Fishing Swimbaits for Bass – Best Tips and Tactics

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man fishing from bass boat

I think it’s safe to say the cat is out of the bag when it comes to how deadly swimbaits can be. First brought to life in the 80’s for strippers, swimbaits have evolved into the go to lure for world record bass. Lets go over fishing swimbaits for bass with the best tips and tactics to catch more fish.

Bass are predatory fish and they can eat other fish up to one third of their size. 

Lets go over  a few key points when it come to how to fish swimbaits for monster bass.  

With all of the swimbaits on the market these days it can be quite challenging to select the right bait for your application. 

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What Are Swimbaits?

First of all, what is a swimbait? 

A swimbait is a fishing lure that is designed to imitate other bait fish. Swimbaits can made of various materials including rubber, plastic, wood, and even pvc, just to name a few. 

Swimbaits can have solid bodies like the HUDDLESTON DELUXE pictured below. 

huddleston swimbait for bass fishing

Some of our swimbaits will even have jointed bodies like this one. The River2Sea S-Waver has two sections and is made of a hard plastic.

river2sea s waver swim bait

Small soft bodied swimbaits have really exploded onto the scene. They are very popular to use as trailers or on the Alabama Rig.

srike king rage swimmer swimbait

Above is the Strike King Rage Swimmer swimbait. This is just one example of the small rubber swimbait style.

Each of these swimbaits have a place in your tackle storage. Swimbaits are perhaps the most fun way to catch bass anymore. With their versatility and styles, they can be fished form shore just as effectively as from a boat or kayak.

You will need to have the propper swimbait rod and reel in order to cast and catch bass with these swimbaits.

Best Bass Rods for Fishing Swimbaits

The rod is extremely important when fishing swimbaits for bass. In my opinion it is not nearly as important as the swimbait itself or even the reel for that matter.

We will get into the reels and swimbaits more in just a moment.

Your rod is the tool that you are using to cast that swimbait to the desired spot. Seems obvious when you say that out loud, but, hitting the exact spot while swimbait fishing is crucial. It could mean the difference in enticing a strike or not.

In this list of bass fishing rods for fishing swimbaits, keep in mind that this is only my recommendation based on my experiences. Use the information in this article and figure out what rod will be right for you and your bass fishing style.

Best Bass Rod for Big Swimbaits

Now bigger swimbaits require bigger fishing rods. Some of these swimbaits can weigh up to 5 ounces or more.

This can be quite difficult to cast by just using your jig rod or whatever extra rod you having lying around.

Characteristics of a big swimbait rod:

1. Typically between 6-7 feet long

2. Medium Heavy – Heavy Power

3. Medium – Fast Action

4. Strong Backbone for hook Setting

5. Supports 20-40 pond test

Often times we are trying to set the hook at long distances with these bass fishing baits. We are dealing with thicker hooks, line slack, and stretch. Having a long rod with a solid backbone is going to be needed to land that fish.

I like something around the 7 foot range in Medium Heavy or Heavy when using those larger swimbaits for bass.

Something Like the Shimano Curado Casting Rod will work just fine.

shiano curado fishing pole

1. It has a power of extra heavy.

2. It can handle 20-40 pound test.

3. This swimbait rod is 8 feet long.

Everything about this fishing rod says that it can overcome the obstacles that we discussed a moment ago. These rods are buyer friendly as well and made by a company that most of us have heard of before.

Best Bass Rod for Medium/Small Swimbaits

Medium sized swimbaits are going to be familiar to most of us. Medium sized swimbaits will consist of your Castaic baits, Huddleston, and River2Sea just to name a few.

As with our previous section on larger swimbaits, will will have similar obsticle sot overcome.

We will be casting these even further than the larger swimbaits. So again, a longer rod will be needed.

With the long casts we will have line slack and stretch here as well. This is another reason to have a long rod.

Hook setting with these baits will still require force, but not nearly as much as with the larger swimbaits.

For me, I like the Dobyns Rods Fury Series Rods. For me, like the feel of this rod in my hand. Its comfortable, and when hucking these fat baits around all day, comfort is needed.

dobyns fury rod

What I like about the Dobyns Rod:

1. It has a length of 7’3″

2. Capable of handling 12-25 pound test fishing line.

3. Heavy Power

4. Extra Fast Action

The extra fast action tip makes this rod a great selection for small swimbaits as well. Now I would not use this rod for the Strike King Rage Swimmer or the Reaction Innovations Skinny Dipper because those baits are too small for this rod.

Best Reel for Fishing Swimbaits

The reel we choose to use with our swimbait rods will have to be of decent quality if we really want to stand a chance of landing big bass.

I need a baitcasting reel that is:

1. High gear ratio

2. Large spool capacity

3. Quality bearing that won’t give out

4. Comfortable reel grips that won’t slip

The high gear ratio is so that we can pull these large baits through the water.

We will need a larger spool capacity because we are using larger diameter fishing line.

The bearing on my swimbait reel need to stand up to strain and tension during a good fight.

Last, I need my fingers to stay comfortable. Throwing swimbaits all day can be exhausting, if I can keep my hands from getting tired then I can continue to fish.

I have three of these  Shimano Curado DC Baitcast Reel.

shimano curado fishing reel

Tips to Fishing Swimbaits for Bass

Wanna catch some lunker bass?

Swimbaits have yielded some of the biggest bag limits in tournaments to date. 

Keep this in mind, the bigger the bait the bigger the fish.

Now that’s generally speaking, that’s not to say smaller swimbaits cant catch exceptionally large bass. 

When to Fish Swimbaits

When should you use swimbaits?

Well the truth is swimbaits will work all year long. The most popular time of year to fish swim baits is during the spawn.

Bass Fishing in Spring is another great time to try swimbaits.

With the realistic imitation of other fish you can draw them in from long distances. 

Bass are known to follow swimbaits for long distances before taking the bait….or not. 

That’s why it is crucial that you make very long casts when fishing swimbaits.

Generally speaking, the longer the cast the better.

Rate of Fall (ROF) Swimbaits

Now many swimbaits have fall rates. These are referred to as rate of fall (ROF).

Make sure your putting the bait at the right depth depending on where the fish are.

Use your electronics to locate the fish and adjust your swimbait accordingly. 

If you don’t have electronics or you are fishing from the shore, grab yourself a swimbait with a slow ROF.

This way you can play with your retrieves and work different depth of the water column. 

Hide Your Silhouette 

A lot of tournament bass anglers have talked about reducing your silhouette while retrieving swimbaits.

When the bass follow these swimbaits for long distances it is not uncommon for them to follow it right to the boat.

Make yourself as small as possible like you were stalking a trout in a stream. 

A couple things to consider here are the sun and the color of your clothes.

What time of day is it?

Is it cloudy outside?

I like to position the boat with the sun in my face at times and cast toward the sun if I can. This eliminates my silhouette form the fish however it will obstruct my ability to see chasing bass somewhat.

Keep in mind that with clear conditions you may want to wear earth tone clothes.

Wearing bright clothes or shiny clothes my spook fish from time to time.

Now I cant prove this by any means but it makes sense if you think about it.

Fish Swimbaits in the Strike Zone

Try and parallel the strike zone. What I mean by this is get you boat into a position to make that long cast parallel to the bank in order to retrieve the swimbiat through the strike zone the whole retrieve. 

Fishing swimbaits on points can be very rewarding. Look for a  point that is different from the rest for one reason or another. 

This could mean it has different rocks, deeper or shallower water, vegetation vs. no vegetation, something that make it unique.

If you get a strike or followers make note of the surroundings and repeat. 

Play with your retrieves while fishing these baits. Pay attention to each swimbait as you swim it up to the boat.

Does the action look natural?

Speeding up the retrieve or slowing it down may make the action just a little more irresistible. 

Conclusion – Fishing Swimbaits for Bass

Now after putting all these tips to work next time your out on the water and you you get that all elusive bit, remember that the hook set is just as important as everything else we have talked about so far when in regards to how to fish swimbaits for bass. 

The hook sets are going to be different depending on the bait and how far away from the boat your swimbait is. 

When I am fishing those larger swimbaits for larger bass in 25 plus feet of water, its sometime hard to wait and let that rod load up before pulling the trigger. 

You will get this slow load up on your rod that almost feels like you just hooked a pickup truck. 

Im really hoping you found this information useful in some way. 

man holding bass

I would love to hear what you think in the comments below. 

Do you like fishing rubber worms? You may like

The Complete Guide to Fishing Rubber Worms and Techniques

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