Swimbaits for Bass Fishing

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Video best swimbait for bass

Take a walk with me through a virtual tackle shop as we plan to get you rigged up with swimbaits for bass fishing. We will be talking rods, reels, readily accessible baits, types of lines and some terminal tackle all aimed at you catching the biggest bass swimming in your waters. Like conventional tackle, some rods and reels pair better with certain techniques. This applies to throwing a larger swimbait as well.

Let us begin with the baits themselves.

Bass fishing swimbaits can basically be divided up in two ways:

  • Hard Swimbaits
  • Soft Swimbaits

First there are hard bodied swimbaits made out of wood, resin, and other composite materials that can be carved, molded and segmented to give an ordinary hard material the ability to swim and glide.

From there you can once again divide hard swimbaits category into two sub-categories:

  • Glide Baits
  • Segmented Swimbaits

These hard swimbaits are reasonably priced and range from easily found in most tackle shops to very custom and extremely hard to find but on a few small drops a year.

On the flip side, you have soft swimbaits and that category can be sub-divided up as follows:

  • Molded / Rigged Swimbaits
  • Unrigged Swimbaits

From there you can get a bit more granular when thinking about soft swimbaits to include rigged or molded swimbaits which might include wedge tails with Jig Hooks like the Huddleston Deluxe, or treble hook rigged swimbaits with a paddle tail like the Megabass Magdraft. Also included would be the unrigged swimbaits like the Basstrix Paddle Tail swimbait which is a hollow bodied swimbait made to be rigged on a jighead or weighted swimbait EWG hook.

So let us take a closer look at each starting with the Hard Swimbait options of Glide Baits and Segmented Swimbaits.

glide bait sampling for bass fishing

GLIDE BAITS

What is a Glide Bait

Basically speaking a glide bait is just a single jointed hard swimbait that has a wide lumbering action when fished with a series of slow pulsing turns of the reel handle or harder chops with the reel handle or rod tip to get the bait to dart to one side and then come back way to the other side. They can be fished very slowly from top to bottom as well as very quickly up near the surface.

I like to throw glide baits anytime you would traditionally reach for a jerkbait or a more methodical approach. When the fish are heavily pressured, lethargic, or suspended, the presentation of a glide bait makes for an easy, less intimidating meal.

It is also a great tool to locate fish on new bodies of water due to its immense drawing power. Fish will travel long distances to see what’s swimming around in their territory.

sneaky pete glide bait

RECOMMENDED GLIDE TO START WITH: G-Ratt Sneaky Pete

The first glide bait I would recommend throwing is the G-Ratt Sneaky Pete. Where other comparable glide baits helicopter on a long cast, I found the Sneaky Pete to track true through the air making for much more accurate casts.

This bait tends to stay further down in the water column on a retrieve instead of making its way subsurface halfway back to the boat. This drastically boosted my confidence fishing it, knowing that the fish had to travel less distance to inspect or potentially eat the bait.

There are a ton of great colors as well so you can be sure to match the hatch on any of your local fisheries. The hardware out of the packaging is top notch as well. The biggest, toughest fish in the lake will be hard pressed to toss this bait if you get a good hook in it.

  • Length – 8 Inches
  • Weight – 2.4 Ounces
  • Colors – 16
  • Price – $35.99
  • Buy here

Implementation

These smaller sized glide baits are great for working around cover. With a few rod twitches or reel pumps you can walk this bait back and forth without moving the bait a great distance. This is a great tool to draw fish away from the cover they’re holding tight to. Most of the time I’m targeting lay downs and dock pilings.

The next place I like to throw the G-Ratt Sneaky pete is up on shallow flats. Especially during the fall transition months, if aggressive fish are sunning on shallow flats, I’ll work the area with the Sneaky Pete. If you can catch the fish during the right feeding window, an opportunist bass is bound to take a swipe at your glide bait.

Other good starter glides Wired2fish recommends:

  • River2Sea S-Waver (buy here)
  • Storm Arashi Glide (buy here)
  • SPRO KGB Chad Shad (buy here)

deps slide swimmer 250 glide bait

RECOMMENDED BIG FISH GLIDE: Deps Slide Swimmer 250

The next bait is a little tougher to find and a little more expensive, but its reputation precedes itself. My next recommendation would be the Deps Slide Swimmer. The Deps Slide Swimmer has a bit more intricacies incorporated into the bait than most others on the market.

It has a soft, silicon shell encasing the bait that is realistic to the touch. And there is a pendulating vibration system in the head that is great for enticing a reaction bite when the bait is paused. You’ll notice a channel on the bait where the lateral line is located. This allows water to flow through the bait and apply some resistance to the back end of the bait providing a much more fluid S like glide.

In my experience with glide baits, the Deps Slide Swimmer has the most realistic gliding action on the market. During my first outing with the Deps Slide Swimmer I had lost sight of the bait at the end of a long cast. As the bait approached the boat halfway through my retrieve, I was startled to see what I thought was a bass swimming right towards me. It was actually the Deps Slide Swimmer 250 at the end of my line. From then on, I knew if the bait could fool me, it could easily fool the predatory instincts of a bass.

  • Length – 10 Inches
  • Weight – 6.5 Ounces
  • Colors – 40+
  • Price – $169.99
  • Buy Here

Implementation

Any wind blown points on your local lake are where I would to throw the Deps Slide Swimmer. Points are great ambush points for bass to corral their meal into a specific feeding area. When the wind is pushing up on a rocky point the Deps Slide Swimmer imitates a large, beat-up bait fish that makes for an irresistible meal.

I’ll typically line up on either side of the point and make a long cast to the other. During my retrieve I’ll work in slightly longer pauses and a quick erratic twitch to imitate a struggling shad.

If you already have a sense of where the big fish are located in your lake, the Deps Slide Swimmer is a great tool to fish the “spot on the spot.” The spot on the spot is going to be the juice on the high percentage spot that you’re fishing.

A main lake, wind-blown point is a great place to fish regardless of what bait you’re throwing, but where on that spot are the fish relating to? Is it an old roadbed that stems off the point or a patch of chunk rock isolated on the point? Once you have found the spot on your spot, give the Deps Slide Swimmer a try. You may just have a shot at the biggest fish residing in the area.

The Deps Slide Swimmer is also a great search tool. Due to the amount of water this bait pushes, it makes for a great search bait. Fish are very territorial and will travel long distances to see what is passing through their waters.

When fishing the 2016 FLW College event at Smith Mountain Lake, we used a Deps Slide Swimmer to find fish that were protecting their beds around docks. Occasionally, a territorial male would chase the glide away and swim back under the dock. We would then skip a jig or a shakey head under the dock and catch the bedded fish.

See also  State Record Crappie

Other big glide baits Wired2fish Recommends:

  • Gan Craft Jointed Claw (buy here)
  • Roman Made Negotiator or Mother (buy here)

SEGMENTED HARD SWIMBAITS

Hard bodied swimbaits, in my opinion, are the most action-packed swimbaits to fish. Typically consisting of multiple joints, they have a very tight, yet erratic swimming action to them. These types of baits are the ones that got me hooked into the world of swimbait fishing. You can fish segmented swimbaits fast or slow. Burn them, crawl them, wake them, slow roll them … all types of retrieves work at various times. They offer a big profile with a lot of speed options.

Here are a few that I would recommend trying when just starting out.

bull shad swimbaits

RECOMMENDED STARTER SWIMBAIT: Original Bull Shad

In my opinion, everyone needs to own a Bull Shad swimbait. Whether you’re a trophy hunter or a tournament angler this bait just flat out puts fish in the livewell. The key to this bait is to cover water. After a long cast retrieve the bait with a faster cadence. Throw a pause or two in during the retrieve and hold on. As far as a reaction bait there aren’t many that hold a stick to the Bull Shad.

  • Length – 6 Inches
  • Weight – 2.35 Ounces
  • Colors – 3
  • Price – $59.99
  • Buy Here

Implementation

A Bull Shad is very versatile in that you fish it slow, fast with a lot of twitches and pauses or just straight and steady. You can fish it shallow or deep and it’s easy to learn if you just think about fishing it like a spinnerbait. Throw it up around grass, and shallow cover and watch the bigger profile draw fish out. We fish it a lot in ditches in the fall and creeks coming out of the backs of bays and pockets. It’s dynamite fished on grass lines and edges. You can burn it under the surface to cover water on shallow flats. It’s extremely versatile and a proven fish catching profile that gets bit.

triple trout swimbaits

RECOMMENDED STARTER SWIMBAIT: 22nd Century Triple Trout

Another option that I have a ton of confidence in is the 22nd Century Triple Trout. Very similar to the Bull Shad, this multi-segmented swimbait excels with a fast retrieve. The action isn’t as tight as a Bull Shad’s but is equally erratic. These baits really excel during the pre-spawn months into the summer when a bass’s metabolism is the highest and they’ve got a ton of energy to chase a bait down.

  • Length – 7 Inches
  • Weight – 2.25 Ounces
  • Colors – 112
  • Price – $66.99
  • Buy Here

Implementation

These baits are the easiest to apply to any of your local waters. Simply make a long cast and cover water. For the Bullshad and the Triple Trout, I typically wont fish them in water deeper than about 15-20 feet unless the bass are schooling up on shad. If you see fish pushing shad to the surface, you can bomb out a Bullshad or a Triple Trout and have a pretty good chance at picking one off of the school.

When I know the fish are most likely up shallow feeding is when I get to work with the Bullshad and the Triple Trout. Early spring into Summer I will run the banks covering water. You can work this bait close by docks, lay downs, overtop of flats, the possibilities are endless with how productive this bait is. It is also a great search bait to quickly find active fish.

Both the Bullshad and the Triple Trout are slow sinking baits so you can count them down to the desired depth that you wish to fish them. In my experience, keeping this bait just under the surface will provide a ton of action-packed entertainment.

Grab a 4-inch or 5-inch model when first starting out to gain confidence in the bait and it’s action. As you start catching numbers of fish transition into some of the larger 6-inch to 8-inch models. You may get a few less bites but you will have a much better opportunity to catch a true giant.

lots of options for soft swimbaits for bass fishing

SOFT SWIMBAITS

There are basically molded or rigged soft swimbaits which simply means there is a weight and hook built into the soft swimbaits. Then unrigged swimbaits are simply soft swimbaits that don’t include the hook and weight and you add those yourself via a weighted swimbait hook or a jighead. And then with unrigged swimbaits you have some that are hollow cavity swimbaits and some that are solid molded. The hollow bellied baits rig easier on a weighted EWG swimbait hook and the solid bodied swimbaits rig better on a jighead usually.

bacca burrito jighook swimbait

Jig hook Molded Soft Swimbaits

Soft swimbaits are great for a wide variety of applications from covering water to slow creeping bottom. Soft bodied swimbaits are my go-to when the water temperature dips below 60 degrees. Soft bodied swimbaits can be very productive during this time of the year. Whether they’re actively chasing shad or hunkered down in the heart of winter, a soft bodied swimbait is a great way to present a big easy meal.

bacca burrito jighook swimbait

Recommended Swimbait: Bacca Burrito – Paddle Tail

My first recommendation in the soft swimbait category is the Bacca Burrito. In my previous review of the Bacca Burrito, I explained just how versatile this bait can be. I have found this bait to work well throughout the year but especially when the fish are actively chasing shad.

  • Length – 6 Inches
  • Weight – 2.8 Ounces
  • Colors – 14
  • Price – $38.99
  • Buy Here

Implementation

On my home waters here in Southern Virginia, the Bacca Burrito is my go-to cover water soft swimbait. I’ll fish it shallow from time to time, but I am usually looking for staging fish around 20 to 25 feet of water. In early spring, when I believe fish are staging just off their spawning grounds, I like to pick apart main lake points and secondary points if I believe these ambush points are located in the correct areas.

The boot tail of the Bacca Burrito (link to full review) gives the bait a wider thumping kick that allows the bait to roll slightly from side to side. During the retrieve you will see the head of the Bacca Burrito hunting side to side. This portrays a startled or injured bait fish that will make for an easy meal.

At Smith Mountain Lake, if there is a secondary point close by a stretch of docks, I believe those big females will stage there until the time is right to move up and spawn. This is a great opportunity to trick a bass into one last big meal before moving up to their breeding grounds.

As the Summer months roll around, I’ll key in on deep docks. The Bacca Burrito has supreme skipability due to its smooth sides and weight placement. Skip the Bacca Burrito to the back of the dock and work the bait out. I will only skip the Bacca Burrito under a time or two before moving on because I believe if there is a bass residing under the dock, it will most likely take a chance on the Bacca Burrito within a few turns of your reel.

If bass are feeding up to head to their winter haunts or looking to replenish their bodies come spring, this is bait that needs to be on the deck of your boat. The Bacca Burrito is one of those baits of which I can never have enough.

huddleston deluxe wedge tail swimbaits

Recommended Swimbait: Huddleston Deluxe – Wedge Tail

The Huddleston Deluxe is a soft bodied swimbait that is rumored to have more double-digit fish catches to its name than any other soft bodied swimbait created. This isn’t a bait that I would choose to cover water with. Instead, I would use it to thoroughly dissect an area that I know holds big fish. When the water temperature sinks down into the 40s and 50s, I am almost exclusively fishing a Huddleston Deluxe (link to review).

See also  How To Catch More Shad (Plus Stay Safe): 8 Cast Net Tips

Unlike the paddle tail on the back of the Bacca Burrito, the Huddleston Deluxe has a wedge tail. This provides a much more methodical, realistic action. Instead of the aggressive action of the paddle tail, the wedge tail has more of a lethargic action that pushes water.

  • Length – 8 Inches
  • Weight – 4.8 Ounces (Rate of Fall 12)
  • Colors – 8+
  • Price – $35.99
  • Buy Here

Implementation

The Huddleston Deluxe is another bait that I use for “The spot on the spot.” Make a long cast to your spot and wait for the bait to reach bottom. Once the bait reaches bottom, reel as painfully slow as you can to ensure contact with everything in your baits path. This will give the imitation of a high-caloric, easy meal that will get a bass through a few more days of tough winter conditions.

When it comes to docks here at Smith Mountain Lake, I like to parallel the front of deep docks. If you can find a dock around 18 to 20 feet of water, it’s worth making a cast at with the Huddleston Deluxe. When fishing docks at Smith Mountain Lake another variable to keep in mind are the shade lines that the dock provides. Because the shade lines are another form of an ambush point, I will hardly fish the side of the dock that is exposed to direct sunlight.

Rip rap banks with larger chunk rock are another great place to work the Huddleston Deluxe. I’ll bump it around on bottom in hopes of a big bass resting on the other side of a rock that I will bounce the bait over.

Treble Hook Rigged Swimbaits

The easy to learn and hookup with are probably the already rigged swimbaits with a treble hook on the body. You can skip these around usually, fish them next to docks and cover with a precise cast, but the cover open water very well. You basically cast them out and just wind them back in slow and steady trying to coax fish out of dark hiding spots. Think of it like fishing spinnerbait or a crankbait around shallow cover.

megabass magdraft swimbaits

Recommended Swimbait: Megabass Mag Draft

I haven’t had as much experience with the Megabass Magdraft swimbait with the treble hook on the belly held in place by its magnet system, but there is no denying the success of the swimbait as has been demonstrated on the tournament trails.

“I think the Megabass Magdraft is still one of those under the radar affective swimbaits any bass angler can master in short order,” said Wired2fish Publisher Jason Sealock. “These swimbaits skip incredible, even the big ones. And the come in sizes for every angler’s tastes. Personally I opt for the 8-inch most of the time because a 3 or 4 pound bass on Kentucky Lake eats gizzards that big all the time and it fishes well on my regular swimbait rods that can handle 3-ounce baits easily.”

  • Length: 6, 8, 10 inch options
  • Colors: 15
  • Price: $14.99 – $29.99

Megabass Mag Draft is available at:

  • Tackle Warehouse
  • Bass Pro Shops
  • Academy
  • Omnia Fishing

Unrigged Soft Plastic Swimbaits

basstrix swimbaits

Recommended Hollow Swimbait: Basstrix Paddle Tail

On the more versatile side of things the Basstrix Hollow Body Swimbait was one of if not the first hollow body swimbaits introduced to the fishing industry. This bait can be rigged countless ways but my preferred way to rig this bait is on a belly weighted swimbait hook.

For a stand-alone bait fish imitation, I like to rig the Basstrix paddle tail on a belly weighted swimbait hook with an underspin. This year I tried the Zappu belly weighted swimbait hooks. The 5 and 6 inch versions sit perfectly on their 5/0 and 6/0 models respectively. The hook comes with a small willow leaf under spin that is great for added attraction.

  • Length – 5 – 7 Inches
  • Colors – 18
  • Price – $6.99 – $14.99
  • Buy Here

Hook or Under spin:

  • Size – 5/0 – 6/0
  • Price – $6.69 – $7.79
  • Buy Here

Implementation

The Basstrix hollow body paddle tail swimbaits can be used for a wide variety of applications. You can rig one as a trailer on a spinnerbait or chatter bait or throw a handful of them on an Alabama rig. My go-to use for this bait is to bring it through more intimidating cover that one would have difficulty bringing a swimbait through with larger hooks.

Ill throw this bait just about anywhere but prefer to place the bait around the tops of shallower submerged trees, mouths of creeks or over the top of grass. The bait has a narrow, smooth profile and makes its way in and out of tight spots with ease.

Other Split Belly / Hollow Swimbaits we Recommend:

  • Scottsboro Tackle Swimbaits (buy here)
  • Beast Coast Miyagi Swimmer (buy here)
  • Megabass Magdraft Freestyle (buy here)

keitech swimbaits

Recommended Solid Body Swimbait: Keitech Swing Impact FAT

This is arguably the most common and top selling swimbait on the market and maybe ever. It’s unique ribbed body and variety of sizes, colors and applications made it usable on everything from Alabama Rigs to Swim Jigs to small jigheads for smallmouth bass and big jigheads and weighted hooks for giant largemouth bass. The Keitech Swing Impact FAT comes in sizes from 2.8 inches up to 7.8 inches.

The smaller ones are excellent on Alabama rigs in the winter as well as on small 1/4 ounce jigheads for casting to suspending fish like spotted bass and smallmouth bass. The middle sizes make excellent trailers for swim jigs and Chatterbaits. And finally, the largest sizes make great swimbaits for fishing on ledges, or through grass with a weighted weedless hook when targeting really big bass. Read our full Keitech Swing Impact FAT review.

It is an incredibly effective swimbait that should be in every angler’s boat, as it’s the one that started the craze so to speak on having an ultra versatile do-it-all swimbait.

Swing Impact Fat is available at:

  • Tackle Warehouse
  • Bass Pro Shops
  • Walmart
  • Amazon

Other Solid Body Soft Swimbaits Wired2fish Recommends:

  • Reaction Innovations Skinny Dipper (buy here)
  • Storm Largo Shad (buy here)
  • BioSpawn ExoSwim (buy here)
  • Strike King Swim’n Caffeine Shad (buy here)

swimbait rods

BEST SWIMBAIT RODS

With the swimbait craze taking hold of the fishing industry over the last year or so, almost every rod manufacturer has a designated swimbait rod in their line-up. While they’re all great options, I’m going to recommend a few that I started out with and even use to this day.

My first designated swimbait rod was an iRod Genesis II Bailey Swim. The iRod Bailey Swim rod is an 8-foot heavy action rod rated up to 8 ounces which covers all your bases when first starting to throw larger profiled baits. I designated this rod for all my soft plastic swimbaits and some of my heavier glide baits. It has a great backbone to drive a hook home on a soft bodied swimbait or to keep a bass pegged on a bigger glide like a Deps Slide Swimmer.

A rod that interchanged frequently with the iRod Genesis II Bailey Swim with the Dobyns Fury 795. While I found the iRod Genesis II Bailey Swim to be great for soft plastic swimbaits, the Dobyns Fury 795 really shined when throwing any smaller sized treble hook baits such as the Bull Shad and the G-Ratt Sneaky Pete. The lighter action of the Dobyns Fury 795 allowed me to keep treble hooked fish pegged more efficiently than the stouter iRod Genesis II Bailey Swim.

See also  Beretta A300 Outlander: Entry-Level Shotgun?

As I continued to expand on my swimbait fishing, I needed to dedicate another rod for other applications. The Dobyns Champion XP 908 rod took over the role of the workhorse of my swimbait arsenal.

As I gained more and more confidence throwing swimbaits, I started to increase the size of the baits I was throwing. This rod handles just about everything with ease. It seems like a stout, broom stick of a rod but loads up perfectly when swinging on big fish. It has a lot of back bone to horse fish into the net but enough tip to keep treble hook fish pegged.

iRod Genesis III Bailey Swim

  • Power / Action – Heavy Moderate Fast
  • Length – 8 Feet
  • Lure Weight – 3-8 Ounces
  • Price – $149.99
  • Buy Here

Dobyns Fury 795

  • Power / Action – Medium Heavy Fast
  • Length – 7 Feet 9 Inches
  • Lure Weight – 1-5 Ounces
  • Price – $149.99
  • Buy Here

Dobyns Champion XP 908

  • Power / Action – Ultra Mag Heavy Fast
  • Length – 0 Feet
  • Lure Weight – 8-20 Ounces
  • Price – $209.99
  • Buy Here

Other Swimbait Rods Wired2fish recommends:

  • St. Croix Legend Tournament Swimbait Rods (buy here)
  • Leviathan Omega Swimbait rods (buy here)
  • Shimano SLX A Swimbait Rods (buy here)
  • Jenko Savant Swimbait Rod for Lipped Swimbaits (buy here)

swimbait reels

BEST SWIMBAIT REELS

When it comes to reels, a 300-400 size reel is going to best suit your needs. You can get away with a 200-size reel for some of the smaller glides and soft plastic swimbaits but the larger reels are better at maintaining your larger pound test lines.

When fishing big swimbaits, its important to have plenty of line on your reel. For instance, a long cast is going to decrease the circumference of your spool size. As you continue through your retrieve, more and more line will be added to your spool, increasing its circumference. The increased circumference of your spool will cause your reel to pick up more line during your retrieve.

In return this will cause your bait to speed up as it makes its way back towards the boat. When targeting the biggest fish in your lake it is important to maintain as realistic a presentation as possible. Starting out I would recommend the Shimano Tranx 300 or theDaiwa Tatula 300.

Once you progress into the 10 to 12 inch baits, I would go with a 400 size reel like a Shimano Calcutta 400 or the Shimano Tranx 400. A 300 size reel will manage just fine but the 400 size with the larger baits is going to be much better suited for you.

Shimano Tranx 300 & 400

  • Gear Ratio – 5.8:1
  • Price – $289.99 – $309.99
  • Buy Here

Daiwa Tatula 300

  • Gear Ratio – 6.3:1
  • Price – $269.99
  • Buy Here

Okuma Citrix 364 Series

  • Gear Ratio – 6.4:1
  • Price – $194.99
  • Buy Here

swimbait lines

BEST SWIMBAIT LINES

Line is going to be the lifeblood of your swimbait fishing. My recommendation is to use the heaviest line that you can still manage to get bit on. Initially, you’ll want to throw these baits on braid, but I would highly recommend against it due to the unforgiving nature of the braid during a backlash. I have sent my fair share of baits to the bottom of the lake making this mistake.

Monofilament and Copolymer lines on the other hand are much more forgiving. It almost acts like a buffer for any sudden impacts whether it be from a long cast, heavy hookset, or a fish diving down at the boat. For the Monofilament and Copolymer category I would go with P-Line CXX or Izorline XXX. Both have had great results for me in the past. They’re strong lines and very abrasion resistant.

I use 20 pound test for my smaller swimbaits up to about 2-6 ounces and 25-30 pound test for just about everything else. Once you have a specific set up dialed in to your liking, you can up the copolymer line to fluorocarbon. Fluorocarbon is slightly less forgiving than copolymer or monofilament but I believe it gives the bait the best action and presentation. My preference for fluorocarbon is Sunline FC Sniper.

Monofilament and Copolymer lines are great for moving baits that are higher up in the water column. Fluorocarbon, similar to conventional bass fishing, can give you a slight advantage on bottom dwelling baits.

Sunline FC Sniper

Price – $23.99 – $26.99

Izorline XXX Super Co-Polymer

Price – $9.99

P-Line CXX

Price – $16.99

Berkley Big Game

Price – $10.99

Yo-Zuri Hybrid Fishing Line

Price – $10.99

swimbait terminal tackle

SWIMBAIT TERMINAL TACKLE

When it comes to terminal tackle, I want to make sure that I have the strongest components available to stack the odds of boating a true giant in my favor. Some baits come ready to fish right out of the packaging like the G-Ratt Sneaky Pete. Others you may want to swap out the stock split rings for the more reliable Owner Hyper Wire split rings.

When it comes to hooks, I have really fallen in love with the Decoy Quattro hooks. Instead of your typical treble hook, this hook is a quad hook and is sticky sharp. Fish will sometimes come up and swipe at your bait and I have managed to boat a few by making sure my hooks are as sharp as they can be. Another good alternative is the Owner ST-56 stinger hook. It’s a slightly heavier gauge hook but there aren’t too many fish out there that would be able to straighten one out.

Decoy Quattro X-S21 Hooks

  • Size 1 – 5 Pack – 8.99
  • Size 1/0 – 4 Pack – $8.99
  • Buy Here

Owner 3X ST-56 Stinger Hooks

  • Size 1 – 6 Pack – $9.19
  • Size 1/0 – 6 Pack – $9.19
  • Buy Here

Owner Hyperwire Split Rings

  • Size 5 – 60# Test – 9 Pack – $4.99
  • Size 6 – 70# Test – 8 Pack – $4.99
  • Buy Here

*Check out lots of other accessories for swimbait fishing here.

hard swimbait box

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

The swimbait market can be very overwhelming when first starting out. These suggestions will get you headed in the right direction without a lot of confusing comparisons. All of these swimbaits, rods, reels, line, and terminal tackle are readily accessible and won’t break the bank and more importantly are proven winners in all regards.

Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and try some new baits in some new places. Just because some of these baits work well for me, does not mean they will be well suited for your local waters. With enough time and experimenting and building out your swimbait collection, you will find the baits that really produce over and over again where you fish. The presence and actions of these specific baits can be found in many other baits in the swimbait market so there may be one that we didn’t mention here that is the killer on your fishery.

My biggest piece of advice— plan a few trips out and take nothing but larger profile swimbaits with you. Even if it is just for a few hours, give these baits the opportunity to show you what they can do for your trophy bass hunting. You will be surprised what will show itself even if you don’t catch them. Some of the biggest bass in your fishery will expose themselves to you if you will commit to throwing swimbaits more.

author with a big swimbait bass

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>