You are here: Home > Techniques > Swimbait Fishing

How to Fish a Swimbait

Swimbait Fishing Guide

Swimbaits are one of the most realistic lures available to fishermen today and also one of the most challenging techniques to master. Magnum sized baits of 8" or larger often come to mind when the term swimbait is used to classify a lure, however, that's not the case. In fact, with the ever growing popularity of the swimbait style lures anglers now have a wide variety of sizes and styles to more accurately suit their needs including baits as small as 3" in length. While the jumbo size swimbaits can be extremely effective, most fishermen have grown comfortable with baits that range from 5"-8" in size and mimic a vast array of forage species bass feed upon. With all the options now at anglers disposal it can be very challenging finding the perfect bait and subsequently, pairing it with the right gear.

Swimbait Gear

  • Rod: Swimbaits weighing less than 1oz can typically be employed with a standard 5 power casting rod. The larger baits weighing over 1oz may require a light swimbait rod. As we reach swimbaits weighing 3oz+ its imperative to use a specialized swimbait rod with an appropriate lure rating.
  • Reel: The most important aspects required of a swimbait reel are a high line capacity and drag capable of handling both the heavy bait and large fish. For larger baits over 2oz, you'll want to look at reels with enough capacity to handle at least 180 yards of 18lb test. Look for a drag rating of 15lbs or more. Throwing large baits puts a lot of strain on the mechanics of your reel including gears and bearings. Using a small reel to throw large baits will wear the reel more quickly and often lead to damage so this is an area to invest a little on quality.
  • Line: Different styles of swimbaits require different line types. When using topwater wakebaits braided line is a great choice due to it's buoyancy that doesn't restrict the lure's action. Soft plastic swimbaits can be used with either fluorocarbon or monofilament in line sizes ranging from 15lb - 30lb based on the lure's weight. The choice between mono and fluorocarbon is largely based upon angler preference.