Rod sensitivity for jig fishing
I never use jigs or fish plastic worms because I can not feel the lure hitting the bottom. I don't know if this is because my rods are not sensitive enough or I am doing something wrong. I mostly fish with crankbaits and spinners because I can feel the lure vibrating and therefore feel when a fish hits it. I feel like I am misshng out on fish sometimes because of not ever using jigs or plaslic worms. My most sensitive rod is an IM6 medium action 6' 6" Basspro Shop spinning rod. I use 8# trilene line. Is the rod my problem ? Should I try braided line ?
My general all around rig is a 6.5'-7' fast action ultralight spin rod. Add in a 1000 size shimano reel (i like the older trigger spin models) spooled with 4lb trilene or izorline. This will throw a 1/32 oz. tube jig without any additional weight. Deadly on lake/stream trout and works equally well on panfish and small bass. Sometimes I will go with 2lb line for trout in the sierras... but not for a pond where there may be bass.
The fast action is what makes it work. you want the flex in the tip down to maybe top 1/3 of the rod.
Give the braid or Fire line a try. I did and I'll never go back. I fish saltwater with live bait and artificial. You can feel every little twitch of the live bait and every little bump on the plastic.
You did answer your own question(s).
Yes you are missing out on a lot of fishing by not fishing jigs and soft plastics. The rod you are using should be fine but I agree you will be better served using braid on a soft plastic/jig set up. One for sensitivity and two for better hook sets.
It sounds like you are at the point where you need to start to thinking about different rod/reel combos for different applications and techniques. I say that because I got to that same point several years ago when I realized I was losing/missing fish because of poor hook sets or I was ripping the hooks out of the fish's mouth because I didn't have enough stretch in the line.
I don't typically worm or tube bait fish for bass with a spinning rod and reel combo, I like a baitcaster and a medium action rod. I tried the braided lines and did not like them and went back to monofilament. I'm not saying the braided won't work, it just didn't work for me. With plastic worms, I typically texas rig the worm and ocassionally carolina rig. With tube baits I will typically rig them with a jig head.
On really slow days I will ocassionally try splitshotting or dropshotting with a spinning rod and reel. Google Don Iovino to learn more about this finesse technique.
Can't help you with jig fishing, as I never did get the hang of it and only caught a couple of fish that way.