We are nearly two years behind the curve in publishing a gear guide about NetBait's 3 1/2-inch Contour Worm.
In fact, for some inexcusable reason, we have failed to write a word about NetBait since Feb. 14, 2015, and those words focused on an interview with Justin Sward of Birmingham, Alabama, who had recently purchased NetBait.
To rectify this failure, we talked to Sward on the telephone and exchanged several emails with him about the 3 1/2-inch Contour Worm.
He told us that the genesis of the Contour Worm stemmed from the petitions from numerous anglers who wanted NetBaits to manufacture a drop-shot worm.
It is manufactured in six traditional drop-shot colors: AM Dawn, Brown Chartreuse, Green Pumpkin Chartreuse, Smoke Purple, Watermelon Chartreuse, and Watermelon Purple. They exhibit a translucency. And the various configurations of its torso cause these colors to change. Sometimes it is a subtle change. Sometimes it is a vivid change. Sometimes the color becomes lighter, and sometimes it becomes darker. Sward says that the changes are regulated by the clarity of the water and the amount of sunlight that shines on the Contour Worm. Therefore, in a stained-water scenario, it will become darker and more visible. In Sward's description, the hue of the Contour Worm becomes "alive and bright" in sunny conditions, and "in low light conditions, it will appear more dull and natural." The nature and color of the underwater terrain also affects the intensity of the color.
Sward notes that the makeup of the Contour Worm's torso affects the amount and direction of light that penetrates to the core of its torso. And why it is called the Contour Worm is because its torso is embellished with an array of shapes and features.
Some observers note that the 3 1/2-incher possesses the profile of a leech. Other observers say that it is an abstract rendition of a goby and scuplin. In essence, it is a multifaceted finesse bait.
Here is a brief description of the 3 1/2-inch Contour Worm's anatomy:
Rather than possessing the pencil-pointed prostomium and mouth of a real earthworm, the side and dorsal portions of its head consist of a semicircle, and its ventral is flat. And it is smooth-skinned. The tip or end of the head is flat. Sward said that the head is about an eighth of an inch long, and it has a circumference of about a half of an inch. It was designed to be the place where a drop-shot anglers nose-hook it. There is a small knob on the ventral segment of the head, which demarcates the spot where a drop-shot hook should be inserted, and according to Sward, this helps anglers to easily, quickly, and perfectly affix the hook in the center of the Contour Worm's head.
It is not endowed with a clitellum or egg sack.
From the junction of its head with its torso to its tail, its sides and dorsal are adorned with a series of pronounced segments, which anglers usually describe as ribs. The side and dorsal portions of its torso possesses a semicircular-shape. Its ventral or belly is flat and devoid of the segments or ribs. The largest area of its torso possesses a circumference of about three-eighths of an inch. The circumference of the torso becomes slightly smaller as it progresses towards the tail. But about two-thirds of the way towards the tail, the torso becomes endowed with a spearhead-shape, which is consider to be a tail in the nomenclature of anglers, and its circumference is about three-eighths of an inch. Its tail or the tip of the tail looks like the tip of a pencil.
Sward said the spearhead-shaped tail was created so that the Contour Worm would have a horizontal motif on a drop-shot rig. The shape, size, and flatness of the tail section provide the exact balance to achieve that horizontal presentation.
Even though it was created for drop-shot applications in clear-water environments, Sward notes that it can be rigged on a slip-sinker rig, a Carolina rig, a shaky-head jig, a split-shot rig, and a whacky rig. What's more, there are several anglers that he knows who have been surreptitiously rigging it on a mushroom-style jig and employing it the way Midwest finesse angler work with a finesse-size stickbait, and it has been paying these anglers some impressive dividends. Therefore, he thinks it might be an effective soft-plastic bait for the traditional Midwest finesse anglers to have in their repertoire.
A package of 10 cost $3.99.
(1) Here is a link to NetBait's website: http://netbait.com/ait-portfolio/introducing-the-netbait-contour-worm/#.
(2) Here is a link to a YouTube video about the Contour Worm: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMyhrblpo3E.
(3) A jigworm has played an important role in Midwest finesse tactics since the 1950s, and the 3 1/2-inch Contour Worm is the perfect size for Midwest finesse applications.
Here are some its roots: The late Harold Ensley of Overland Park, Kansas, used one to win the first World Series of Sport Fishing in 1960. In that tournament, Ensley used the Skworm-N-Jig, which was manufactured by the late Ted Green and his Mar-Lynn Lure Company of Blue Springs, Missouri. This tournament was created by Hy Peskin of Sports Illustrated magazine fame and Ted Williams of baseball fame, and it was staged at Union Lake, Michigan, on Oct. 15-24, 1960. And eleven years later, Drew Reese of Rantoul, Kansas, used a jigworm and two other Midwest finesse rigs at the first Bassmaster Classic at Lake Mead, Nevada, in 1971, and he garnered seventh-place honors. The jig worm, however, is no longer the day-in-and-day-out piscatorial jewel that it once was. Yet, there will be spells throughout the calendar year when a mushroom-style jig affixed to a worm like NetBait's Contour Worm will beguile an impressive array of black bass for Midwest finesse anglers — especially in clear-water situations.