The Swimbait Rod

A Most Critical Piece of Gear When Fishing Swim Baits

First, A Brief Look at Swimbait Lures

The rod we choose to use as a swimbait rod deprnds on the swimbait. We bass anglers have a a boatload of swimbait lures to choose from. There are small versions a couple of inches long and "hawg daddies" that reach lengths more than 10". They weigh in some instances less than an ounce. In others, more than eight, even 10 ounces. There are soft swimbait lures, hardbody versions, weighted and non-weighted versions.

For most of us who live and fish in states other than California, Texas and Florida, swimbaits in what might be considered the small to medium class, which I consider to be under two ounces in weight, are what typify our swimbait fishing. There are many swimbaits from which to choose, but the following variety of 4" and 5" soft plastic swimbaits and a few hard-body swimbaits are some I use and consider to be in the small to medium category.


Examples of Small and Medium Size Swimbaits

Swimbait Length Weight
Berkley Hollow Belly 5" 1/2 oz
Spro BBZ-1 4 1/2" 1oz
Berkley PowerBait Swim Shad 4" 1oz
Matt Lures Bluegill 4 1/2" 1 1/4"
Little Creeper Trash Fish 4" 3/4oz
Sebile Magic Swimmer (hard body) 5" 3/4oz
Storm Wild Eye Shiner 3/8" 1oz
Spro BBZ Trout 6" 2oz


Swimbait Rod Action and Casting Effectiveness

When it comes to fishing swimbaits, casting a large, heavy lure dictates the most appropriate rod to use is a technique specific swimbait rod. Not a crankbait rod, worm rod or any other type. Fishing rods used for fishing swimbaits, especially large swimbaits, should have, note I said, should have, a quick tip (fast action), a stout backbone, a long foregrip and a long butt.

These design features facilitate two handed casting, which is the best technique for swimbaits larger than six inches and heavier than a couple of ounces. They also provide the action and power needed for landing the larger than average bass that swimbaits catch.

My choice is a G. Loomis swimbait rod model SWBR904C that's 7' 6" long, rated for 12-25lb line and swimbaits from 1/2 oz to 3oz in weight. This rod meets the requirements of small and medium size swimbaits and performs very well.


However, I have used and continue to use other rods for fishing swimbaits. Both spinning and baitcasting rods.



Choosing the Best Swimbait Specific Rod for Small and Medium Size Swimbaits

While it's nice to have a technique specific swimbait rod, there are many other rods suitable for those swimbait lures that are small to medium in size. As an alternative, the best fishing rod for soft baits is a worm rod or jig rod.

Soft swimbait lures are often aggressively eaten by a bass. Once in their mouth they will close their mouths as they would a worm or plastic craw. Thus, you can not "reel set' like you might with a circle hook. You're going to have to lay into the hook set to ensure the hook penetrates. Especially when the bass is an older, mature hawg with a tough mouth. Thus, your rod should have a fast tip and fast action.

Hardbody swimbaits can be fished with a crankbait rod or even spinnerbait rods. The softer action of these type bass fishing rods helps prevent treble hooks from pulling out or through the mouth of a bass. It aids the angler in the same way when hooked up to bass with hardbody swimbaits. Really just very large crankbaits.




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