As we approach the time of year where we are fishing our soft plastic baits, there are certain visual keys that tell you something about soft plastic bait. One example of this is I believe that the softer the bait the longer the fish will hold it in its mouth. This means to me that when I am picking soft plastic bait some are rigid and almost hard others are soft to your touch. When you’re fishing skittish fish I believe soft plastic bait that is hard or rigid will get dropped quickly by a fish and cause you to miss many bites.
Also, many soft plastics have rings that surround the bait for some portion of the bait. A soft plastic with rings around it have the rings to create vibration. The rings also have a tendency to create bubbles as it falls, and seem to give the bait a softer feel. So the combination of a bait with arms and rings cause the bait to be more attractive to a fish; the bait vibrates, wobbles and creates erratic movement that will get a bite.
Many of the soft plastics sold today are covered in salt or have fish attractive liquids that they have been dipped or sprayed onto the baits; many believe these cause the bass to hold the bait longer. You can avoid buying fish attractant sprays by buying soft plastics that already dipped or soaked prior to being sold.
Lastly not all soft plastics have a natural movement that attracts a bite. You must move many of the soft plastic baits to cause a fish to strike; as an angler you must understand the movement needed with the rod tip, wrist or reel to cause a bite. My advice is to play with the bait with your rod and reel attached until you understand how to make it move and correctly present it to a fish!