February 17, 2020
By Ned Kehde
Reins Fishing’s Paddle Tail Worm is too long for Midwest finesse applications.
But for more than a half of a century, Midwest finesse anglers have been inveterate customizers of soft-plastic worms and other styles of soft-plastic baits. In the eyes of many Midwest finesse anglers, the Paddle Tail Worm is such a multifaceted bait that it can be customized in a variety of ways. And some of those customized creations will allow Midwest finesse anglers to create two baits from one Paddle Tail Worm, which will appeal to the frugal temperament of these anglers.
We exchanged a couple of emails with the folks at Reins Fishing and Optimum Bait Company in Temecula, California. And Matt Paino, who is the chief executive officer of Optimum Bait Company, sent us a dozen Paddle Tail Worms for us to work with, examine, and thoroughly describe.
Here is what we discovered about it.
It is 6 5/16 inches long.
Its head is somewhat dome-shaped. It is slightly less than a quarter of an inch wide with a circumference of about one inch. The tip of the head is slightly indented, and this indentation has a width of one-eighth of an inch.
The anterior section, which includes its head, is 1 1/2 inches long. Its dorsal and ventral areas are identical and embossed with scores of minor ribs. Near its junction with the clitellum, its width is five-sixteenths of an inch with a circumference of about 1 3/16 inches.
The clitellum or egg sack is eleven-sixteenths of an inch long with a width of three-eighths of an inch and a circumference of about 1 5/16 inches. Its dorsal and ventral areas are identical, and their epidermis is smooth.
It posterior section -- excluding its paddle-style tail -- is 2 7/16 inches long. Its dorsal and ventral areas are identical and embossed with scores of minor ribs. The width and circumference of this section diminishes in size as it approaches the junction with its paddle-style tail. Adjacent to its junction with its clitellum, the posterior has a width of five-sixteenths of an inch and a circumference of 1 3/16 of an inch. At the junction with the tail, the posterior section has a width of three-sixteenths of an inch and circumference of eleven-sixteenths of an inch.
Its paddle-style tail is thin and flat with a length of 1 1/16 inches, a width of three-quarters of an inch at its widest spot, and a thickness of one-sixteenth of an inch. The folks at Reins report that the shape and size of the tail allows anglers to buzz the Paddle Tail Worm across the surface like a buzzbait. Besides its buzzing abilities, it will readily flicker, vibrate, and thump when it is employed with a variety of retrieves.
As noted in the first sentence of this gear guide, the Paddle Tail Worm is too long for Midwest finesse applications. Therefore, most Midwest finesse anglers will remove two inches from the head, anterior section and clitellum to create a 4 5/16-inch Paddle Tail Worm.
And the Reins’ staff suggests that Midwest finesse anglers can also customize the tail five different ways. One way is to split it in half. The second way is to make it into a fork-shaped or V-shaped tail. A third way is to make a notched tail or J-tail. A fourth way is to create a diagonally-shaped tail. The fifth way is create a tapering or elliptical-shaped tail.
What’s more, the tail can be totally removed, making it into a 4 5/8-inch straight-tailed worm that can be wacky rigged, affixed to a drop-shot rig, rigged weightless, worked as a trick worm, worked on a shaky-head jig, or rigged on a mushroom-style jig.
Reins’ staff also recommends that it can be made into a paddle-tail-style grub by removing three inches from the head, anterior section, clitellum, and posterior section. Then, the three-inch section from the head, anterior section, and posterior section can be used as a stick-style bait, which Midwest finesse anglers will affix to a mushroom-style jig.
Reins Fishing proclaims it to be a multi-dimensional worm, and it is that indeed.
It is manufactured in the following hues: Black Blue Laminate Silver, Green Pumpkin, Green Pumpkin Blue Laminate, June Bug, Red Bug, Spring Gill, Watermelon, and White.
It is impregnated with Reins’ proprietary scent. It is not buoyant.
It is recommended that anglers keep the Paddle Tail Worm stored and tightly sealed in its original package.
A package of six of these multidimensional Paddle Tail Worms costs $6.65.
- Here is the link to Reins Fishing’s website: https://www.reinsfishing.com/product/paddle-tail/.
- Here are links to Midwest Finesse gear guides about Reins Fishing’s other soft-plastic baits:
- Midwest finesse anglers will customize the Paddle Tail Worm in a variety of ways and affix it to a small mushroom-style jig. They will present it to their black-bass quarries by using what they call a no-feel presentation. Here is a link to the Midwest Finesse column that describes how to employ that no-feel presentation: https://www.in-fisherman.com/editorial/six-midwest-finesse-retrieves/153946.