1. What is Mid-strolling

     Mid-strolling is one of the more popular finesse techniques in Japan. Mid-strolling is when the angler attaches a soft-plastic to a jig head and swims it slowly through the middle depth of an area to search it for scattered Bass. Great when used in unison with fan casting, Mid-strolling uses a slack line (loose tension of the line) and shaking of the rod tip to make the soft-plastic roll softly. In addition to the action produced when rolling, Bass in the middle layer can also be tempted by flashing the bait by twitching the rod. Also, because it uses a realistic soft-plastic, Mid-strolling is a great way to induce reaction strikes. It’s notable that finesse fishing can target middle layer of Bass that might not otherwise be tempted with hard lures.

2. How to mid-strol

     In order to catch Bass with mid-strolling, it is important to reel at a consistent speed while simultaneously shaking and twitching the soft-plastic, all while keeping a consistent depth during retrieve. Because it is difficult to operate the soft-plastic and control the depth, Mid-strolling is a technique for advanced users, and fishing results can easily differ depending on the tackle and angler's skill.

     The biggest trick of mid-strolling's action is to "not to stretch the line too much". Shake the rod tip while slowly retrieving and keeping a ‘bow’ in the line. The slack created by the rod tip shake (rather than lifting the rod) is wavy and transfers to the lure, creating the rolling action. It's like hitting the line with the rod tip rather than raising the rod. Don't grip the rod tightly, but instead hold it lightly on your fingers. Another important tip is to control the slack by reeling just enough so that you can feel the weight of the line. It is important to swim with the weight of the line, and you will be able to learn faster if you are conscious of controlling the line slack rather than trying to make the action. Once line slack is mastered throughout the retrieve, the action will follow.

3. Selecting good items for mid-strolling

     Next up is selecting the proper items for a finesse technique such as mid-strolling. The following is an introduction to rods, lines, reels and soft-plastics suitable for mid-strolling.

(A) The Rod

     In order to catch Bass with mid-strolling, it is important to reel the line at a constant speed while shaking the soft-plastic at a constant depth after casting. Since it is necessary to shake the soft-plastic while moving it slowly, not only the operating technique, but also the hardness and performance of the rod will influence the fishing result.

The hardness of the rod

    Firstly, it is a good idea to match the hardness of the rod to the soft-plastic size. For example, when the soft-plastic bait is small, use an ultra-light to light class. When increasing the bait size, use up to medium light, since the synergistic effect with the lure resistance makes it easier to roll action. It is suggested that soft ultra-light class rods are suitable for mid-strolling, but if the rods are too soft and the rods themselves are stretched, you will not be able to get a clean roll action.

The length of the rod

Secondly, as for the length of the rod, it is generally agreed that rods in the 6-6 ½ foot range are suitable for mid-strolling, so choose the length considering the size of the lure you are using and the hooking stroke. With heavier lures, it may be advisable to switch to a 7 foot rod to achieve proper line slack.

A rod dedicated to mid-strolling

     By the way, there is also a rod dedicated to mid-strolling. It is generally a 6 ½ foot ultra-light to light rod. It has the advantage of easily producing the rolling action of the soft-plastic, which is arguably the cornerstone of Mid-strolling. These rods, however, fail to be versatile enough for many other types of Bass fishing.

(B) The Reel

     Using a reel suitable for mid-strolling makes it easier to shake, which is one of the core components of mid-strolling, and leads to producing a rolling action with a stable and constant rhythm. Mid-strolling tends to focus on rod selection, but using the optimum reel will increase your fishing results.

     The reels used for mid-strolling should be 2000 to 3000 size, which are generally used for bass fishing. Select the appropriate number according to the weight of the soft-plastic and jig head to be used, and the thickness of the line. For example: If you use a jig head with a weight of 1/32oz to 1/16oz for most major soft-plastics of 3 inches, the line will inevitably be about 4-6lb, so we recommend using 2000 to 3000 size. increase. 3000 will be an option for mid-strolling using soft-plastics of 5 inches or more, which is popular in Japan recently. Pairing a #3000 reel with a 7 foot rod may be something to also explore.

(C) The Line

     Line selection is also important because the line transmits the vibration of the rod and is important for controlling the depth. In general, we recommend using a line with a firm fluorocarbon material and a thickness of 2-4 lbs (4-6lb. with heavier lures). Fluorocarbon is strong even though it’s thin, so it’s easy to use with other light rigs. As for the thickness, for example, 2.5lb can be used for Small Lakes, and 6lb should be fine for larger lakes and bigger Bass. The setting will change slightly depending on the lake, so it’s important to find the best thickness for where you’re fishing.

     By the way, the trick to choosing the thickness of mid-strolling's line is to choose the thickest line that does not cause line trouble. This is because the light lure moves with the weight of the line. Therefore, by using a thicker line, it may be easier to keep a slack line when you swing or twitch the rod, and it will be easier to get the feeling of pulling the same depth.

(D) The Soft plastic lures

     The key when looking for soft plastics suitable for mid-strolling is to find those that can be used with a jig head and spontaneously act against slight water currents and rod actions. A soft plastic with a slender body shape, a sensitive tail that moves gracefully, and parts that respond well to even the slightest water flow is suitable. Some recommendations are:

JACKALL’s DRIFT FRY series

     A soft-plastic that can be appealing to Bass by minimizing the movement distance with Mid-strolling. It has a lip-shaped body that easily receives water resistance, and anyone can easily roll with a reduced travel distance when mid-strolling. It is one of the best soft-plastics for searching the middle layer of most lakes.

FISH ARROW’s FLASH-J series

     A soft-plastic exclusively for the original Mid-strolling that can be found anywhere in Japan, even after its introduction 15 years ago. By taking advantage of Mid-strolling's rolling, you can tempt Bass with its flash. This soft-plastic has a reflector embedded in it, and is a popular soft-plastic that attracts fish year-round, even when mid-strolling.

4. Situations in which mid-strolling plays an active role

     Generally, it is agreed that the mid-strolling season is from late autumn to early spring, when the water temperature is low. The driving reason is that the bass are eating small fish and the water is clear.
      In late autumn the crustaceans, which are a staple of bass, burrow into the soil and disappear from the water during hibernation, leaving Bass no choice but to eat small fish. In early spring however, the water temperature begins to rise, and bass gradually resume their predatory activities in preparation for spawning. Since the need to feed is strong and the number of prey is lessened, a key to Mid-strolling is that it needs to be clear water where the bass can see prey from a distance. Therefore, this season will be the most effective season for mid-strolling.
      Even in the summer and autumn when weeds have grown, mid-strolling is effective when choosing certain areas. Areas where the weeds extend close to the surface of the water are not good for Mid-strolling, but if there is a distance from the top of the weed to the surface around the weed edge, you will be able to Mid-stroll and catch a lot of bass.