiki describe as an enticing action, which radiates throughout much of the torso.
Although it can be effectively employed on a jig, split-shot rig, and slip-sinker rig, its most alluring presentation revolves around wielding it on a neko rig. Neko is a Japanese word for cat. And according to Shin Fukae of Osaka, Japan, Palestine, Texas, and bass-tournament fame, a neko rig moves across a black bass lair the way a cat uses one of its front paws to stroke and touch the ground or the litter in its litter box. In other words, it moves rather gracefully and delicately.
To assemble a neko rigged Air Pocket Worm, anglers affix a hook wacky style in the vicinity of the groove at the beginning or head of the clitellum and a nail-style sinker is inserted into its nose. To make the wacky rigging more durable, anglers slip an O-ring around that groove at the head of the clitellum, and the hook is attached to the Air Pocket Worm under the O-ring.
Another tactic that some anglers have employed is to affix it to a jig and insert a glass rattle into the air pocket. This procedure adversely affects the buoyancy of the tail, but these anglers say the sound that the rattle creates has helped them to allure some wary black bass that abide in heavily stained waterways.
From the perspective of most Midwest finesse anglers, the Air Pocket Worm is a soft-plastic bait that they would employ only when they are fishing a problematic waterway or confounded by largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and spotted bass that are extremely tentative and unresponsive to standard Midwest finesse tactics. It is not a worm that frugal-minded Midwest finesse anglers would elect to use when they are fishing at waterways where they can traditionally catch seven to 25 black bass an hour. The reason for that revolves around the fragility factor of this extremely soft-plastic worm, which cannot endure a multitude of donnybrooks with feisty largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, or spotted bass. So, when it is relatively easy to tangle with a substantial number of black bass an hour by employing more durable soft-plastic baits, Midwest finesse anglers will put the Air Pocket Worm away until they are having a hard time locating and catching their quarries.
It is impregnated with a scent and available in seven colors: Baby Bass, Black Mix Flake, Green Pumpkin Black, Original Green Pumpkin, Plum, Watermelon Black, and Watermelon Red Black.
The suggested retail price for a package of 10 is $4.59.
1. For more insights about neko rigging the Air Pocket Worm, please examine this link: http://finessefishing.blogspot.com/p/neko-rig.html.
2. Here is a link to another story about the neko rig: http://www.in-fisherman.com/midwest-finesse/the-neko-rig/.
3. Here is a link about Damiki's Water Crawler: http://www.in-fisherman.com/midwest-finesse/damiki-fishing-tackles-water-crawler/.
4. Here is a link to the gear guide about Damink's Spoon Tail Miki: http://www.in-fisherman.com/bass/damikis-spoon-tail-miki/.