Best Swimbaits for Bass

Best Swimbaits for Bass

​Throwing swimbaits for bass has become somewhat of an obsession for some bass anglers.

The lure of the that trophy lunker has proven just too much for some and they will happily trade lower success rates for larger fish.

​Although there are plenty of smaller sized swimbaits available, for the majority once you mention a swimbait they imagine large, lifelike lures with either a jointed body or a large paddle tail.

​Personally I like to use smaller swimbaits just as much as I would a crankbait or worm but when targeting really big bass size really does matter.

​There are three broad categories of swimbaits to choose from:

  • Hard Body
  • Soft Body
  • Paddle Tails

Each has there own specific characteristics but there is also a lot of cross over between the different kinds for example you can paddle tailed swimbaits with soft bodies and some can have their hooks on top or on the bottom or be multi-jointed.  

A lot of the soft body swimbaits for bass will also require the addition of an added specialized weighted hook or a jig head before you can fish them.

Most hard-bodied swimbaits however will come with everything included and can have several attachment points for your line so they can be fished in different styles.

Smaller soft boby swim baits can aslo be used as trailers on spinnerbaits.

​Best Swimbaits for Bass


The​ Shadalicious swimbait from Strike King has a huge following due to it's exceptional swimming action.

It is a hollow bodied paddle tail swimbait available in a large range of colors and ​3 or 4 sizes.

AS the name suggest they make a killer shad imitator for both small and large bass.

​You'll need to rig these on a either a jig head or a weighted hook to get some decent casting distances as like most soft body swim baits they are pretty light without the addition of some kind of weighted hook.


​Spro BBZ1's are some of the most lifelike lures you can buy. No self respecting swimbait fisherman would be caught without a Spro, Huddleston or a River2Sea in their tackle box.

​You can rig these straight on to your line as they have a enough in built weight for casting. I tend to favor low and slow as the style of fishing for when using these.

Just be aware that those large treble hooks can snag easily on weed and other underwater obstructions so either fish them deep along a drop off or high as a topwater lure when targeting bass around weed beds.


​Another Strike King swimbait lure the Rage Swimmer has a ribbed body that gives off a lot of vibration even at slow speeds.

​These are a great choice if you are targeting small to medium size bass and I always keep a couple to hand.

​They are very versatile and can be used on a variety of different bass rigs like a plain swimbait, drop shot or you can even jig them when targeting bass close up.

They can even be used as a spinnerbait trailer when targeting bass in heavy cover. 

You'll need to rig them yourself with some added weight.


​The Fat Swing Impact is pretty similar to the Rage Swimmer above but is available in a large range of sizes some as big as almost 8 inches in length.

​They have a two tone color design with the top portion of the lure having a bit of sparkle. A really great shad type lure they can destroy bass in the right conditions.

​These are rigged straight through the body for better swim action on either a weighted hook or large jig head.


​One of the all time classic jointed swim baits the River2Sea S-Waver has a killer swim action that is perfectly tuned to mimic small bait fish.

​The 168 refers to the length in millimeters so that's roughly 6-3/4 inches in length from tail to tip.

Targeting large lunkers means using giant swimbaits for bass in the 6 to 8 inch range and River2Sea are one of the most established players on the scene.

​For best results fish them slowly just below the water surface. The resulting wake from the S like swimming pattern will draw in big bass from far and wide.

Although they have a hard jointed body the tail is actually made from hard wearing PVC so you can considered them a hybrid lure.


​Huddleston are known for pouring some of the most life like swim bait patterns ever. They pride themselves on making super realistic hand painted patterns particularly when imitating small trout.

​They come pre-rigged with a top hook so can be worked over the top of snags and weed beds with a lot more confidence that bottom hooked swim baits.

These are sinking swimbait lures and you can use a slow count to guage how deep it has sunk after casting. Holding your rod tip up will help them to run shallow and they can often be smashed from below by hungry bass.


​When bass are on the shad they can ignore just about anything else you throw at them.

Similar top hook design to the Huddleston above but much smaller lures with a built in lead head on the hook.

​They also have bio-salt impregnated tails and a holographic foil finish for added attraction.

You can run these slowly in deeper waters for early season bass or over the top of weed beds in the summer as the water temperatures start to rise and bass head for shallower waters.

​One of the most realistic swimbait fishing lures you can buy the Savage Gear 3D is a paddle tail lures that maintains it's swimming action even as it falls down through the water.

​I like to fish these at several different depths on the same cast as when you pause and allow them to sink the tail continues to paddle, you can get hit by bass as you start to reel in again and they start to swim up slightly.

The internal jig head is weighted so you can control the exact swimming depth easily once you are accustomed to how quick they sink.

​Available in three colors and both a sinking and slow sinking model so you can tailor your exact lure to how you want to fish it.


​One of the most life like jointed swimbaits lures you will ever see the hard bodied Jackall Gantarel is a cut above the rest.

A fairly heavy lure so not one for use on light tackle big you be thankful as big bass love to smash these lures.

The swim action is one of the best you will ever see and the super realistic patterns are of the highest quality.

​One of the most expensive swimbaits to buy these lures are for the serious fisherman only.

​Both trebles come dressed in natural feathers and also come with a tail tip eye so you can run a stringer hook at the back.


​Swimbaits for Bass

​Throwing swimbaits for bass has become many anglers go to technique for targeting trophy fish.

The only real draw back is that when using these larger bass lures you have to realize that you will get less strikes.

A lot of small bass will quite simply ignore them and to greatly improve your chances you need to be laser targeted with where you fish them.

Big bass tend to be well distributed across any stretch of water and due to their size a certain lake or pond can only support so many of them.

​Swimbait Tactics

Low and slow is generally the name of the game when using these lures for bass and it can take a few casts to fine tune the lure when it comes to how fast you should fish it.

​The time of year will have a huge impact on how you fish a swimbait and it will generally dictate what depth you should be fishing at.

Look to work them in and around drop offs when looking to fish them in deeper waters earlier on in the season as bigger bass will tend to stay away from the shallows until the water temperatures begin to slowly rise during summer.

​Once summer hits and bass move towards shallower waters and vegetation such as weed beds and lilies then you can start to target them in the top few feet of the water column.

​Tackle Considerations

The size and weight of the lure you are using will have a big impact on the type of swimbait rod that you should be using.

Normally look to use a fast action rod with a medium to heavy power rating and length wise from seven feet all the way up to nine feet when using really big swimbaits. Swimbait reels are normally baitcasters and the bigger the better without it unbalancing your rod.

  • January 13, 2020
  • Bass
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