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Crestliner2008

Define "Swimbaits" Please!

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I posted this same question with folks on a localized fishing forum and got some great answers. Now I'd like to see what you folks, nation-wide, have to say:

With all this talk about swimbaits, I keep getting more & more confused. First it started out that swimbaits were huge, heavy 8" - 10" composite lures, requiring heavy musky tackle to throw. They were originally developed - I believe - in CA for the really big bass in a few of those deeper lakes there.

Now, I hear that soft, paddle-tailed, shad type lures are classified as "swimbaits" as well. And I've even heard that some 3" - 5" hard and/or soft bodied baits being advertised the same way! What gives here? What is a swimbait?

To me, they are all just plain ole' crankbaits....period! Unless someone here can shed some light on these old eyes.

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I'm with you 100% crestliner.

the confusion comes because the paddletail/shad body manufacturers aren't dumb. With "swimbaits" being the big craze now, they realize that by calling these baits "swimbaits", they can mooch off of the search results (google etc)

Just like that "other" forum, who's name is AWFULLY close to ours, did.

But for me, and many, many other folk , I'm noticing, your definition/opinion is dead on.

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My personal take on it is if it requires a lip to impart action, it a crankbait. By that I mean a lipped bait uses the lip to shake the head which imparts action to the rear section of the bait. A swim bait, hard jointed or paddle, swims more like a fish with very little head movment and the action coming from the tail. A more natural, fish like action.

Right or wrong, I'm not sure but they all have their time and place.

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My personal take on it is if it requires a lip to impart action, it a crankbait. By that I mean a lipped bait uses the lip to shake the head which imparts action to the rear section of the bait. A swim bait, hard jointed or paddle, swims more like a fish with very little head movment and the action coming from the tail. A more natural, fish like action.

12"- 4.8oz crankbait?

MS-PER.jpg

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My personal take on it is if it requires a lip to impart action, it a crankbait. By that I mean a lipped bait uses the lip to shake the head which imparts action to the rear section of the bait. A swim bait, hard jointed or paddle, swims more like a fish with very little head movment and the action coming from the tail. A more natural, fish like action.

Right or wrong, I'm not sure but they all have their time and place.

What about lipless crankbaits?   ;)

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Got me there. I put the lipless baits, trap style, in the vibration bait class.

2" - 12", if it requires a lip to me its a crankbait. I think of it this way, if you remove the lip its just a pretty stick in the water.

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Got me there. I put the lipless baits, trap style, in the vibration bait class.

2" - 12", if it requires a lip to me its a crankbait. I think of it this way, if you remove the lip its just a pretty stick in the water.

I get your point though.  I think LBH nailed it on the bait companies' intentions.

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I would say there are paddle tail swimbaits and jointed, sectionalized swimbaits.    I always thought the realism of the bait was part of the package.  It has to look like a fish, not just swim like a fish.  So I would say the plastic baits with no detail don't fit the bill but the detailed ones would, but each in their own subsection.

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10" 6oz $200 Crank bait?

bag3.jpg

Everybody has their own opinion on what a swim bait is. To new guys getting into swimbaits, they look at a 4" Tru Tungsten as a swimbait. To me, I see this as a jointed lip less crank bait. I don't think everyone will ever agree on what is and what isn't a swimbait.

I know some people say that paddletails aren't swimbaits (In most cases I agree to) but what about an 8in 3:16 Mission Fish. It's got a paddletail. How is that not a swimbait? This bait was created WAY before the lame paddletail craze came about.

What about the people that say anything under 6in isn't a swimbait. Some of the best swimbaits out there are under 6in. Look at mattlures baits. How is his Hardgill not a swimbait? Or the Ultimate Gill? They are all under 6".

Then there is the guy (Sorry, not trying to single you out) who said that swimbaits must swim just like a fish with very little head/tail movement. Well there are only a select few baits that imitate the natural movement of a fish perfectly. So all of a sudden those "Swimbaits" are no longer "Swimbaits" because their head moves too much?

My point is that nobody will ever agree on what a swimbait is or isn't is. I've seen this subject come up in every forum I'm in and everybody has a different answer as to what they think a swimbait is. If you think a Storm Wildeye sunfish is a swimbait, so be it. If you think a bait only falls into the "Swimbait" category if it's over 8in, more power to you.

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I just knew this would be a great question on this forum!  ;D

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Crestliner, great question. This is the kind of thing that requires an opinion and since we all have at least a couple, then we might all learn something. Is there even a dinfinitive answer or where do we find it?

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