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Recommendations for swimbaits

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Looking at getting into swimbait fishing.

 

been looking at Gantarels, keitech etc.

 

just looking for recommendations. Baits, hooks, set up etc.

 

thanks in advance

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what kind of swimbaits are you looking at?

bigger swimbaits like hudds, trash fish and glide baits?

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Yes sir, the soft plastic swimbaits like keitech don’t concern me as much because I feel like my current gear can easily handle it.

 

looking at swimbaits from 1.5 oz - 4 oz

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I recently started experimenting with big swimbaits last season and I’ve had decent success on a 6” Bull Shad by Mike Bucca. I throw it on a 7’9 MH (1-5oz) Dobyns Fury swimbait rod. At $120 it doesn’t break the bank and it’s been more than enough for my purposes. 

 

Can’t speak much for other baits... yet!

 

 

 

 

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If you're brand new, do not make the mistake I made a couple years ago. I used #12 co polymer line to throw a 3 oz glide bait on a rod that was under powered for that lure's weight. On my 2nd cast, it literally snapped off and I instantly said good bye to an expensive bait. 
 

Since then, I've put my box of swimbaits away to set funds aside to invest in a swimbait reel, swimbait rod

and 25# mono to be properly equipped to throw those toys around at a future date.  If I wouldn't spend all my play money on finesse gear, I would've had a nice Daiwa Lexa by now :/ 

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a couple baits i would definitely start with would be

  • savage gear shine glide 7"
  • river 2 sea s-waver 168
  • huddleston 68 special rof 12
  • jenko booty shaker (tw has the 7" version for 3.99 for a two pack) rigged on a 10/0 owner beast hook
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If your heavist weight swimbait is 4 oz use that as the nominal* weight the rod lists as lure weight. *Add the lure weight range together, then divide by 2, round up!

Swimbait fishing starts with the rod, reel and line after determining lure weights.

Nearly every bass angler makes the mistake of starting with too light and short rods and ends up going to XH rods, if they use 8" Hudds for example.

Tom

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I could do a lot of damage with swimbaits as long as I have my 7" Slammer and 185 Shine Glide. Neither is real expensive and both can are in the size range you listed. The 168 S-Waver, Bull Shad, Savage Gear line through trout and gills, and Savage Gear Glide Swimmers are also solid baits in your desired range. 

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8 minutes ago, npl_texas said:

Do you guys throw them on straight braid?

No. Where I fish it's sparse cover with mostly deep rock structure where bass are targeting swimbaits. I use Sunline Defier Armilo Nylon 25 lb mono. 

Tom

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S-waiver 168 and 200 to start.

8" trash fish

Huddleston gets a lot of love but I have never had a bite.

Piz customs shadly or drift.

Mattlures gills

9" slammer 2 piece

Those are enough to get started at minimal cost most under 100.

Three main lines for sb are Berkeley big game, p-line cxx and yhb.  I run the 168 on 15 yhb over 2 oz step up to 20.

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Most of the suggested lines will serve you well. CXX, Big Game, Izorline XXX, P-line PF original are all widely used. What I would do for baits is carefully assess your budget. There are always exceptions, but with swimbaits you really do get what you pay for. There are cheaper gems like the savage gear lineup but I've been using swimbaits for a few years and if I could start over I'd pick 3-5 well established baits and just bite the bullet (if it's in your budget). I have so many cheaper baits I don't use or flat out hate because I tried finding the diamonds in the rough. Again, they are out there, but my reluctance to buy things like mattlures hardgills, or slammers, or bullshads because of the price at first kind of came back to bite me, because I am now in a position where I am buying them anyways. 

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If you throw big swimbaits on braid, it's just a matter of time before you experience the heartbreak of a cast off. I fish mine on 20lb Big Game. 

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My favorites 

 

River2Sea S Waver 168

Smashtech Head Smashers

Hudd 68 special

strike king shadalicious

 

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What gear ratio for reels should I be looking at?

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5 or 6 ratio is plenty.  Most of the reels for heavy baits run that ratio except the newest stuff.  I run a luna 253l and it's silk.

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Spro BBZ Shad 40 (4 in.) and Shad 60 (6 in)

Spro BBZ Rat 40 and 50

 

These are hard plastic baits so they should last a long time.

 

Articulating action is very lifelike.

 

High quality throughout, including paint/color schemes and quality hooks.

 

The Shad 40 comes in floating (3/4 oz), slow sink (7/8 oz) and fast sink (1 oz).

The Shad 60 comes in floating (2 oz), slow sink (2 1/4 oz) and fast sink (2 1/2 oz).

The rats are topwater floaters but have a lip so will dive if you tip the rod down.

 

I like the Shad 40 for its single hook (comes with a treble, I replaced it with a single barbless). I've always found swimbaits somewhat annoying because dual trebles seemed to hook on everything in the tackle box, boat or myself even before I made a cast. Also the rear treble stands a good chance of deep hooking and that would be a pain to remove. So when I saw the Shad 40 with hook at the center position, with great action and looks, I had to get it.

 

Can't wait to try it for the first time in the 2018 season hoping it will be my go-to swim bait.

 

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3 hours ago, haggard said:

Spro BBZ Shad 40 (4 in.) and Shad 60 (6 in)

Spro BBZ Rat 40 and 50

 

These are hard plastic baits so they should last a long time.

 

Articulating action is very lifelike.

 

High quality throughout, including paint/color schemes and quality hooks.

 

The Shad 40 comes in floating (3/4 oz), slow sink (7/8 oz) and fast sink (1 oz).

The Shad 60 comes in floating (2 oz), slow sink (2 1/4 oz) and fast sink (2 1/2 oz).

The rats are topwater floaters but have a lip so will dive if you tip the rod down.

 

I like the Shad 40 for its single hook (comes with a treble, I replaced it with a single barbless). I've always found swimbaits somewhat annoying because dual trebles seemed to hook on everything in the tackle box, boat or myself even before I made a cast. Also the rear treble stands a good chance of deep hooking and that would be a pain to remove. So when I saw the Shad 40 with hook at the center position, with great action and looks, I had to get it.

 

Can't wait to try it for the first time in the 2018 season hoping it will be my go-to swim bait.

 

For the Spro 40, do you recommend float, slow sink, or fast sink? 

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On 12/29/2017 at 1:30 PM, WRB said:

No. Where I fish it's sparse cover with mostly deep rock structure where bass are targeting swimbaits. I use Sunline Defier Armilo Nylon 25 lb mono. 

Tom

I tired the 25lb DA this fall and found it to be super stiff and weary, to the point where coils would form in slack line when floating on the water.  Is this unusual or just how heavy line behaves?  I have been using the 12lb DA and found it to be really soft and manageable, but the 25lb is killing me.  

 

I am trying to resist the urge to give 60lb braid a try, the most expensive swimbait I own is around thirty five bucks, so it will not be the most expensive lesson I had to learn for myself :P

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21 hours ago, Bluebasser86 said:

If you throw big swimbaits on braid, it's just a matter of time before you experience the heartbreak of a cast off. I fish mine on 20lb Big Game. 

Really? Musky guys throw heavier baits on braid all the time. Like any line just retie if frayed and in toothy fish land use a steel leader. 

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2 hours ago, cgolf said:

Really? Musky guys throw heavier baits on braid all the time. Like any line just retie if frayed and in toothy fish land use a steel leader. 

I don't know if it's the reels, the style of baits, rods, maybe the fact that muskie guys tend to use the really heavy stuff, but it happens with big swimbaits where it doesn't happen with muskie baits, or maybe it's muskie baits don't cost hundreds of dollars so we don't hear about it. Maybe it's the muskie guys fishing more around open water and weeds instead of around cover where abrasions can occur. All I know is, I know a lot of people who have experienced the heartbreak I'm talking about from fishing big swimbaits on braid. I know guys do it, but to me, it's playing with fire. Another issue with braid, the lack of stretch can pull hooks, especially on big fish at boat side on a heavy bait. 

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7 hours ago, Bluebasser86 said:

I don't know if it's the reels, the style of baits, rods, maybe the fact that muskie guys tend to use the really heavy stuff, but it happens with big swimbaits where it doesn't happen with muskie baits, or maybe it's muskie baits don't cost hundreds of dollars so we don't hear about it. Maybe it's the muskie guys fishing more around open water and weeds instead of around cover where abrasions can occur. All I know is, I know a lot of people who have experienced the heartbreak I'm talking about from fishing big swimbaits on braid. I know guys do it, but to me, it's playing with fire. Another issue with braid, the lack of stretch can pull hooks, especially on big fish at boat side on a heavy bait. 

I generally use 50 lb power pro and this is what my setup for swimbaits is gonna be, because Musky love swimbaits too;) Never casted off a bait with this and very few bite offs even and I am lazy about retying. The heaviest lure I know I have thrown on the line is a 6.6 oz storm thunderstick with it. 

 

What lb test are guys using when they toss swimbaits? I tried some 20 lb power pro and spider wires version of suffix 832 and encountered exactly what you were talking about even with clean line tossing deep divers and Bandit 100s. Never have the issue though with 30 lb suffix 832 or fireline (not sure what category this fits). I just assumed it was a bad bunch and stuck with the 50 lb power pro and the 30 lb 832. 

 

So I guess in a way I agree with you, and have found line I trust and have stuck with it for years. 

 

 

 

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