Since the beginning of the year, one of our quests has been to highlight an array of soft-plastic baits that have not been a part of the repertoire of Midwest finesse anglers. And the 4 1/2-inch Air Bait Slim Worm is one of them.
It is manufactured by Vagabond of Kyoto, Japan, and it exhibits many of the distinctive finesse features that the Japanese anglers and lure designers have a propensity for creating during the past few years.
The contour of the Air Bait Slim Worm's body is cylinder — shaped. Its diameter is slimmer in the middle than it is on its front segment and back segment. The entire body is ringed by scores of ribs, and the ribs that encircle the back segment of the body are more pronounced than the ones that encircle its front and middle sections. Air is trapped between these ribs, which enhances its buoyancy and underwater gyrations. The trapped air also slows down the speed that the Air Bait Slim Worm falls from the surface to the bottom. According to the staff at Vagabond, the slowness of the fall will provoke some tentative largemouth bass and smallmouth bass to engulf the Air Bait Slim Worm more readily than these bass will engulf a standard finesse worm, and they also say it brings soft-plastic buoyancy "to previously-unseen levels." And when an angler employs the slightest shake of his spinning rod, the Air Bait Slim Worm will shimmer provocatively. What's more, the design of its body and ribs prevents it from spiraling as it plummets to the bottom, and this attribute alleviates line-twisting woes, which tend to plague scores of finesse anglers.
It is adorned with a tiny and finely tapered tail, which is a design fashion that several Japanese finesse-worm designers and manufacturers have recently begun to employ.
Its head or nose is flat.
It was designed so that it works equally well on a drop-shot rig, split-shot rig, neko rig, slip-sinker rig, and shaky-head jig. Most Midwest finesse anglers will rig it on a mushroom-style jig, such as Gopher Tackle's 1/16-ounce Mushroom Head Jig or Z-Man Fishing Products' 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. And no matter which way it is rigged and retrieved, Vagabond says the Air Bait Slim Worm will have its nose down and its tail up, and across the years, finesse anglers have discovered that the nose-down-and-tail-up motif is especially effective when the deadstick presentation is employed.
It is manufactured in an array of colors, but not all of them are available in the United States. Some U.S. retailers currently have these colors: Ayu, Blue Gill, Green Pumpkin, Green Pumpkin Black, Scuppernong, Scuppernong/Red Flake, Wakasagi, and Watermelon Seed.
A package of 10 cost $6.99.
(1) The tiny and finely tapered tail that adorns the Air Bait Slim Worm appears on a few other soft-plastic baits that are made in Japan, such as Keitech USA's 3.8-inch Sexy Impact, Megabass' DOT Crawler, and Reins Fishing Tackle's Bubbling Shaker. Here are the links to the gear guides about Keitech USA's 3.8-inch Sexy Impact, Megabass' Dot Crawler, and Reins' Bubble Shaker: https://www.in-fisherman.com/bass/megabass-dot-crawler/; https://www.in-fisherman.com/midwest-finesse/reins-fishing-tackles-bubbling-shaker/;https://www.in-fisherman.com/bass/keitech-usas-3-8-inch-sexy-impact/ .
(2) Some anglers find Keitech USA's 3.8-inch Sexy Impact, Megabass' DOT Crawler, Reins Fishing Tackle's Bubbling Shaker, and Vagabond Air Bait Slim Worm are an effective alternative to Senko-style baits.