How To Use Soft Plastic Jerk Lures To Maximize Results


Soft plastic jerk lures are extremely good at triggering strikes from redfish, seatrout, snook, and flounder even if they aren’t hungry.

So they can an essential tool for inshore saltwater anglers who want to be able to consistently catch inshore slams.

The key factor in how many fish an angler catches with them comes down to how well the angler knows how to rig and retrieve these lures as well as when to use them and when something else is a better fit.

If the angler understands those items, he or she will be able to consistently catch a lot of great fish.

So to make sure you are one of the top fishermen to generating strikes with lures, we put together the following series of video lessons:

  • How to select the right color
  • How to rig
  • How to retrieve
  • How to customize size to match the hatch (lure hack)
  • How to decide which retrieve speed to use
  • When to NOT use soft plastic jerk lures
  • Ideal equipment for using soft plastic jerks (rod, line, & reel)

Just click on the respective videos below to see the details.

Note: Many of these lessons feature the Alabama Leprechaun, but they of course apply across the board.

Color Selection Tips

If you like the look of these lures, they are currently for sale at a buy 2 get 1 free special in this Ultimate Soft Plastic Jerk Shad Bundle.

How To Rig Soft Plastic Jerk Lures

Here are links to my favorite rigging items for these lures:

Another popular rigging method to know about is called the Donkey Rig. It consists of multiple lures on the same leader assembly that puts off great darting action and allows for even catching more than 1 fish at a time.

Click here to see how to set up the Donkey Rig

Retrieving Soft Plastic Jerk Lures

Profile Size Control Tricks

Deeper Water Retrieve Tips

Ideal Retrieve Speed

When To NOT Use Jerk Lures

Soft plastic jerk shads are extremely versatile, so they can be successfully used in most situations. The times in which I recommend against them are the following:

  • When lots of pufferfish are in the area (it’s best to go with a hard lure when puffers are around)
  • When it’s very windy (these lures can be tough to retrieve properly in windy conditions, so going with something with more drag in the water is generally best (spoon or swimbait)

Ideal Equipment

Weighted Hooks

After testing a lot of weighted hooks over the years, my absolute favorite for soft plastic jerk lures is the 3/0 Hoss Helix hook with the 1/8th oz weight because its unique centering pin makes rigging very easy, and its hook size/shape is perfect for this type of lure.

Click here to get the Hoss Helix Hooks


I highly recommend 7’6″ Fast Action blanks with Medium Heavy power (Medium for some brands like TFO). My favorite setup for overall value is the 7’6″ TFO Pro S (Medium) with a Daiwa Fuego 2500 reel rigged up with 10 lb J-Braid

Click here to get the entire package (rod, reel, lines, and lessons).


I highly recommend using 10 lb braid for maximizing your results when using soft plastic jerk lures so that you can maximize your casting distance and feel of taps vs. thumps.

My personal favorite after doing a lot of line tests of the years is the 10 lb J-Braid 8 Grand because it is very strong, casts great, and has proven to hold up to a lot of abuse.

Click here to get the entire package (rod, reel, lines, and lessons).


In my opinion, the reel is not nearly as important as the rod and the line. I recommend 2500 sized reels for inshore fishing with soft plastic jerk lures because they hold plenty of line and have more than enough drag strength while they weigh much less than the larger reels.

My personal favorite is the Daiwa Fuego 2500 XH because it’s super light and it holds up to saltwater exposure great for a reel under $100.


Soft plastic jerk lures can enable you to catch quality fish across all regions even when other lures don’t seem to work.

The key is to practice the rigging and retrieve techniques shown in the videos above.

In a short amount of time, you’ll undoubtedly be catching more and bigger fish up in the shallows by using the soft plastic jerk lures featured in our new Ultimate Soft Plastic Jerk Shad Bundle.

Please leave a comment down below if you have any questions… I am here to help!

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David Dunnam
1 year ago

Alabama leprechaun is the way to go in the Mobile Delta. I’ve caught specks flounder and bass in one day.

1 year ago

I was a devout live bait guy until 6 years ago I watched a 31 inch trout in 14 inches of clear water attack my 7 inch jerk bait after ignoring a offer of live shrimp and live whitebait

Stephen Cunningham
1 year ago

Do you do the same retrieve for all plastic lures? Twitch twitch drop?

Marc Rainville
1 year ago

Great tips. Thank you!

Scott Redding
1 year ago

Thanks Luke! Great demonstration! I will put it to use, for sure!

George Miller
1 year ago

Just ordered the bundle. Love these jerk baits with the Hoss Helix Hooks.

Jim Spencer
1 year ago

Thanks for all the tips, especially the line strength… I need to get past that urge to have heavier line…

William Cox
1 year ago

What are your thoughts on the fluro/nylon hybrid fishing line that is on the market? Is it a durable alternative to mono?
I use the line on all my surf fishing rigs, with no problems.

A. Rollins
1 year ago

How about a synopsis on lure size?
I often find a three inch bait is too long in the winter for some fish.
I’ll bite off the head of a soft plastic jerk shad to catch fish that are feeding on glass minnows.
In the summer, I beef up my lure size to catch cows.

1 year ago

Great refresher course ! Keep up the great work.


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