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Ever wonder where the term 'swimbait' came from #14179279 11/02/21 07:43 PM
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SenkoSam Offline OP
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Quote
Swimbaits are a loosely defined class of fishing lures that are designed to imitate baitfish


But then again many lures are designed to imitate baitfish - crankbaits included. The thing that sets swimbaits apart from a plastic worm or skirted jig & trailer is that you swim them through the water rather than jig them off the bottom or jerk them on the surface. In that sense many lures quality as swimbaits due to the steady or near steady retrieves that produces lure action.
How a lure is used/ manipulated puts it into one or more categories.

I would rather classify lures by what they do in the water along with the presentation needed to do it.
example:
Swim lures swim horizontally to the surface at different depths. A small billed Rapala does that as well as any lure that maintains a certain depth horizontal to the bottom. Spinnetbaits I consider swim lures.

Jerk or twitch lures include surface and subsurface lures that have an erratic action due to rod tip jerks & pauses. The same Rapala can also be in this same category.

Bottom lures like skirted jigs and many weighted soft plastics can be used like a swim lure but generally are used on bottom. (Note: a skirted jig & trailer can be swum at one depth like a spinnerbait and catch bass.) (Note also: many soft plastics regardless of size can be jigged off bottom.)

Surface commotion lures make the most noise and splash of any other category. Buzzbaits, poppers, Zara Spooks, large Hopkin's spoons with trailer, spinnerbaits with large blades bubbling the water leaving a surface wake are examples. But a paddle tail swimbait can do the same thing retrieved near the surface.

Glide baits and suspension lures do their thing slowly at one depth. A lure hung under a float is an example. Forward or vertical motion is the least of any lure other than a fly.

There are other categories but lures fall into one or more based on what they do and how the angler gets them to do it.













Last edited by SenkoSam; 11/02/21 07:44 PM.
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Re: Ever wonder where the term 'swimbait' came from [Re: SenkoSam] #14179319 11/02/21 08:24 PM
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Re: Ever wonder where the term 'swimbait' came from [Re: SenkoSam] #14179338 11/02/21 08:48 PM
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Excellent read; because most of the time I am over thanking what a specific bait can be used for.
As for the Swim Bait; I fish it different than most. I want it to represent a dying bait fish and have caught twice as many Bass using this technique rather than the constant swimming action back to the boat.
- It is weighted so the swim bait will spiral downard toward the bottom to represent the dying bait fish.
- It gets two soft pumps, then let it go to the bottom on slack line. Continue process back to the boat.
- Take up the slack and feel for the load each time.

I use this same technique with many baits: Crayfish Jigs - Crayfish Chatter Baits - Light C-Rigged Fluke - Special Spinner Bait for dropping. Short Arm Spinner during the Shad Spawn - 1 oz. spinner on deep ledges and steep slopes - Suspending jerk baits and cranks gets the pump, pump and pause.
Pump, pump is a soft movement that just lets the fish know that is is still alive. Jerk, jerk is hard twitches and represent that the bait is trying to get away. It has been my experience that most Big Bass are lazy and like the slow movement.


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Re: Ever wonder where the term 'swimbait' came from [Re: SenkoSam] #14179596 11/03/21 01:05 AM
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You just proved my point Don! What you do with the bait is what makes it a reaction lure - one that fish react to based on your imparted action. Labeling it is nice but it's like the title of a book - its content speaks louder. You've dissected the elements of your lures and fit them into combinations that do what you've found get it done based on time of year, depth and other factors related to fish locations. The rest is fish-sense related regarding initial lure detection and holding a fish's attention long enough to elevate its Aggression Quotient or AQ vs IQ.

One simple example of this is my throwing bits of bread daily to 2 dozen sunfish in my pond. Even though the water temperature today was 48 degrees, the fish smashed the surface once the bread splashed down making a surface ring. One even jumped out of the water competing with 2-3 other sunnies trying to get a bit of bread. The splash and surface ring get their attention and hold it long enough (1-2 seconds) that they have no choice but to attack & consume - even from 4' away.
This is a daily occurrence and the same aggressive behavior my two dogs demonstrate when I throw bread to them - two meat-eating canines that also love starch! Go figure! (..not to mention the painted turtles that stop by for a snack.)

Conclusion: bread is something the fish and canines have obviously learned to value that's not part of their normal diet;
But in the wild fish haven't learned about the lures you cast or they wouldn't bite them. They only sense a lure is something to attack for one reason - its action - one that you impart to the lure that does what you want it to.

Last edited by SenkoSam; 11/04/21 12:04 PM.
Re: Ever wonder where the term 'swimbait' came from [Re: SenkoSam] #14179650 11/03/21 01:42 AM
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Honestly? I have never given it a thought. But…I’m not a swimbait guy.


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Re: Ever wonder where the term 'swimbait' came from [Re: SenkoSam] #14179677 11/03/21 01:59 AM
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from my understanding , the very original " swimbaits " were hand made by a guy that fished a California lake called Del Valle in Livermore . He wasn't targeting largemouth's , he was targeting Stripers . The lake stocked rainbow trout and me made a couple of versions of the " jointed " trout imitations and trolled them . Every once in a while he would hook a giant largemouth . Word got out about the large mouths and people started asking him to make them some . I wish I had kept the article in the paper , can't remember his name . The stripers he was catching were in the 20-30lb class

Re: Ever wonder where the term 'swimbait' came from [Re: SenkoSam] #14179703 11/03/21 02:24 AM
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Re: Ever wonder where the term 'swimbait' came from [Re: goodman_fishing] #14180271 11/03/21 04:31 PM
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Re: Ever wonder where the term 'swimbait' came from [Re: SenkoSam] #14180400 11/03/21 06:03 PM
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This link says it all when it comes to swimbaits and the huge bass they catch:

swimbait origin and evolution

Last edited by SenkoSam; 11/04/21 12:58 AM.
Re: Ever wonder where the term 'swimbait' came from [Re: SenkoSam] #14181008 11/04/21 03:28 AM
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Originally Posted by SenkoSam
This link says it all when it comes to swimbaits and the huge bass they catch:

swimbait origin and evolution


Interesting read. Thanks for posting that. Crazy to think that guy was building baits and selling them for $30-$40 a piece in 93 and now some of us are spending $130 on Chad Shads

Re: Ever wonder where the term 'swimbait' came from [Re: SenkoSam] #14181123 11/04/21 12:04 PM
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Go figure! Guess it's like any addiction: you pay what you must for the fix - in this case catching giant bass and striper.

Last edited by SenkoSam; 11/05/21 12:27 AM.
Re: Ever wonder where the term 'swimbait' came from [Re: SenkoSam] #14181374 11/04/21 03:07 PM
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As far as the Del Valle reference...that was my home lake back in the late 80's and early 90's (had the lake record for several years). I never heard of anyone throwing/trolling swimbaits until well after Allan Cole (AC Plugs) and Mike Shaw (MS Slammers) started releasing their baits in Southern CA, Northern CA was definitely behind the curve but we caught up fairly fast.

Re: Ever wonder where the term 'swimbait' came from [Re: SenkoSam] #14181744 11/04/21 08:51 PM
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I was going to read that, but didn’t.


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Re: Ever wonder where the term 'swimbait' came from [Re: 1bassdaddy] #14182009 11/05/21 03:00 AM
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Originally Posted by 1bassdaddy
As far as the Del Valle reference...that was my home lake back in the late 80's and early 90's (had the lake record for several years). I never heard of anyone throwing/trolling swimbaits until well after Allan Cole (AC Plugs) and Mike Shaw (MS Slammers) started releasing their baits in Southern CA, Northern CA was definitely behind the curve but we caught up fairly fast.


it was from an article in the Mercury News , Venture section when they still had it . I most definitely could have had the dates wrong , but I remember them talking about how he made his own swimbaits , and targeted the stripers .
I have also fished the lake , many times . Good smallmouth at the dam , just not any real big ones . I heard recently that they started stocking it with Salmon .

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