Smash-Tech's Bubble Fry

Smash-Tech's Bubble Fry

Smash-Tech Custom Baits' Bubble Fry recently caught the eye of a veteran Midwest finesse angler and correspondent on the Finesse News Network. Without a moment of hesitation, he advised us to feature it in a gear guide, and we agreed.

Subsequently, we talked with Heath Taylor of Pittsburg, Texas, on Feb. 27. We also exchanged several emails.

He is the proprietor of Smash-Tech, and he told us that they purchased the mold from Kicker Fish Bait Company of La Porte, Texas, which went out of business in 2016, and Smash-Tech began manufacturing it in September of 2016.

Kicker Fish introduced it to the angling world at the 2012 International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades show in Orlando, Florida. In essence, it is a modern-day version of the Bass Pro Shops' Caterpillar Stud Fry, which has not been available for more than a decade. And the Caterpillar Stud Fry has a permanent and endearing spot in the hearts and minds of finesse anglers who are devotees of soft-plastic French fries. In fact, Brian Waldman of Indianapolis, Indiana, who is a member of the Finesse News Network, is a longtime aficionado of the Caterpillar Stud Fry, and in the past, he has written affectionately about it.

Taylor noted in an email on Feb. 27 that it caught the fancy of scores of black bass anglers in Texas, and most of them are what Midwest finesse anglers would describe as power-bait anglers, such as Cody Bird of Granbury, Texas, and Bill Wilcox of Burleson, Texas.  According to Taylor, it "has become a staple for deep-water fishing for many of the guides at Lake Fork," where they work with it on submerged humps and roadbeds. And the most popular color on Fork and most Texas lakes is Chartreuse Pepper."  The favorite way for the power anglers to employ it is on a Carolina rig, but they also slip-sinker rig it and whacky rig it.  At times, some of them will affix it to a drop-shot rig and a shaky-head jig.

Smash-Tech is noted for its state-of-the-art and hand-poured swimbaits. The Bubble Fry, however, is manufactured by an injection mold.

It is three and seven-eighths inches long.

Each end is adorned with two dome- and cylinder-shaped segments. They are smooth skinned. Each segment is about a half of an inch long, its circumference is one and one-sixteenth inches, and its diameter is five-sixteenths of an inch.

Its torso, which is cylinder-shaped, is embellished with 136 dome-shaped appendages. These appendages are tiny, measuring about an eighth of an inch long.

The circumference of the torso, which included the appendages, is one and three-quarters inches. The length of the torso is about two and three-quarters inches. Along one side of the torso there are four holes that are five-sixteenths of an inch deep, which are called air traps, and they are about eleven-sixteenths of an inch apart. The hole nearest to one end of the torso is about seven-eighths of an inch from the end of the bait, and the hole nearest to the other end of the torso is about seven-eighths of an inch from the end of the bait.

In a Feb. 28 email, Taylor described it as being very buoyant and "fairly durable." He noted that the durability is enhance by the fact that it can be rigged from either end, and when one end becomes too tattered to stay affixed to a hook, an angler can rig it on the other end. Its buoyancy allows it to glide and suspend.

It is not impregnated with salt and scent. And no salt helps the durability factor.  Taylor said: "When I started the company, I polled a lot of fishermen on the scent issue and the answers were all over the board, ranging from garlic, anise, craw, shad, coffee, and none at all. I ultimately decided to go with no scent, so as to allow fishermen to [use] whatever scent they prefer."

Taylor prefers to affix it to a hook Texas style on either a slip-sinker rig or a Carolina rig.  On his Carolina rig, he uses a 2/0 Gamakatsu round-bend-offset worm hook, noting that this light-wire hook allows the Bubble Fry to glide.  He opts for a 3/0 one on his slip-sinker rig.

Of course, Midwest finesse anglers will affix it to a small mushroom-style jig with an exposed hook, and the hooks range in size from a No. 2 to a No. 4.  Perhaps a few old-timers will occasionally opt for a split-shot rig, which is the way we used to use soft-plastic French fries decades ago. Some will not shorten it. But Midwest finesse anglers are inveterate customizers, and therefore, some will shorten it, making a three-inch, two-and-three-quarter-inch, or a two-and-a-half-inch Bubble Fry.

The top two Bubble Fries have been shortened.At the top is a 2 1/2-inch Chartreuse Pepper Red Bubble Fry on a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. The second one is a 2 3/4-inch Blue Craw Bubble Fry on a blue 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. At the bottom is an uncustomized Green Pumpkin Bubble Fry affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig.

When it is rigged on a small mushroom-style jig with an exposed hook, Midwest finesse anglers will find that it works well with all six of the standard Midwest finesse retrieves.

It is available in the following colors: Blue Craw, Blue Fleck, Chartreuse Pepper, Chartreuse Pepper Red, Green Pumpkin, Red Bug, Watermelon Chartreuse, and Watermelon Red.

A package of 10 costs $5.19.


(1) Here is a link to Brian Waldman's insights about the Stud Fry and Bubble Fry:

(2) Here is a link to Smash-Tech Custom Baits website:  Here is Smash-Tech's telephone number: 903-434-2795.

(3) Here is a link to a column that describes the six standard Midwest finesse retrieves that anglers can use while wielding a Bubble Fry affixed to a small mushroom-style jig:

Recommended for You


Sensational New Softbaits for Bass

Steve Quinn - April 22, 2019

Steve Quinn talks new softbaits for bass from Berkley.


The Lowdown on Walleye Hardbaits

Steve Ryan - May 28, 2019

The range of walleye hardbaits encompasses multiple categories and a dizzying number of lures.


Dock Shooting Crappies

Matt Straw - July 03, 2018

Catch those weary crappie with this technique!

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

The Scoop on Garmin's New Force Trolling Motors

Why did Garmin's new Force trolling motor win a Best of Show category award at the 2019 ICAST Show in Orlando? OSG's Lynn Burkhead gets all of the scoop on the amazing features that come with Garmin's first entry into the trolling motor market.

Costa and Captains for Clean Water

With the company's heavy involvement in initiatives like Kick the Plastic and Captains for Clean Water campaigns, Costa's Amanda Sabin tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead all about the sunglass maker's unwavering commitment to help the freshwater and saltwater environment.

Bug-Repellent Clothing from L.L. Bean

L.L. Bean No Fly Zone and Insect Shield apparel won't let bugs ruin a fishing trip. With Jeff Miller of L.L. Bean and Game & Fish Editorial Director Adam Heggenstaller at ICAST 2019 in Orlando.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Other Fish

Best Carp Baits Today

Dan Johnson - June 29, 2018

To guide your carp quest, we've lined up the best carp baits that are easy-to-fish natural...

Pike & Muskie

How To Catch Pike In Spring

Dan Johnson - April 26, 2016

Spring is prime time for pike. The Prespawn and Postspawn periods offer excellent odds at...


The Best Catfish Rigs

In-Fisherman - January 11, 2018

Catfish are simple creatures that can be caught using the best catfish rigs. Catching them is...

See More Stories

More Midwest Finesse

Midwest Finesse

Bass Pro Shops' Hustle Bug

Ned Kehde - May 06, 2019

The Hustle Bug is a downsized creature bait that will greatly enhance your Ned rig...

Midwest Finesse

Big Sexy Baits' Paddle Worm

Ned Kehde - March 18, 2019

Here's a look at the Paddle Worm from Big Sexy Baits.

Midwest Finesse

Riot Baits' Baton

Ned Kehde - July 18, 2019

The Baton's unique design combined with its heavy salt content create a fast fall rate and...

See More Midwest Finesse

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.