Feb 9, 2012, 10:33 AM EST
This past weekend I was part of a group swimbait bite that opened my eyes to why some anglers get addicted to swimbait fishing. Until you experience it yourself, it is hard to understand why some anglers give up nearly all other forms of chasing bass just to get that next bite.
The actual swimbait bite itself is hard to explain, you can actually feel the bass trying to wolf down its oversized meal. It is nothing like a big jig thump; it has a very unique feel of its own. While the bite itself is exhilarating, it is the thoughts that run through your mind in that split second and the anticipation of what just hit your bait as your rod loads up. I mean you are likely throwing a 6-12” piece of rubber or hard plastic, chances are good this is a fish to be reckoned with.
You lean back, the fish feels heavy and you frantically start to crank your reel to keep the tension on this fish until you can get a good look at it. Swimbait fishing is a high risk, high reward proposition and makes it addictive like a drug. Once you get a taste, it can take over your thoughts and dreams until you can get back out there again.
The other thing that became apparent was the need for proper equipment. Even though I am no swimbait expert, I have invested in a quality setup to fish swimbaits. The three basic components to a swimbait setup is the line, reel & rod, all playing an important role. First off, you want a heavy line, most avid swimbait anglers prefer 20-25lb mono or fluorocarbon, and most feel braid does not have enough stretch, but I can work in some instances. Secondly, you need a reel that will hold a good amount of line, you will be making long casts with large diameter line, this will spool smaller reels and wrong gearing can really wear you out. Lastly, the rod is a super integral piece, you will likely want a rod close to eight feet in length with good backbone and soft tip for lobbing larger baits and that tip allows fish to properly eat these steady swimming meals. I recommend the Dobyns 795 Mike Long swimbait rod as a great place to start looking. The proper setup will make it easier to cast and retrieve these large offerings plus will help increase your hookup and land ratio; let’s face it, the reason you throw swimbaits is to catch large fish, not to have more stories about the one that got away!