One quick look at the Reins C-Pod and you will see that it is unlike any other bait on the market. It is a bait with several appendages and appears like an insect or even an extraterrestrial creature.
While it may seem foreign to humans, the design was inspired by something very familiar to bass, the Copepod. The bait has a unique action and can be fished numerous ways, but one of the best is when fished on a Jika Rig.
What is a Copepod?
C-Pod is short for Copepod, a small crustacean bass feed on from the time they begin their life.
Professional angler and guide Michael Murphy is a certified Fisheries Biologist with a degree in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences from Purdue University. He understands fishing from both the science and angler’s perspective and was part of the design process for this unique bait.
“The C-Pod is a direct knockoff of mother nature. Copepods are the first meal most largemouth eat when they hatch,” he says. “If you search online for pictures of zooplankton like this you will see the similarity to many of the creature baits and brush hog style lures that we all use. Bass are opportunistic and eat a variety of baits, but this is a way to match the hatch perfectly.”
Fishing the Reins C-Pod
This soft plastic can be fished just about any way you want. Many anglers are finding uses for the C-Pod when pitching, drop-shotting, and on a Carolina-Rig. Murphy says one of the best ways to use it is on a Jika Rig.
The Jika Rig is another Japanese import that has become a favorite of bass anglers stateside.
“It is a cross between a Texas-rig and drop-shot and really excels when there is some silt on the bottom. Your jigs and standard Texas-rigged baits hit bottom and create a plume of silt, and the bait can get lost and out of view of the fish,” says Murphy.
Backwaters and shallows with silty bottoms are ideals places to fish the C-Pod, and Murphy says it excels in clear to slightly stained water.
“It is more of a visual technique, and all of the appendages create a nice action, especially when fished on a Jika Rig,” he believes.
Another reason he likes the Jika is that it helps to maximize the appearance of the bait.
“The Jika helps to lift the lure, and since the bait glides, it gives it great action. It is one of the most effective baits for that technique,” adds Murphy.
Make Your Own Jika
There are many Jika Rig options for anglers. Manufacturers are making them ready to purchase right off of the shelves, but you can also create your own.
Murphy uses the Reins Slim Tungsten Drop Shot Sinker and usually opts for the ¼-ounce size when fishing the C-Pod. This particular weight is slightly different than a standard drop-shot weight in that it has an eyelet instead of a clip for pinching the line and holding it in place.
“I use two split rings, one to the weight and another to a 4/0 straight shank flipping hook. Combining those makes your own Jika Rig, and everything is free-swinging, and your knot is protected,” he says.
Doing this also allows for easy changing of hooks if they become dull or you find a need to change sizes.
When and Where to Use the C-Pod
Murphy has learned that there are many ways to fish the C-Pod and he continuously hears more ways to fish it from anglers.
“It is still a brand new bait, so people are still finding unique ways to fish it. I have heard of people rigging it backwards to get it to look more like a crawfish and fishing that on a Carolina-Rig or swing head,” says Murphy.
Generally, he fishes the Jika like a Texas-Rig and will pitch it around any cover he comes across.
“I have found the best success in eight feet of water or less just going down the bank and fishing the shoreline cover. I pick it up in the spring when the water hits around 60-degrees and will fish it all spring, summer, and fall,” he adds. “You can fish it just about anywhere, but on a Jika Rig it is an excellent pitching bait.”
Murphy fishes the C-Pod on the Jika Rig on standard worm and pitching gear. He opts for a 7’2” heavy Lew’s Custom Speed Stick and 7.5:1 Lew's Team Pro, Magnesium Speed Spool reel, spooled with 16 to 18-pound Sunline FC Sniper fluorocarbon.
The Reins C-Pod is one of the most unique looking soft plastic baits on the market, and it appeals to the instincts of bass. There are many ways to fish the bait, but one of the designers of the bait says it is tailor-made for a Jika Rig.