How to Fish Swimbaits for Bass

Some fish can only be caught with bait. Others can be taken with bait or lures, but all fish can be hooked with the bait of the right kind, presented in the right way. So, why fishing with swimbaits, because swimbaits catch more fish.

The best motto of fishing is, bigger baits are for bigger fish. Using swimbaits is very effective for bass fishing, and you will find many progressed swimbait in the market.

Their various categories increase the enjoyment of bass fishing with their incredible drawing power. It attracts big fish from long distances even when the fish are not hungry. So targeting the monster bass with swimbait is easy.

How to Fish Swimbaits for Bass Using Our Tips and Guides


Fish Swimbaits for Bass

You can throw the swimbait all year round, but the best result will give you when the water temperature starts dropping. To fish with swimbait, you need to know about them to find out the best way of fishing.

Types of Swimbait

These baits have so much variation, so it is challenging to categorize them. The two general categories are hard body and soft body swimbait.

You will get various sizes and shapes in hard body swimbait. They are topwater style baits, and they swim just the mid-water column. They are perfect for covering larger areas like points, flats. Normally bigger basses roam in these areas and with using topwater plugs. With being equipped with treble hooks, it can travel in between small grasses and weeds.

Soft swimbaits are very popular, and you can use them all year round. It is more realistic than hard body swimbait and equipped with treble hooks, and it can swim between the mid-water and the bottom. Fishes almost confused these lures as real fish, making them fall into the trap much easier for the bass anglers.

Vortex Style Tail

There are two brands in this category, Huddleston, and JSJ. Huddleston has a wide range of sizes and designs, and JSJ has only a 6-inch hitch. Huddleston could be 6 to 10 inches bigger and best for trout fish.

JSJ has a shiner profile, so it gives a natural appearance. In slow fishing, JSJ is best for slow fishing where fish are not aggressive. For faster fishing, choose Huddleston.

Paddle Tails

Paddle tails are smaller lures, but they are in the largest. This lure category like staying in school, and you can find them in every lake in the US.

Their size depends on their kind and size of the fish, and you have to adjust the size to match the fish. There also has a plain head and underspin version that relates with smaller baits.

Massive school baitfish are weedless with a hidden hook in their body. In open water fish, the weighted hooks will be visible. Underspin and no underspin are very easy to determine. Plain head bait has the most natural looks and appearance, and underspin has flash, so whether there are crowds under the water, the bass will surely eat them. 2 to 4 inches is the perfect size for smaller bait.

Kei Tech is the most effective paddle tail for bass fishing. Using the best line for bass baitcasters, it can grab a lot of fishes for any day. Bass tech is also effective but not more than kai tech.

There are 2 types of paddle tails available in the market for bait fishing. Take a look at these paddle tails:

Hollow Body Swimbaits

Hollow body baits are with belly weight or unweighted hook shanks with a wide gap of the hook. These are softer and better at catching the bite of the fish. They work great in the flow, so while trolling fishing, these baits works like a champ.

These bass lures play good enough to stay for a decent period in murky water and mid-deep water (from 3-6 feet of water).


Being on the durable side gives it advantages if you are fishing for a long time. The hook stays rigged longer with different hooks like shank or jig head, and you can fish with them as strong as a top hook swimbait.

For fishing in the deeper water and cold water, the solid body helps a lot. These baits are great for murky water as well. However, the disadvantages of these baits are, the solid body has fewer chances of hookset of fish bites.

How to Fish Swimbaits for Bass with Hard Swimbait

Fish Swimbaits for Bass with Hard Swimbait

There are two categories of hard bait, glide (single joint sinking bait) and multi-joint. This type of bait is for hard, aggressive fish. Glide baits are for medium aggressive fish when you are not seeing them in the water spot. Game craft, S wavers are the best glide bait.

Glides are also in two categories, open water glides, and cover glides. In fall fishing, 5 to 7-inch glide bait is perfect. Just remember, you should match the hatch wherever you are fishing.

If any fisheries are restricted to baitfish, you can use a pond bait or cover bait like bull shad or bull gill, and the other is little panfish bait. Determining the shape of bluegill is slightly difficult, and their hookup ratio is not good.

Tail Styles

You can use four types of tail style, and one of them is a paddle-style tail. It has a hard thumping, so it is like a hard bait which is for aggressive fish. You can also burn them and pop them very quickly.

The tail gives a good wide kick and moves quickly with a great flash, which draws fish from a distance. Other tail styles bait is Smash tech, osprey, tournament talon, etc.; they all should be 6 to 7 inches long.

Osprey is heavy, so it goes deep with its jig hook. Smash tech has stayed high in the water column. It also gives wide thumping, and you could rig a jig hook to its belly. They are in a bold color to draw fish from a distance. Like paddle tail style, it also kicks widely in the lower water column.

Trash fish is another bait that you can rig in various ways. They are normally 8 inches long with a great jig hook. The hookup ratio is also great, so it attracts big fish. Trash fish is soft and floppy and can fold easily.

Tail Action

Almost every swimbait has a tail, and the tail action is very important to attract fish. Tail movement should be natural in all types of weather. The action of the tail is changed on the weather.

When the water temperature drops, the plastics work less, so when the tail gives big kicks in the coldest water, the tail does only a little wabble.

The difference between types of fishing in summer, spring vs. winter is the behavior of the fish. Vortex-style tails and paddle tails kick little in slow speed in colder water. So you have to reel fast.

Size and Color Range

How to Fish Swimbaits for Bass Using Our Tips and Guides

Three types of size range will be matched with food. 6,8 and 10 inches. For medium-size trout, 10-inch bait is perfect. It is also great for bigger trout. The color range depends on you. Whitish and natural paint bait attracts fish and fools them.

Swimbait Fishing Gear for Catching With Ease

Fishing swimbaits in different sports need different gears and lures for the swimbait anglers. If you are angling in shallow water, the gears and approaches will be different than swimming in ponds, where you will have good water clarity.

So, depending on the season and area, you need some choices to make for these fishing kinds.

Swimbait Rod

These types of baits require a special rod for it to handle the lure perfectly. Choosing the rod is depends on bait size. For smaller swimbait, use a havier bass rod. Check the lure weight rating on the rod before purchasing it.

Do not mix up with swimbait rod and brass rod. Swimbait rod can control big fish because they are longer than another rod, such as 7.5 inches to 8 inches. So it is possible to long cast with it.

Swimbait Reel

Casting and retrieving heavy lures requires a heavy-duty swimbait reel. It is a long-lasting spin-casting reel or baitcasting one and gives the best performance as it has a large spool that can increase the drag power, and when you are throwing heavy baits, you can turn it and handle it easily.

Check for the internal components, line capacity, and perfect balance before purchasing it.

Swimbait Line

Swimbait Line

The best line for swimbait is braid to leader. Running heavy braid and heavy leader is the perfect combination for swimbait fishing. 65 to 80-pound braid are recommended for all type of swimbait because the diameter of 80 pounds is the same as 65. Use a 35-pound braid for your leader. It stretches better than mono.

For 2 oz or bigger swimbait, 18lb line is enough and for 4 oz, use 20lb line. The bigger the swimbait, the bigger the lb line will be. Thus, it is difficult to cast heavier bait, so sometimes, you may have to change the casting style. Avoid any extreme angle and use a leader that has shock absorption. Using a long leader will hide the line visibility, so use an 8 to 12 feet long leader.


Using the right hooks and split rings are very important in swimbait fishing. Stinger hooks are great for swimbait as they have heavy wire, so hook failure won’t be possible here.

Weedless swimbait hooks are also effective when you are using bigger swimbait. It is rigged with screw locks on its body and has an extra-wide gap so you can cast multiple times with it.

Every single hook should be hooked with a hyper wire split ring to make it stronger. Stock wire and ultra wire split ring also work great.

How to Rig and Fish Swimbait

Rigging swimbait is not that difficult. Although they don’t have the harness in them, you can rig them in two ways.

One of them is jig heads, and another is a weedless rig.

When you have to throw your swimbait in a covered area, using a weedless rig is effective. For a weedless rig –

  • You need a hook with a centering pin on it. The swimbait will be attached to it.
  • Now hook the hook to the swimbait so you can throw the swimbait in a covered area.
  • For soft swimbait, use a 4 to 8-ounce hook, and don’t just tuck the hook on the bait and don’t look back in.
  • You can build a jig head with a 30-degree line tie as the bait can dive at the bottom and give a good action.

The jig head has two types of keepers.

The main keepers push the hook all the way up onto the body. And the second keeper touches the needle-nose with its wire and reaches into the meat of the body.

  • If you are using soft body bait, keep the wire straight, drive it with a toothpick, and attach it with the main keeper.
  • Now break the two ends, and your jig head style is done. This toothpick holds the bait for a longer time, and you can catch a lot of fish without changing the bait.

Some other rigging style is underspin and football head jig.

How to Retrieve a Swimbait

How to Retrieve a Swimbait

To retrieve the swimbait, do not reel it too fast. Just reel the bait slowly without stopping the swimming so the ripple will run down and the bait will crawling back to the boat perfectly. When you reel too fast, the bait won’t attract the fish because it will wobble and don’t give better flash.

Like other fishing, you do not need to jerk it or pop it. Swimbaits are most effective when it moves slowly. So you don’t need to do many things after throwing it.

How do You Fish Paddle Tail Swimbait or Soft Plastic Swimbait

Paddle tail swimbait or soft plastic swimbait is normally 4 to 8 inches long. Any jerk minnows are 4 inches in size, and kai tech is 8 inches. You can use many different ways to fish with them. A 4-inch jerk minnow has a soft plastic tail that kicks very well in the water.

Just insert the hook straight on its mouth after rigging it, then fish it directly on the bottom or reel it straight back to the boat with a better bass reel like Zebco Omega Zo3pro or other sturdy spincast reel models. Keep in mind that using bigger swimbait in fall/spring or winter is effective than smaller bait.

How to Fish a Hard Swimbait

Hardbody swimbait is normally bigger, and they are jointed. Use a Palomar knot for rigging and mono or fluorocarbon line to strike the bait better. Use a nice soft rod so the line won’t get slack, and the fish can bite the bait.

The hard bait or jointed bait has an extra lip to deflect structure, so it works great in a rocky area. To retrieve the bait, put your rod tip down and keep reeling. Please give it a couple of twitches while reeling to give it a better motion.

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