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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Guys

I was wondering; with soft lures like Megabass Xlayers, cormoran sneaky worms and other jellies that have no obvious tail action. Does this mean you have to constantly jerk them to get them to fish properly ?

Thanks for any input.
 

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I may be wrong but I think that the XLayer itself is/was originally designed as a jerkbait. A lot of people will tell you though that it's effectiveness is massively increased if you can allow longer pauses or just tiny skips and hops in your retrieve. In strong current they can be effectively drifted at the fish with very little action required on your part. In less current, personally I like to fish them almost in a sink and draw style. I caught a lot of fish on them when I started (probably like most did), assuming that you had to keep them jumping and moving all of the way in. Since slowing things down massively though, catches have improved.

Fishing them now (on a usual mixed, mostly sand bottom) around here, I let them sink to the bottom before winding in any slack line. Then, with my rod held away from me (tip held high), I'll lift the bait with a smooth action while wiggling the tip (if that makes sense) for about 3 or 4 feet perhaps. Then let the bait fall on a controlled slack line, lowering the rod smoothly with the lure as it sinks and smoothly winding in any slack line - always expecting a bite to come on the drop. I'd strike (just a sharp movement of the wrist) at any tap I feel on the way down. In between lifts, I'll occasionally just shake (literally, just quiver the rod tip - with a direct line to the lure), to slightly move the bait as it rests on the bottom. Maybe 10 seconds later, I'll repeat the lift again and watch for a bite on the drop (don't rule out bites while its sitting static as well though, so keep a tightish line).

Truth is though, it's different almost every time as you can allow less or longer pauses, smaller lifts, more shakes and less lifts etc. You obviously don't even need to let it touch bottom if you don't want to, but the same pattern has been successful for me in all sorts of guises.

It may not be 100% the same for all straight tailed soft baits, but that is what I find with XLayers. Bearing in mind the rattle may play a part too - especially with thye 'shake' I mention above. Try it out in a rockpool and try all sorts of tiny movements.

Rule no.1: Don't fish it so the bait is going absolutely crazy (although you'll still catch fish - just fewer and smaller). Split your time between gaining a fish's interest (with no or tiny movements), and then actively fishing for a bite (on the drop).

It's different for everybody though so you'll get other answers too :)

p.s. that's mostly with jigheads between 3 and 5g. In shallower water you can obviously rig them weedless on weighted or unweighted hooks. Again, don't go crazy with the movements. Just give it one or two very subtle twitches and let it slowly sink and do it's own thing.
 

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Thanks guys.

Changing to weedless jigheads does help over rough ground.

There are different techniques to employ if you're fishing rocky ground for mixed species - although they'll generally be similar but with less of the bigger movements and more time between the smaller ones.
 

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Ben-What jigheads do you use, for each size of xlayer,when rigging weedless and which way up do you mount them ?
 

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Ben-What jigheads do you use, for each size of xlayer,when rigging weedless and which way up do you mount them ?
I use the Decoy Bachi Heads mostly on standard XLayers. in 3.5g and 5g. Mostly 3.5. Rig them upside down for a slightly more gliding swimming movement. Once they turn nose down on the dive, which way up you rig them won't make much difference, but there may be a slightly slower (or more angled) fall to start with if you have them upside down.

Saying that, if I had more football heads then I'd use those just as much, or maybe more often. They'll be more unstanble as they move, sink at a marginally slower rate due to the larger surface area, and also sit flatter on the bottom (so will be less prone to snagging). I've used up the couple of packs I had unfortunately.

You want as slow'a fall as possible really. Bachi are about the worst for that, but if you go light then it's not too bad. I'm still playinga round a lot with jigheads to be honest. I'm catching on pretty much all shapes and sizes really so its a little difficult to tell what's best at times. Stand up heads may have their advantages too, especially for the initial touchdown and 'shake'. My honest answer is that I still have lots of ideas but no real definite answers yet. Keith et al are the guys for that.
 

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Excellent response from Ben which pretty much covers it all I think; all I would/could add is that you can fish an X-Layer at roughly 3 levels down in the watercolumn:

(1) Surface or subsurface by fishing it weightless or with very little weight added to it (or ‘sans plomb ou peu plombée’ as the French call it) and twitch it back gently with frequent pauses. (2) Well below surface (or ‘entre deux eaux’ according to the French) again by twitching or jerking the X-Layer back, this time on a rather fast retrieve and rigged on a jighead suited for this type of fishing , like for example the Bachi heads (Decoy), Lightning heads (Illex), Lipweights (Storm), Darter heads (Owner, Gamakatsu, Lunker City, Revenge) and others. And finally (3) fishing them at the bottom (‘gratter le fond’ as the French call it) amongst others in the way as described above by Ben. And it seems that especially on this third level the X-Layer proves to be most productive.
 

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Nice one Willem.

I think that no.2 was what they were originally designed to do. They're such good allround lures that they'll do it all really, as you've pointed out. No.2 pits them against hard lures, in the same sort of zone but with the fluid movements of a soft bait.
 

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really impressed with Ben's post. Can I extend the post with the question: How fish an xlayer off a boat? I never anchor so the boat is prone to tide and/or wind so it's usually drifting. Best technique I've found is casting uptide and leaving pauses and lifting every little while. You need to try to stay in contact by constantly slow reeling to account for the drift.
 

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On a drifting boat I would use the X-Layer primarily on the bottom, rigged on a Lipweight from Storm and would give it 2 or 3 long and fast upward sweeps (rodtip up) and would let it sink again. (The Lipweights from Storm are originally designed for this type of vertical fishing; however the lighter Lipweights, especially the 10 grams version, are equally well suited for the 'pêche a la volée' as I mentioned above (2), and produces wide darting movements).
 

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Fantastic thread lads, I've often wondered the same thing and if I was using these type of lure correctly.
Tough one innit Dave. I'm the same really in that fishing these types of things more difficult to describe or read about than when describing hard baits. A tiny shake goes a long way on a quality soft lure (watch it in the rockpool - see what the gobies think of it. They'll run away from a twitch, but show big interest in a shake) and even in my post above, it's hard for me to explain exactly how I do it - with the shakes and vibrations. If you, or anybody, is catching on them doing what you're doing, then there isn't really a right or wrong. Without us all showing eachother what we do in person, it'll always be different for each of us. Nice to get some confirmation that others are doing it similarly though. I probably only started fishing them like this about a month ago when it all just seemed to click in to place. Twitches and shakes followed on from the HRF learning and since then I have caught consistently fishing like this with xlayers while other baits have failed for me.
 

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For boat drifting....as well as skishing

If in open water, cast downtide and cover water the boat hasn't seen yet. Just like loch style flyfishing.
By matching head weight, retrieve rate and drift speed you will get a near vertical fall for the first half of the drift toward the impact zone.

Always get the lure back up to the boat before you drift over it. Using thin braids will still allow you to fish deep.

In gutters on incoming tides, we do cast upcurrent and so should yakkers to attack fish that are behind, but travelling the same way as you.

General: Don't forget shaking OTD.
 

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Tim I recently fished the x layers off the Ling rocks a reef system off Cork. We anchored and drifted. On anchor on a pinnacle which rose to fortyfeet from the surface and dropped off to about sixty. I fished the stern,using a 7gram Bachi head. When I rigged the Ayu x layer upside down most of my pollack came on the drop as the decent slowed the lure down plus fluttering effect mentioned previously(the fluttering effect id say is attractive to the fish). When I fished it rib side up I took must of the Pollack and coalfish when I was retrieving. The X Layer outfished everything else that day including the lads using the Redgills on long booms. On the Rodbar 270 the fight was savage:-D
regards
Bob
 

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Tim I recently fished the x layers off the Ling rocks a reef system off Cork. We anchored and drifted. On anchor on a pinnacle which rose to fortyfeet from the surface and dropped off to about sixty. I fished the stern,using a 7gram Bachi head. When I rigged the Ayu x layer upside down most of my pollack came on the drop as the decent slowed the lure down plus fluttering effect mentioned previously(the fluttering effect id say is attractive to the fish). When I fished it rib side up I took must of the Pollack and coalfish when I was retrieving. The X Layer outfished everything else that day including the lads using the Redgills on long booms. On the Rodbar 270 the fight was savage:-D
regards
Bob
I did the same thing the other day! 50-60ft of water, I used 12g head and xlayer and had Pollack to a bit over 3lb on my 7ft Bushwhacker - awesome fun!
 

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Big thanks for all these useful posts. Bit of a newbiw to xlayers really, could never muster the courage to open my wallet to such an extent! Now I know how useful they are it's not a problem...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks guys, especially lurefish.

What you say is what I was figuring but needed some confirmation that this is what I should do. Not that I have an Xlayer but I do have other sorts of jerkbaits and wormy things.

So what is it do you think about an xlayer that makes it superior to any other wormy type of jerkbait, or fishy type if it comes to it ?
 

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Ben you put it beautifly. As I was reading your post you seemed to be discribing exactly how I work an Xlayer, but I never knew if it was right, ow at least I know there are others finding that the best way I feel alot more confident. Cheers mate.

And Bob (Cork) and Mark thanks for mentioning the fact you use such light weights in deep water....you got me thinking now.
 
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