Large swimbaits have become increasingly popular over the years as anglers target giant bass. They are not the best bait for catching numbers. You can throw a big swimbait all day and only see a handful of fish. The fish you do catch though, are monsters.
Swimbaits are for the seasoned angler who have experienced catching numbers over the years but now want to up their personal best.
Small swimbaits are typically used as trailers or fished on small swimbait jig heads. This post is not about those. This post is about what most kayak anglers call a swimbait, the large 6″ plus baits.
Before we jump into the baits, I want you to understand that you do not need to buy all of these. Especially if you are new to big swimbaits, read through my recommendations, pick a couple to try out, and see if you enjoy this style of fishing.
Big swimbaits are great for catching your personal best, but they can get expensive. Try a few out for a season or two before really jumping in. Your wallet will thank you.
Types of Large Swimbaits
As the popularity of swimbaits has grown so has the number of designs and styles. There are three general types of swimbaits: Hard Body, Paddle Tail, and Soft Body. There are also subcategories of these styles of baits.
- Hard Body
- Glide Baits
- Paddle Tail
- Boot Tail
- Wedge Tail
- Soft Body
- Full Body
- Line Through
- Top Hook
Rod and Reel
The rod and reel you choose are critical when using a large swimbait. Most bass rods are designed for lures weighing less than an ounce. Large swimbaits can be much heavier. Throwing a bait this heavy on a standard rod would likely break the rod.
Large Swimbait Line Setup
When targeting large bass, it is essential to have a solid line to prevent breaking off. The braided line is the most robust line by diameter. I use K9 Braid which is 25% thinner than other competing braided lines, so you get a more robust line without having a thick line.
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Even though the braided line is the strongest by diameter, it is still the most visible line type. So next we will talk about using a leader when fishing swimbaits to cut down on line visibility.
Large Swimbait Leader
Using a leader allows you to have a solid main line while having 8-12′ of clear line directly tied to the swimbait. This is plenty of distance in between so bass will never see your mainline. My go-to swimbait leader line is K9 Fluorocarbon. It is both clear and has stretch to act as a shock absorber.
Best Large Swimbait Knot
The knot used when targeting giant bass is very important because a weak knot can be a point of failure. I use a blood knot for connecting my mainline to the leader because it is solid and easy to tie.
I use an improved clinch knot with eight wraps for tying on large swimbaits. It is simple to tie even on large baits and super strong.
All swimbaits are not created equal. This is a category of fishing where you are genuinely targeting fish of a lifetime. I know these baits are expensive, but I encourage you to choose quality, highly reviewed temptations over the cheaper options. This is not a style of fishing where you want to try saving a few bucks.