As an angler, it’s hard for me not to love a swimbait. They’re big, they’re available in a wide array of designs, and often intricately detailed. But above all, a swimbait’s main purpose is to catch the biggest fish in the water. If you’re chasing double-digit, lunker largemouth, striped bass, or esox, chances are you’ve thrown a few swimbaits. However, some models are more successful at catching fishermen than fish. To help you avoid the latter, we rifled through this year’s newest swimbaits and picked out the most productive baits of the bunch.
Savage Gear’s latest innovation in swimbaits focused on tail design to create the most natural swimming action possible. The 4D Pulse Tail Trout has a cleavage dug into the tail that helps produce an incredibly convincing action in the water. The subtle channel allows the tail to move with ease, and the bait’s built-in buoyancy keeps it upright at any speed. The result is a swimbait you can crawl in cold water or burn on a fast retrieve when fish are active. The 4D Pulse Tail Trout is available in 6-inch, 8-inch, and 10-inch lengths. Colors include Ghost Trout, Trout, Hitch, and Carp.
Coarse fish are a staple food for top predators, but they don’t receive much love from swimbait makers. This year Live Target changed that with their Sucker Swimbait. The soft-plastic bottom-feeder imitation is a carbon copy of the preferred forage of smallmouth, walleye, pike, and musky. You can fish Live Target’s Sucker in almost any body of water, but it excels in streams, rivers, and tailraces where suckers congregate and game fish look for them. The single back hook keeps the bait weedless and an extra hanger allows you to add a treble. There are 4 1/2- and 5 1/2-inch sizes in redhorse or white sucker colorations.
Glidebaits are great for catching big bass, but can cost north of $100. Thankfully, Westin Fishing’s HypoTeez has everything you’d look for in a quality glidebait, but costs significantly less than its competitors. It has a seductive swimming action, lifelike finishes, quality hardware, and is equally effective on a steady retrieve, a stop-and-go retrieve, or blazing across the water’s surface. It’s 7 1/8-inches long, weighs 1 3/16-ounces, and many anglers classify it as a slow-sinking swimbait. It has all the looks of a high-dollar swimbait out-of-the-box, is armed with razor sharp Japanese carbon-steel treble hooks, and is available in American shad, Lively Roach, Rainbow Trout and Smelt patterns.
The smaller models of the BD Shad have been helping anglers boat bass for several years, and it was time for Boyd Duckett to pony up and create a mega-model. The oversized BD Shad has the same fluid swimming action and three-jointed design of its more diminutive predecessors. This 8-inch bait matches the size of heartier meals like gizzard shad, skipjack, and herring. It has a durable and lifelike fiber tail, and small magnets hold its sticky-sharp Kitana hooks flat against its body. The 8-inch BD Shad is available in Dying Shad, Blue Shad, Green Shad and Silver Shad colors.
These days, it’s not often a fishing lure can claim to be the first of its kind. But leave it to the mastermind Allen Borden at ABT Lures to conjure up something never seen before. If for some reason you’re not familiar with ABT, you should be, especially when it comes to swimbaits. Borden has created his best yet with the first soft-sided glider to hit the market. The Suicide Soft Glide is double-poured over an internal harness that secures both front and back hooks. Its maintains the single-segmented design of a traditional glide bait, but adds the element of soft-plastic for a swimbait that has an insanely lifelike, and truly unique, swimming action.
6th Sense Fishing ensured that each Flow Glider 130 is a detailed work of art by enlisting lure artist Casey Sobczak to custom-paint every one. The hues, scaling, premium clear coat and real-image eyes on this glider are characteristic of a bait several times its price. There are nine natural patterns that enable anglers to easily match their local forage. The Flow Glider 130 is available in slow-sink or medium-fast-sink options that allow you to control the depth of your presentation. At the desired depth, the lure curves through the water column left-to-right with a sharp twitch of the rod. The combination of a well-defined darting action and gentle glides triggers reaction strikes from even inactive fish.
Berkley spent time in a laboratory perfecting the tail and body design of its Hollow Belly. The result is a large, weedless, hollow-body swimbait with a lifelike motion that’s impressed some professional anglers. As if the bait’s action and low price point wasn’t attractive enough, the belly opens wide so it’s easy to pull a hook through the body and position so it doesn’t impede the point on a hook set. What’s more, this is the only swimbait on the market fused with Berkley’s signature PowerBait scent.
Optimum combined their proven Baby Line Thru (BLT) and Boom Boom swimbaits to create the hybrid Boom Boom Line Thru. The swimbait maintains the signature panic action of the Boom Boom with a quivering head, tight body roll, and thumping tail that reacts to a slow-to-medium retrieve. Combined with the line-thru design of the BLT, the Boom Boom is quickly and easily rigged by feeding the line through the bait and tying the hook on the end. The design makes for solid hooksets and prevents fish from throwing the bait by using the weight of the lure to dislodge the hook.
The B.A.M.F. was designed by 13 Fishing for a specific purpose—to be at home in the weeds. Big fish hunker down in vegetation to ambush prey, and it can be challenging to put a lure in front of them. Few, if any swimbaits, have the ability to penetrate and maintain action in the salad. Enter the B.A.M.F. The lifelike detail and realistic swimming action of the bait are protected from hang-ups by concealing an Owner Beast Swimbait Hook in a first-of-its-kind hook slot. The oversized hook is neatly tucked inside to keep the B.A.M.F. swimming effortlessly. When a fish strikes, the massive gap of the Beast secures the catch.
Read Next: Fishing with Swimbaits
Saltwater anglers have limited options for swimbaits, which is why it’s so nice to see Live Target once again deliver. Atlantic mackerel are primary forage for a multitude of species, including striped bass, tuna, sharks, and marlin. Consistent with their state-of-the-art swimbait series, the Live Target Atlantic Mackerel Swimbait has precise anatomical features matched with the specific swimming action of Atlantic mackerel. Live Target also designed this swimbait to be either cast or trolled with equal effectiveness. It’s pre-rigged, so you can fish it out the package without tuning. There are 6- and 7-inch models available in Silver/Blue and Silver/Blue/Green.