Paddletails vs Split Tails (Best Colors, Sizes, Rigging, & More)


Note: This blog post on Paddletails VS Split Tails was originally posted on November 25, 2020, but we’re sharing it with you again so you can learn everything about these two popular inshore fishing lure profiles. Oh, and be sure to check out all of the HELPFUL comments below this article!

It’s fishing lure face-off time!

Today, we’re talking all about paddletails vs. split tails.

These are two of the most popular lures and they’re really effective, but how do you know which one to choose and when?

That’s exactly what you’re going to find out today.

I’ve got the Salt Strong Fishing Coaches with me weighing in on this topic and they’ve all got great insights into this debate.

Here’s a sneak peek into what we covered:

  • The best colors for both of these lures (and which color to NEVER use)
  • What the best lure sizes are (it depends on several factors, but especially time of year)
  • The best way to rig these two lures
  • Which sense fish rely on most (smell vs. sight)
  • And much more

You can watch the video version of this podcast below (which I recommend since we show a few of these lures and rigs), listen to the audio version by clicking the play button underneath it, or listen to it on iTunes, Stitcher, or Spotify.

P.S. Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, or Spotify and leave us a review!

Paddletails vs. Split Tails [VIDEO]

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Paddletails vs. Split Tails [PODCAST]

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Mentioned lures & hooks

Here’s a timestamped table of contents from my conversation with the Salt Strong Fishing Coaches about paddletails vs. split tails:

  • 1:30 – When to use paddletails vs. split tails
  • 5:15 – What size hooks and jig heads to use with these lures
  • 7:14 – Pros and cons of the Texas Eye jig head
  • 7:41 – What size hooks and jig heads to use with these lures (continued)
  • 10:13 – Paddletails vs. split tails in North & South Carolina
  • 12:54 – Whether or not to use a loop knot with a Texas Eye jig head
  • 14:40 – How lure buoyancy affects what weight to use
  • 17:56 – Whether or not to use jig heads with split tails
  • 19:03 – When to use a jig vs. a weighted swimbait hook with paddletails
  • 24:21 – Why the specific action and size of the lure is so important
  • 29:45 – How much color matters for soft plastics
  • 34:46 – Which sense do fish rely on the most when hunting (sight vs. smell)
  • 36:30 – What size lures to use and when
  • 41:55 – What water temperature is the water when you consider it “winter fishing”?
  • 46:35 – What our go-to late fall lures are
  • 47:46 – “Perimeter weighting” your jerk baits (what it means and why it’s so effective


set hook with big paddletails

It’s always a pleasure to have the Salt Strong Fishing Coaches together on the podcast!

Both paddletails and split tails are excellent baits, but when to use them and how to rig them depends on the conditions you’re fishing.

What are the fish feeding on?

What’s the water temperature?

How deep is the water?

How strong is the current?

Ask yourself these questions before you decide on either one of these lures and you’ll start making better decisions about which one to go with!

Have any questions about split tails vs. paddletails?

Let us know down in the comments!

And if you know someone who needs to hear this episode, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

P.S. Want access to our best fishing spots and tips, plus discounts to our online tackle store? Click here to join us in the Insider Club!

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Allan Vrboncic
2 years ago

Have you guys ever used just a circle hook in the nose of the Alabama Leprechaun or Slam Shady Jerk Shadz? When fishing this winter in the Big Bend Area, we had to slow things down. One slow presentation that was slaying the trout, was using a circle hook in the nose of Flukes. Slow twitch’s and a pause. Now that I am an Insider, I can try that presentation with the Alabama Leprechaun or Jerk Shadz when you get them in. Just a thought.

Philip Gammans
2 years ago

Awesome episode guys! Ive heard it like 6 times already. Just got in my new bombers and shads, cant wait to hit the water this week.

Michael McDowell
2 years ago

Amazing amount of information offered in an entertaining setting. Mutual respect for each others’ perspective. This pod cast is worthy the annual members fee. Keep em coming. Much Thanks.

Frank Ryan
3 years ago

I am using the Bomber with a 1/4oz snakelock jig head 4/0 hook, with great success on the Chesapeake Bat tribs. Great lure.

3 years ago

Love the Alabama Leprechaun. Have caught numerous red drum trout and flounder! Artificial shrimp such as DOA have been working well. When will you have your new shrimp available from Europe? Would love to try that!
Thank you

Anthony Bishop
3 years ago

Could you guys refresh my memory when it is that you use the weighted hooks like the chinlokz?

Thomas Campbell
3 years ago

I use paddle tails as a search bait to cover water. Like mark said, if I start getting hits, or I see a lot of activity. I’ll slow down and use the fluke. However I can also do both with a ned rig. I will say that the gulp jerk shads are still my favorite. Good video guys!


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