Large Swimbaits

Large swimbaits have become more and more 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 catch a handful of fish. The fish you do catch though, are typically monsters.  Swimbaits are for the seasoned angler who have experienced catching numbers over the years but now want to up their personal best.

There are smaller swimbaits that are typically used as trailers or fished on small swimbait jig heads. This post is not about those. This post is about what most people refer to as a swimbait, the large 6″+ 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 and 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 really expensive. Try a few out for a season or two before really jumping in. Your wallet will thank you.

Types of Swimbaits

As the popularity of swimbaits has grown so to have the number of designs and styles. There are 3 general types of swimbaits: Hard Body, Paddle Tail, and Soft Body. There also subcategories of these styles of baits.

  • Hard Body
    • Multi Joint
    • Glide Baits
  • Paddle Tail
    • Boot Tail
    • Wedge Tail
  • Soft Body
    • Full Body
    • Line Through
    • Top Hook

Swimbait Setup

Rod & Reel

The rod and reel you choose is very important when using a large swimbait. Most bass rods are designed for lures weighing less than an ounce. Large swimbaits can be much heavier, the Baitsanity Explorer for example weighs 5 ounces. Throwing a lure this heavy on a standard rod would likely result in the rod breaking. To learn more about what to look for in a rod check out our swimbait rod and reel guide.

Swimbait Line Setup

When targeting large bass it is important to have strong line to prevent breaking off. Braided line is the strongest line by diameter. I use Power Pro Maxcuatro which is 25% thinner than other competing braided lines so you get stronger line without having thicker line. Even though 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.

Swimbait Leader

Using a leader allows you to have a strong 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 Sunline FC 100. It takes the best of both fluorocarbon and monofilament lines without the downsides. It is both clear and has stretch to act as a shock absorber.

Best Swimbait Knot

The knot use use 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 leader because it is strong and easy to tie.

For tying on large swimbaits I use an improved clinch knot with 7 wraps. It is simple to tie even on large baits and it super strong.

Final Thoughts

All swimbaits are not created equal. This is a category of fishing where you are truly targeting fish of a life time. I know these baits are expensive but I encourage you to choose quality, highly reviewed baits over the cheaper options. This is not a style of fishing where you want to try saving a few bucks.