PRO's Soft~Bait Glue® (Review)

“Glue the baits to the hook, Al.” I got that advice from Russ (Bassdozer) Comeau at a Yamamoto writer’s confab in Page, AZ. I complained about large Senkos sliding down the hook on the cast, and Russ suggested super glue. Now, I have been fishing since 1959, and I am a traditionalist. So, Russ’s super glue idea went in one ear, got stamped “REJECT,” and went out the other ear.

Not that I don’t appreciate the advantages of cyanoacrylate glues, after all, during a career operating nuclear reactors aboard submarines, you learn a lot of engineering. However, super glues had never performed very well for me. They didn’t often bind in a “super” manner, and it was inevitable that you only got to use them the first couple of times they were open. After that, they were toast, rocked up in the tube, totally unusable, even when I sealed them right.

So, when I heard about Mike Rice’s PRO’s Soft~Bait Glue®, my initial reaction, honestly, was “Yeah, right.” I was welding plastic baits together just fine, thank you. Well, really, the weld had to be carefully made and it often resulted in a hard junction (very aggravating when joining two Senko halves lengthwise) and it was about impossible to do while standing waist deep in some river, trying to weld baits to find the right combination for the bass, or worse yet, trying to repair the last bait that was the right bait that day.

Finally engineering overcame traditionalism, and I tried the PRO’s Soft~Bait Glue®. You know, occasionally, an advance that comes along in fishing is a step change in our equipment. Monofilament fishing line was one of those, for instance, as was fiberglass rods followed by another rod step change, in graphite. I really believe that this is that same step change for repairing and manipulating soft plastic baits. It answers about every issue I ever had with standard superglues.

First, it will last for a long time with minimal care. Put it in the refrigerator when you are not out fishing or using it and expect it to last long enough to use all of it, if you use it like I do. I guess that means that Pro-Soft is already effectively half of the retail price, just because you get to use all you bought, not just half of it.

Second, it just plain works. Being a liquid, it flows to and into the junction surfaces. This means the user must get used to letting the glue “come to you,” but if each person will just read the instructions and follow them, it will work out fine. Listen, if this old hillbilly can figure it out in a couple of tries (and I did), anybody can. It also binds, oh boy, does it bind. I won’t bore you with all the non-fishing uses I’ve found, but I’ve successfully glued an eye back to a rod (in the river), a reel handle grip (on the river), more plastic baits than I have room or time to describe (both repairs and some very interesting mutations), waders, wading shoes, etc. The list goes on and on, and by the way, so does the bond.

Third, it cures very well. Contrary to the run of the mill cyanoacrylate glue, PRO’s Soft~Bait Glue® cures in the absence of air, not the presence of air. So, it will stay perched right there on the top of that bait cut while I put the bottle away, until I press the pieces together, removing the air. That also means it cures in water. It also cures quickly, and a very important point, it cures soft. No time spent holding and waiting. Squeeze out the “extra”, wipe it off with a bit of cotton terry cloth (using terry cloth is important), and go fishing. Don’t forget to glue the “hawg holes” where the hook has “hawged out” a place, and don’t forget to let a single drop seep down along the line, knot, hook, and entry point of a T-rig. The soft repair means no more hard spots to put the fish off when they strike, no hard flat repairs to rip the bait apart after re-rigging, just soft junctions that continue to let the bait do its job longer, saving us money.

I am still a traditionalist, but I know something good when it comes along, besides, every tradition has to start somewhere. Bassdozer was exactly right about the principle of gluing baits to hooks and gluing them together. I’m glad for his advice, and I’m glad his advice stuck with me long enough for me to find the right tool to do it with. PRO’s Soft~Bait Glue® just became a new tradition. I don’t go to the water without it in my tackle and I don’t spend a winter or weekend planning a trip without it on my workbench!