Not All Beads Are Created Equal
Beads…. There are many offerings out there today, but all of them are not created equal and all require different rigging techniques to fish to their potential. The biggest debate lately in our sport would be Hard Vs. Soft beads. Many will argue one is better than the other. Some have tried each with good success and some have failed and went back to their old ways. We are going to break down fishing with soft beads from our point of view and hopefully help you land more fish and make more memories. I want to break it down into three main topics. Quality of Materials… glass, acrylic, and soft beads. Color… UV, Glow and wavelength. And last but not least, the most important is Rigging technique.
First talk about the quality of beads and the importance. If the product is not made consistent or has defects you will never have consistent results period. You will see this in sub-par quality in both hard beads and soft beads. Voids, dents, misshaping or consistent density of the material can affect the way it fishes and majorly its specific gravity. Let’s talk about specific gravity and why I believe that it is by far the most important attribute paired with rigging. Death Roe beads have been meticulously designed so that their material has the same specific gravity as real roe. Each strand of our beads is hand made, and hand checked for external and internal defects. This is very important to keep our beads to the highest quality so they fish consistently every time.
Enough talking about our beads for a second, let's talk about why specific gravity or why a bead's buoyancy is important. As you know, acrylic and glass beads sink due to density. Even when rigged properly these beads tend to sit on the bottom or have unnatural movement in the water column. This leaves you only covering a very low percentage of the strike zone in the sub current. We will talk about sub current in more detail in the rigging section. The other thing that glass or acrylic beads do is generally end up behind your float. To get your hard bead out in front of your float you need to physically hold up your float to let the bead swing. This is very important in clear water or highly pressured fishing areas. Death Roe beads' specific gravity allows them to have two major advantages over hard beads. It allows the bead to run out in front of your float so the fish sees the bead first before your shot line or your float. Giving it the cleanest most natural presentation possible. The other is it allows them to get stuck in the subcurrent where the fish are, allowing you to stay in the strike zone consistently through your drift.
It’s time to talk about color. Everyone has a favorite; everyone has a secret weapon but many don’t understand how a color affects the way a bead is seen by fish. Recently scientists have discovered that not only are some species of fish able to see light in the UV spectrum and that their UV-detection abilities are actually really keen. All UV is not created equal in beads. All hard beads are painted or dyed to add color to them. That means you only have a thin layer of colorant reflect the desired color. With Death Roe soft beads, the color is molded in and through the entire bead making it more refractive. You will also see, not all Death Roe beads are UV. Just like in real roe the amount of UV can change in the roe life cycle and can also be beneficial on highly pressured water to give it an even more natural look. On the opposite side of the natural looking spectrum, we have glow. Here at Death Roe we offer the brightest glow beads on the market. It comes down to the quality of material and again that is through the entire bead and not just on the surface unlike hard beads. Now for color itself. Due to the way that water absorbs light, there is a loss of perceived color when underwater. The longer the light's wavelength frequency, the easier it is absorbed by the density of water. As depth and distance increase underwater, the harder it is for light to travel through. That being said, not always the brighter the color the better for stained water, deep or darker bottomed areas. This is where solid, semi opaque and even darker colors can help with visibility. A prime example of this is blue or our Scampi bead. Here in New York, you can’t talk about the Salmon River and the controversial blue color that fishes so well there. Our underwater footage shows that in dark bottom areas the blue beads show up and fish better than everyone thinks.
I wanted to save the most important thing of bead fishing or any type of fishing and that’s rigging. This is where we also see the most people struggle with trying different types of beads and see poor results. Most people who bead fish have started fishing with hard beads. Because of this most people try soft beads, rig them the same way and see ok or bad results. Hard beads are heavy and I would consider them as part of weight during my set up. With Death Roe beads, having the same specific gravity or buoyancy of real roe they don’t sink nor do they float. This means they shouldn’t be considered weight in your rigging technique. Before I get into the two rigging techniques we recommend let’s talk about the goal. Get the bead quickly in the sub current and keep it there out in front of your shot line. Death Roe beads naturally want to get trapped in this area just like real roe would, but we need to get it there first. The number one mistake we see is NOT ENOUGH WEIGHT! Don’t be scared to add weight while using soft beads. If rigged property your bead will be out in front of the shot pattern. The fish will see the bead first unlike hard beads that are always behind. So how do we get in down and out in front? We recommend two shot patterns… Bulk shot rig for shallow water and tapered shot rig for deep water. In shallow water the sub current (strike zone) is compressed and usually only in the bottom few inches of the water column. So… We would use a majority of our shot right below the float and just two small pieces of micro shot above our leader. This helps hold the float in the seam and also gets the bead down quickly and out in front of the float. We practice and by reading your float you can get the lower shot to sit at the top of the subcurrent. Then Death Roe beads specific gravity will stick it in the strike zone and mimic mother nature with its movement. For deep water we recommend the taper shot rig. You want to start with small shot above your leader working up to bigger shot to your float. The same idea applies with the bulk shot with wanting you shot above your leader just at the top of the sub current. The bigger shot at the top helps hold the float and get the bead down quickly in the faster water and the small shot at the bottom allows the bead to get out in front once again.
I can’t stress enough that if you are going to try soft beads is to fish more weight, Don’t be afraid. Get the bead down in the sub current and the bead out front, and look more natural than anything else out there.
These are all recommendations from what we have learned and why we have started our business. It might not work for everyone but give it a try. We make the most consistent high quality soft beads on the market to give you your most repeatable, consistent results. We thank you for your continued support.