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Swimbait Setup: Equipment, Techniques, and Tactics

A swimbait is a lure that mimics the movement of a live baitfish. More importantly, it can provide a more active presentation than artificial bait. Learning how to set up a swimbait is essential for fishing success.

To set up swimbaits you’ll need the appropriate equipment. You’ll want to get your hands on a medium or heavy action swimbait rod and reel combo.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about swimbait setup, from equipment to popular techniques and tactics. So get ready, because here’s everything you need to know about setting up your next big fish!

Before knowing how to set up a swimbaits, you must know first where to use it…

How Does Swimbait Help You Catch More Bass?

Swimbaits gives an active presentation rather than a passive presentation compared to artificial bait. It also allows you to catch bigger fish due to its possibility of creating a larger disturbance in the water and its ability to dive deeper than most other lures.

Now that we’ve covered what swimbaits is and where it’s used, let’s discuss how it should be set up.  

Equipment

The first thing you should do when setting up your swimbaits is to gather the necessary equipment. There are three main things you’ll need to set up your own bait…

1.) Swimbait     

The first piece of equipment needed is, of course, the swimbaits itself. You can find a variety of baits in different colors, sizes, and weights. This will allow you to use them for a wide range of applications across multiple water depths.

2.) Hooks     

Hooks are another important part of your setup because they keep the bait from pulling free from the fish’s mouth. There are different styles and sizes of hooks available, which allows you to choose between single, treble, or even no hooks depending on your preference.  

3.) Spinning Reel   

The last piece of equipment you’ll need is a spinning reel. This type of setup allows the bait to dive deeper and increases your chances of hooking larger fish. Your rod must match your reel’s strength when using this style, so be sure to have a heavy line when using heavy baits or a light line when using lighter baits.

4.) Fishing Line   

A fishing line holds your baits and hooks to the rod. There are different kinds of lines available, so consider what kind of fish you’ll be targeting before choosing one. If you’re looking for big fishes, you should choose a 20-25lb test line. For smaller species, a 10-15 lb test will suffice.   

Now that you have the equipment…

How Does Swimbait Help You Catch More Bass?

Swimbaits are set up to mimic the movement of a live baitfish. It is not passive like artificial baits and can create a larger disturbance in the water and reach deeper waters than most other lures. These features make it possible for it to catch bigger fishes and target species of different sizes.

Now that we’ve discussed how it should be set up, let’s talk about techniques that will ensure your success with baits.  

1.) Weights   

Weighs helps get your swimbait down fast and allows you to reach deeper depths where they like to feed. There are two ways to attach the weights: through the line on top or through the bottom. Attaching it on top of the line will allow you to feel more bites because the weights is close to the hook without pulling it down. On the other hand, attaching it through the bottom usually makes your bait dive deeper and gives a less active presentation.

2.) Bounces   

Bounce pauses your weights after casting, then allows them to fall back down slowly due to their own weight. While this technique does not create any disturbance in the water as retrieves do, this still gets bites because you can jig or hop up and down with your rod tip without making any rod movements that spook fishes. 

3.) Jigs   

A jig helps mimic crawfish by allowing you to add a tail, claws, and other appendages to the weight. This gives you more baitfish-like action without having to use any hooks. Plus, putting on a jig allows your swimbait’s head to fall slower and sink deeper compared to when it doesn’t have one attached.

4.) Hopping   

This technique consists of adding wire or rubber octopus arms that allow the bait to move in an erratic manner underwater. The movement causes water displacement which makes big bass notice this disturbance and strikes out of instinct.  

Use a Larger Swimbaits for Bigger Fish

It is well-known that big fishes love to chase and eat smaller fishes, so it would be best if you used larger lures when targeting big species. The size of the bait should correspond to the size of the fish. If you’re looking for small species, use much smaller baits than if you were looking to hook into a large one.

Now that you know how to set it up and techniques that can help increase your success rate with swimbaits, there’s just one thing left: using them in different situations!   That’s what will make the difference between an unsuccessful trip and a successful one.  

Perfect Gear Ratio

This is best done with at least 6kg-7kg rods. Use the right amount of weights for your bait’s size, then choose a line that can withstand its speed and pressure once it bites. This gear decreases the chance of breaking off the fishes by using lighter lines or thin rods.

The correct rod setup will ensure better hookups and keep you from losing big fishes due to weak equipment. A heavier rod helps prevent break-offs and ensures that any strike will be felt more easily through your hands while preventing stress on your rod and reel fighting against larger fishes. Big baits require a strong line to stop them from sinking too deep into the water where you cannot see them, so make sure to use good quality fishing lines.

Final Takeaway on Swimbait Setup

If you want to increase your odds of catching more fishes, the above-mentioned techniques will help you do just that! Try them out next time you’re looking for big fishes in shallow water during the summertime. We hope that you learn something new and that you’d be able to use it in your fishing trips.