Swimbaits. Love them, hate them, or ambivalent, swimbaits are an incredibly effective tool in any angler’s tackle box. Ranging from soft plastic, hard plastic, jointed, and glide baits, swimbaits are known for drawing in some of the biggest bass at local fishing holes.
Though their sizes range, the majority of swim bated effectively used are over 6 inches. These baits have become incredibly popular amongst both professional and amateur anglers as these lures can mass-produce the monsters lurking beneath the surface.
If you’re tired of telling ones that got away and white whale stories, read on. Here are the best swimbaits!
- Multi-jointed Lures – SPRO SB80 BBZ 1 slow sinking swimbait
- Single Jointed Build – Bbz1 Rat 40 swimbait
- Glide Baits – Savage Gear 3D Shine Glide
- Hollow Body Paddle Tail Swimbait – Strike King Shadalicious
- Top Hook – Savage Gear 3D Real Trout Swimbait Sinking
1. Multi-jointed Lures
Beginning with hard-body swimbaits, multi-jointed bass lures are a staple when it comes to fishing for some serious lunkers.
These baits are usually comprised of multiple sections, three or more that, when hinged together, make a realistic swimming motion.
The swimming action these baits simulate is oftentimes smoother and wider than its single-joint cousins.
The longer the length of the bait, the more joints each will have. The SPRO SB80 BBZ 1 slow sinking swimbait has a record as long as its name.
One of the most realistic swimbaits available to date, it is available in fast fall, slow sinking, and floating variations.
With its superior action, variety of colors, and a one-size-fits-all mentality, this 4.8-ounce, 10-inch swimbait comes in at number one on the list of hard-bodied jointed Swimbaits.
Its counterbalanced pin segments that reside in the joints allow it to swim as naturally as any lure on the market, while its soft tail section perfectly matches the remainder of the hard-bodied bait.
Rounded with two Katsu treble hooks for each of the two eyelets, and Spro power split rings, this high-quality lure doesn’t come cheap. It’s worth every cent of the $37 you’ll spend getting the best hard-bodied, jointed swimbaits on the market.
With the multiple variations of bait types available, there is a lure for every type of environment, depth, or retrieval you choose to cast into.
2. Single-Jointed Build
In keeping with the hardbody theme, swimbaits also come in a single-jointed build. Oftentimes less realistic in swimming motion than its multi-jointed relative, the single joint is cheaper and often times easier to work for amateur anglers.
Coming in at the top of the single-jointed list is also an SPRO lure. The Bbz1 Rat 40 swimbait is an incredibly attractive hard-bodied lure that capitalizes on large bass in a varied diet.
Weighing in at .1 pounds, it’s just over a 6-inch frame that brings rodents into the lure world in a big way.
The design was concocted by pro angler Bill Siemantel whose inspiration for this lure was, “The importance of showing the fish something new is critical in fishing.
Having the fish-catching capability and performance with size, action, and depth with that lure you use is just as important.”
The sturdy plastic plug fixed just under the lure’s nose allows for deeper dives, while the lifelike multi-link rat tail is sure to draw in large bass scanning for a sizable meal.
This is an excellent bait for mid-level and amateur anglers to develop different retrieval patterns on a less complicated but completely effective lure.
3. Glide Baits
The final lure in the hard-bodied swimbait family is the glide baits. Essentially an elongated variation of the single joint, the extended body of glide baits allows for larger, snaking swimming patterns than that of its siblings.
With the ability to be retrieved as a standard swimbait but also manipulated kin to a jerk bait, this multifaceted lure is perfect for switching up an angler’s game.
The savage gear 3-D shine glide is a slow sync lure that is a 3-D replicate of baitfish that does it better than most. Effective on largemouth, smallmouth, spotted, and striped bass, this erratic, slow-sinking glide bait is high in both quality and return on investment.
Its hyper-realistic reflective paint job means the entirety of its almost 6-inch length is eye candy for any hungry submersed predator looking to make short work of its 1.5 ounces in constant retrieval or jerking imitation of a wounded fish.
Outfitted with the standard double treble hook setup and extended line attachment point, the Savage Gear 3D Shine Glide is an excellent lure for anglers of all capabilities.
4. Hollow Body Paddle Tail Swimbait
While there is a multitude of soft-bodied Swimbaits, there are two that have found more success in bringing trophy bass than others. The first of these is the hollow body paddle tail Swimbait.
Don’t let the simplistic build fool you; these soft-bodied paddle-tailed lures are tantalizing in appearance and vicious in hooks. In general, the two variations of this lure come unweighted or with a secure belly weight tucked inside.
The best of these, the Strike King Shadalicious, comes unweighted, ranging in size from 3.5-5.5 inches, and is marketed as “the pro’s preferred Swimbait.”
With its variety of lifelike colors, and lightweight, and vigorous response to any rod movement, the Shadalicious is a bass magnet.
Loaded up with sinkers, this lure can be relatively weedless, and its flashy colors work well with bottom fishing for larger bass that prefers murkier waters.
At $11.99 per pack of 5, this is a solid, cost-effective lure for amateurs and pros alike.
5. Top Hook
The second soft-bodied bait to have found incredible success is the top hook. Though not nearly as weedless as its other paddle-tailed brother, this bait’s standard hook is set to the exterior of the body with lots of exposure, meaning a solid hookset.
Models vary, some coming weighted and others with an extra hook ring for the addition of a treble hook. Savage Gear comes in again with its hard-hitting Real Trout Smolt, a 5-inch 1& quarter-ounce sinking swimbait.
Paddle-tailed and 3D printed, this lure sinks to the murkiest of depths but floats right around $12 per lure.
For anglers looking to lure the lurking leviathans from their hiding places, this is your one-stop-shop for soft-bodied lures to work the bottom.
Fishing with swimbaits can be challenging, particularly for amateur or brand new anglers. Patience is a necessity as the bites are not as frequent as with run-of-the-mill lures that are commonplace.
However, the implementation of Swimbaits into your arsenal often pays off in the form of trophy bass as the larger lures, varying depths, and differing swim patterns may attract a truly spectacular fish’s attention.
While they can be retrieved similarly to a crankbait, adding some erratic movements to your return can be incredibly effective when angling with a swimbait.
Slow it down, vary it up, and pay attention to the environment as topwater or floating models may work best at days beginning or end, while diving models may be implemented as the heat of the day progresses or reaches its apex.
While swimbaits may not yield the highest volume of fish, there is something to be said for quality over quantity. Swimbaits are renowned for bringing in some of the largest trophy basses both inside tournaments and recreationally.
Whether it’s dredging the murky depths for largemouth monsters or drawing in a feisty smallmouth from the sandy bottom, swimbaits will yield results that will be the talk of the fish fry. If the size is the prize, then swimbaits are the way to go.