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Discussion Starter #1
To understand the western bass fishermans passion for swim baits go to the web site for Huddleston Deluxe http;//www.huddlestondeluxe.com/ and look at the video clips for Butch Brown. Take note on how slow Butch is retrieving his swim bait, this is very important during the cold water period.
My first swim bait was a modified 3/4 oz Scrounger head jig, cut off the original hook at the bend, trimmed back the lead off the hook shank to add a 6/0 Daiichi long shank worm hook by super glueing after wrapping with 25 lb mono. Added a rainbow trout sluggo that was sent to me during the prototype period back in 1987. This lure swim with a Rapala minnow type tight wiggle and was (still is) deadly. The surgical rubber inverted lip keeps the hook out of trouble and this lure can go nearly through anything without snagging. I had one unbelievable day with this lure on lake Castaic back in 1992 with 18 bass over 10 lbs. Very few people even knew about swim baits back then, so the trout eating bass never had been exposed to a lure that swim like a trout and came up from deep water towards the surface, the presentation technique that sets swim baits apart from most other lures.
Today swim baits are very popular where big bass target big bait fish. However my original swim bait was only 6" long, not up to todays 8 to 12" lures. A swim bait should represent the bait fish the bass are targeting during the calendar period that you are using them. For example during the pre spawn and spawn, bass may be targeting bluegill of crappie where you fish, then use a 4 to 5" soft plastic swim bait that has a similar profile a coloring. Castaic Platinum series and Matt lures make a great pan fish line of swim baits for $15 to $25 or Storm for under $7. Megabait* lures ( *new name  soon) makes a good swim bait called the LA Slider for under $8.
The key to these baits is to fish them slowly and reel faster where ever you feel a bump. The presentation should look like a lazy bait fish that is trying to escape to the surface. Cast out and let the swim bait sink down into deeper water and retrieve it back slowly. I like to work these baits slightly up hill along the sides of major points or structure elements during the cold water and pre spawn periods. During warmer water periods you can fish swim baits on or near the surface and at a faster pace. Surface or a few feet sub surface work at times during the cold water periods when cast over known structure that big bass are holding on.
Swim baits that weigh more than 1 1/2 ounce should be cast with a 7 1/2'  heavy,fast action rod rated to handle lures up to the weight of the swim bait. Use 20 to 25 Lb premium mono, fluorocarbon hybrid line or 65 lb superbaraid with leader. Keep in mind that swim baits are made with a mouth full of soft plastic, so you need to let the bass grab the lure and turn with it before setting the hook, similar to a top water lure. Adding trap hooks is popular with the big swim baits, however remember that trap hooks are not legal for IGFA records.
Tom
* MegaBait will keep the name under it's new ownership. J & T tackle in Simi Valley Ca stocks the 5. 6 & 71/4 inch Sliders.
 

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Myself and another fishing buddy have been trying the swimbaits for about a year. We couldn't get a fish until we learned to slow down and not put alot of action in these types of baits. Been trying to find a company to come out with a 5-6 inch white perch replica as most of my bass waters have these in them. The yellow perch style baits have worked great up here but a few of the tournament lakes here in New England have a forage base that consist of smelts or perch.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
JohnPorter said:
Myself and another fishing buddy have been trying the swimbaits for about a year. We couldn't get a fish until we learned to slow down and not put alot of action in these types of baits. Been trying to find a company to come out with a 5-6 inch white perch replica as most of my bass waters have these in them. The yellow perch style baits have worked great up here but a few of the tournament lakes here in New England have a forage base that consist of smelts or perch.
Castaic Soft Bait makes a Clear lake hitch 5" swim bait that is a smelt and most swim baits are available in pearl white that you can mark up with Sharpie marker. http;//castaicsoftbait.com/
Tom
ps; Barlows Tackle sells paint for soft plastics that works great on swim baits. I use the pearl white to high light fins and tail edges. http;//www.barlowstackle.com/
 
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I recently bout some storm wild eye swim baits in blue gill (sun fish) and perch and these are great baits at only $3.99 for a 3 pack. I return them back to the original package with I'm done using them for the day but due to the cheep mold they come in the tails tend to get bent to easily affective the action of the bait. I know you can dip the tail into boiling water to straiten the bait out but are there any other ways to properly store swim baits?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Markey Lures, http;//www.basscatcher.com/ , makes a swim bait storage box that hangs swim baits with a clip by the hook eye. Storms products are made from salt water plastic (plastisol) which makes them tougher and durable, but prone to taking a set. The softer fresh water plastic is less durable , however also less memory, swims at slower speeds and tends not to take a set as easily. Mass produced baits have their advantage, low cost. Whereas low production or custom hand pored baits cost more and work better the majority of the time. If you have toothy critters like pike or musky, they will tear these bait up fast. It's your choice at the end of the day, big bass are worth the extra cost to me. We don't have toothy fresh water fish where I bass fish.
Tom
 

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18 over 10 OMG!!! What a day!! I might have just stroked out and cashed it in after two and went straight to heaven cause you weren't far from it. So let me get this straight the way i'm interperting it is these swim bait fish alot like a jerk bait with the ultra slow presentation? Its definately a match the hatch game? The way I take care of my slugo's to keep them from getting bent up is to put them in a box and spray the crap out of them with reel magic or some other silicon based spray.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
imonembad said:
18 over 10 OMG!!! What a day!! I might have just stroked out and cashed it in after two and went straight to heaven cause you weren't far from it. So let me get this straight the way i'm interperting it is these swim bait fish alot like a jerk bait with the ultra slow presentation? Its definately a match the hatch game? The way I take care of my slugo's to keep them from getting bent up is to put them in a box and spray the crap out of them with reel magic or some other silicon based spray.
Since strippers were accidentally introduced into Castaic back in1998, when repairing the forebay dam, the lake will never be the same. Before that accident, wolf packs of big bass would herd plated trout up into an area and work them over. I noticed 3 blue herons on a mud point, knee deep, catching something and stopped to check it out and had that once in a lifetime wide open bite. Most people stop fishing after catching one big bass, however you can usually catch more than one during pre spawn.
I'm not a fan of Reel Magic and prefer Tangle Free line dressing. Glycerin mixed with pure anise oil makes a good lubricant for soft plastics, however I would not suggest storing swim baits in it. I would also be careful about soaking plastisol with anything alcohol/ silicone base, because it may absorb it and give off an offensive odor to bass.There are some good attractants on the market today.
Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #9
imonembad said:
Are you talking about hard swim baits or soft swim baits? What is plastisol?
Plastisol is the bulk plastic the you color and heat to make soft plastic worms, creatures, lizards and swim baits. Soft plastic swim baits or hybrids with half & half soft/hard. To me a hard swim bait is just a jointed crank bait that has a swimming motion and they have been around a long time for musky fishing etc.
Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The MegaBait LA Slider will continue with the same name under SamTech Trading Co. Email: [email protected] The 7 1/2" number is code#457 and the 6" is #06-0001. This soft swim bait sells for under $7 and is the hottest tournament swim bait in the west, it works great and has replaceable soft plastic body that you insert the weight into or "slide" the weight in place, ie; slider.
This is a high quality bait with Gamakatsu or Daiichi hook.
Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Aaron Matens is apparently making the Scrounger head jig according to BASS Times. Need to contact Aaron and find out where and how you can purchase them.
Tom
 
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