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  1. #12
    Senior Member Fishstix024's Avatar
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    Re: Does Swimbait Size Really Matter?

    Small Glides- Swaver 200 - Deps 175. Phenix M180MH, Daiwa Coastal 200HS, 55lb braid, 30lb mono leader

    Med/Large Glides- Deps 250- Gancraft 230- etc. Phenix Inshore 909H, Shimano Tranx 300, 55-80lb braid, 30lb mono leader

    XL Glides- Hiro 10-11", BGC 10.5. Custom Phenix Black Diamond 909XH, Tranx 400 or 300 size round reel, 65-80lb braid, direct tie or 40lb leader.
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  3. #11
    Senior Member dsa2780's Avatar
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    Re: Does Swimbait Size Really Matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark1 View Post
    Thanks for sharing details on big swimbaits, gear, braid size, split rings plus other info. BUT what do you use as far as how you get those big 10-13 inch nearly 10oz swimbaits way out there???....It would be great if you can let us know what length pole, weight, brand plus anything else on the poles and the reels[baitcaster or spinning?] and sizes you use for those huge things. I have some ideas and heavy thick poles but what length do use you, ect.. I'm almost thinking like sturgeon poles.??
    No need for sturgeon sized rods. For most baits sub 4oz, you can get by with a heavy salmon back bounce style rod. Back bouncers are usually rated to vertically drop 6oz, so they work really well for throwing 3-4oz plugs and keep fish pegged really well.

    For the mega sized lures going 5-10oz+ you can go a few different routes. For production rods, there are two options I can recommend, the irod Genesis II Paul Bailey Magnum Swim is what I personally use. It's like $150 I believe. 8'6" and can throw 10oz. It's ultra parabolic and and has some really good power to it. Really comfortable handle as well. It was designed for throwing hardbaits so it absorbs a lot of shock and headshaking and the guides were designed with braid in mind. Hands down the best $150 I've ever spent after going through like 5 other rods that didn't work very well for me and this style of fishing.

    The other production option that I haven't fished, but I know people who use it, is the Phenix m1 inshore 909. Think this was designed as a surface iron rod for Yellowtail down south. I think it's in that similar price point to the irod.

    If you go custom, a lot of people use a phenix black diamond 909 blank, which again is designed as a long rod for throwing suraface irons and other large presentations.

    The Dobyns Champion Series 908 is another rod I used for mega baits. It worked really well but was a bit more of a cumbersome pool cue than the other two options. Also comes in near $300. I sold it and went for the irod.

    I always use 80# braid. Don't listen to people that say "braid will result in snap offs when casting". These statements come from a lot of inexperienced people who tried using 30# or 50# braid to cast a 6oz and snapped off. If you go with 80 or 100#, you will have no issues.

    Reels? It's personal preference. I'd go for a Tranx 300, Tranx 400, Okuma Komodo 364, citrix 364 or track down an older Curado 300DSV that's made in japan. Any 300-400 size reel will fit the bill but the Shimano and Okuma stuff is more solid in my experience than other brands.

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  5. #10
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    Re: Does Swimbait Size Really Matter?

    Thanks for sharing details on big swimbaits, gear, braid size, split rings plus other info. BUT what do you use as far as how you get those big 10-13 inch nearly 10oz swimbaits way out there???....It would be great if you can let us know what length pole, weight, brand plus anything else on the poles and the reels[baitcaster or spinning?] and sizes you use for those huge things. I have some ideas and heavy thick poles but what length do use you, ect.. I'm almost thinking like sturgeon poles.??

  6. #9
    Senior Member dsa2780's Avatar
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    Re: Does Swimbait Size Really Matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fishstix024 View Post
    Great response from DSA. Dude has put in his time and is wise beyond his age. Every time we fish he points out random facts or theories about weather, water temps, and local ecology that all pertain to our fishing obsession.

    So, many factors go into the whole big bait for big fish theory. I think the most important one pointed out was drawing power. The large baits are just that...LARGE! They move more water and show a bigger presence. This in it's itself would give you a better chance at those larger fish.

    That being said, the good ol 5" white paddle tail swimbait will catch 5lbers or 25lbers year round. I always keep one of those tied on.

    But, I won't lie. I've fallen deep into this rabbit hole of big baits. That's all I want to fish. And, I do have the confidence that any cast could result in the biggest striper of my life. I've fished those dead of winter days with DSA and have seen multiple 20-30lb fish swipe and chase a 10-12" bait to the boat. That in itself is enough to keep me throwing big all year.

    I think the biggest turning point for me was two years ago, DSA and I went out early one morning. Like REALLY early...4am early... our plan was to throw topwater at dawn. But, when we got the spot at 430 it was still pitch black. We couldn't see our topwater plugs, so we started fan casting glide baits in the dark. Few casts in and I get railed! Boated a solid mid 20s fish. If that fish could find and eat that bait in pitch black, just think of what's possible when there's light. Forget water clarity, temps or weather. Just go out and throw the big stuff, when you about to give up, throw it a few hundred more times, sooner or later something will take a shot at it.

    Fishstix024





    Hahaha knew you’d chime in. That fish was a surprise in the dark. Probably one of my better net jobs despite not being able to see anything.


    Yeah OP, take it for what it’s worth and piece together your own theories and stuff. It’s part of the fun.

    Dead of winter last year was sooo good. Between my friend group, between December 13th and March 1st we had SEEN upwards of 30 fish over 15# and landed about 10 of them. Many of them bailed off without even hitting the bait. Like Kenji said, the drawing power and water displacement put off by a piece of wood, injected plastic or resin is what gets the curiosity of these fish going.

    I honestly think there are a few different types of glide bait bites as well. From my observations on seeing a lot of those big ones, they aren’t always looking to eat. Lots of them are just being territorial. A 8” or 10” sauntering glide that has a killer rate of stall, that just sits there, meandering slowly and looking them in the face often times gets a follower. If you fish a 250 or waver 200 or whatever slow and on the straight reel, without doing many rod pops or reel twitches, many times the fish will just follow. Even if they’re in kill mode and were on an ambush spot looking for food, they don’t seem to behave quite as aggressively or act with as much purpose as when that bait is RUNNING(or swimming) for its life.

    Back to that point about how I don’t really believe a lot of glide bait fish are hitting a bait to eat it. I messed around with putting flashibou feathered material on my trebles last December and it seemed like the hookup ratio went way up. The bare hooks, you’ll get a lot of those fish just smacking the middle of the bait or even better yet, the ol’ tail nippers.

    Funniest thing ever was watching a fish in the upper 30’s low 40’s behind my friend Andres’ savage gear 8” glider. Giant fish right, she could make one quick inhale and smoke this bait, but she was literally nipping the furthest back half inch of the tail. Clear water so we watched it for half of a long cast back to the boat. She honestly just looked like she was trying to tell it to “get out of my neighborhood, I own this spot” and get it to leave.

    I had a lot of the same types of bites last winter, so I went to the flashibou hooks and I felt like the fish had more of a focal point to then nip or key onto. When a bait glides out and pauses, that flashibou puffs and waves in the current like a fly would, so they gravitate towards it.

    Might be a mental thing for me, but I really like how it looks in the water.

    A tactic I found to be really effective when getting followers but no biters is to bomb a cast out as far as you can beyond where your follower was. As soon as it hits the water, burn it in like a madman. Damn near skipping it across the water to make it throw a wake. I do one cast where I don’t stop that ultra high speed retrieve at all. I reel as quickly back as I can. Then throw it back and reel half the way at that same burning speed, then when half way back, stop it dead, and slowly glide it back. It drives them mad. This can apply to topwaters as well. Ultra high speed to get them fired up and wanting to kill, followed by a slower cadence. If you’re getting lots of followers with no commits, give it a shot.

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  8. #8
    Senior Member Fishstix024's Avatar
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    Re: Does Swimbait Size Really Matter?

    Great response from DSA. Dude has put in his time and is wise beyond his age. Every time we fish he points out random facts or theories about weather, water temps, and local ecology that all pertain to our fishing obsession.

    So, many factors go into the whole big bait for big fish theory. I think the most important one pointed out was drawing power. The large baits are just that...LARGE! They move more water and show a bigger presence. This in it's itself would give you a better chance at those larger fish.

    That being said, the good ol 5" white paddle tail swimbait will catch 5lbers or 25lbers year round. I always keep one of those tied on.

    But, I won't lie. I've fallen deep into this rabbit hole of big baits. That's all I want to fish. And, I do have the confidence that any cast could result in the biggest striper of my life. I've fished those dead of winter days with DSA and have seen multiple 20-30lb fish swipe and chase a 10-12" bait to the boat. That in itself is enough to keep me throwing big all year.

    I think the biggest turning point for me was two years ago, DSA and I went out early one morning. Like REALLY early...4am early... our plan was to throw topwater at dawn. But, when we got the spot at 430 it was still pitch black. We couldn't see our topwater plugs, so we started fan casting glide baits in the dark. Few casts in and I get railed! Boated a solid mid 20s fish. If that fish could find and eat that bait in pitch black, just think of what's possible when there's light. Forget water clarity, temps or weather. Just go out and throw the big stuff, when you about to give up, throw it a few hundred more times, sooner or later something will take a shot at it.

    Fishstix024



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  10. #7
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    Re: Does Swimbait Size Really Matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by dsa2780 View Post
    Might be off subject but sort of along the lines of the topic, there's a whole wave of "wishermen" out there right now on social media who own $10000's worth of expensive hardbaits but who have never caught anything on them. There's no real magic bait or "big bait or die" stuff in my opinion. That mid size sebile could be a lethal weapon in your hands, and useless in the hands of another. Just have to put the time in.

    &

    There's another side of this as well, and that is that these fish will hit a bare blank piece of wood with a wobble on it if it's put into the right place at the right time. The elements are like 99 percent of getting that bite. It's a subject I could go on forever about, but I'll spare ya.
    Wow, I really appreciate the thorough response to this. I think about this quote a lot while fishing any application or for any particular species "It's not the plane, it's the pilot." Practice practice practice I know always wins. You hit that on the head, what's useful to you might be useless in the hands of another.

    The comment re: caloric needs and metabolic rates as we fish thru the winter season is interesting. I never really thought about bait presentation in that sense before but I see how understanding that and anticipating that with each outing could drastically increase the probability of catching fish if you understand their energy needs as the seasons change and adapt to that with your lure selection.

    Thank you for the thoughtful insight on this, much appreciated dsa2780!

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    Re: Does Swimbait Size Really Matter?

    Thanks for sharing all that knowledge, dsa. I always look forward to reading your posts when I see them. Cheers

  12. #5
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    Re: Does Swimbait Size Really Matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by dsa2780 View Post
    The size isn't needed by any means. One could say that the ultimate challenge is to catch a monster striper or bass on a small micro fluke or clouser minnow fly.

    I have personally found success and more so, personal joy in throwing large baits like the DEPS 250 slideswimmer, a 6oz and 10" bait as well as some baits made by my friend that are approaching the 10oz and 13" size range. Do I have a lot of giants on these baits? No. Not a lot. A few here and there.

    How many giant sized fish have I seen because of them though? Tons.

    A lot of other elements within nature have to be lined up in order to have the stars align and for a giant to actually strike a mega sized hard bait. That's the easy part in most cases.

    The chaos that usually ensues when a 20-40lb apex predator hits a 10-13" hardbait at 1000mph is the hard part. Most of the big ones thrash like crazy for a good couple seconds and in some cases up to 30 seconds. This is usually when a big one comes off the hook. With that 3 to 10oz bait flailing around outside their face, a lot can go wrong. After that crocodile death roll/thrash, they usually wrap themselves up in your line and come in quickly, or if they're hooked outside the face it can super skitsy putting the pressure on them but if they're straight in the mouth and you're using a set up aimed at handling bigger fish, it's all good and they're whipped.


    I mainly keep the big stuff tied on and available for using as a search bait in the dead of winter when the temps are super cold. The main reason being for draw power. In my belief and observations from years of observing striper behavior, they hit a point in the winter where large baits become appealing to them as their caloric needs and metabolic rates require a larger prey base. Be that in the form of pikeminnows, splittails, panfish, bass, juvenile stripers or salmonids, I notice a correlation between a 10" bait actually getting more action and follows than say during a time of year like April or september when the fish might be more along the lines of chasing thinner and smaller prey or eating things like crawdads. This is just for the areas of the delta and rivers I fish, not saying for all of the waters of course.

    Around middle of December of last year, I tied the 10" and 12" baits on because we had sub freezing temps every night, and they got bit and followed. This last several month period from say November to the end of December, with it being warmer, the fish seemed to be chasing microbaits like threadfin, so I in turn went to sub 8" baits. My favorite production baits for this kind of all around swimbaiting is either the 8" savage gear glide swimmer, the DEPS 175 slideswimmer, or the S-waver 168. All three have a different forte, but can be fished effectively year round until it gets to be ultra cold. When the frosts hits, it's time to go big.


    There are micro factors to all of this as well. There have been several incidents I've ran into to where the fish I stumbled on were chasing 12" steelhead or in the case of this past march, in one of my areas, they were chasing and actively killing foot long plus hitch and sacramento blackfish. The small baits like the 8" savage and 168 waver were getting lots of teeners to 15", but when I busted out a larger 10" or 12" topwater or glide, the size of fish I was interacting with went from 12-15#ers to 20-30#ers.


    Don't be fooled though. It pays to always carry a wide variety of baits. Those 168 wavers, 8" thin profile savage gears and the deps 175 have saved my day more than once. And the 10-13" baits have produced some amazing moments that I felt I wouldn't have ever experienced if I hadn't had them ready in my box, ready to be rotated into the mix. Carry both and gauge what your fish want.


    You will catch 10" and 3# barely 18" stripers on a 10" 6oz glide. It's a good idea to build some confidence in these things by just going out for a few outing and bring NOTHING but a handful of those big ones you wish to catch on. Fish them for 8 hours if possible and learn the nuances of each one. They're just tools at the end of the day, so again, don't put an extreme amount of stock into only thinking big ones can be caught on big presentations.

    Might be off subject but sort of along the lines of the topic, there's a whole wave of "wishermen" out there right now on social media who own $10000's worth of expensive hardbaits but who have never caught anything on them. There's no real magic bait or "big bait or die" stuff in my opinion. That mid size sebile could be a lethal weapon in your hands, and useless in the hands of another. Just have to put the time in.

    Find a few that work for you and roll with them til you feel like you've mastered it and have "the faith" in it.

    An S-waver 200 for $45 will get you the same giant bite that a $400 "insert any random resin glide bait from a builder who proclaims to be king of the swimbait world" will get you. It's all just what you have faith in and choose to believe in.

    There's another side of this as well, and that is that these fish will hit a bare blank piece of wood with a wobble on it if it's put into the right place at the right time. The elements are like 99 percent of getting that bite. It's a subject I could go on forever about, but I'll spare ya.

    Final thing I guess, if you're going to get hardcore into this style of fishing, I'd take every single precaution and fish whatever bait you have with upgraded VMC 4x slatwater hooks or Owner ST-56 or 66's with 80-120# splitrings or use Japanese assist hook jigging chord in favor of split rings. 80-100# braid.
    Holy hell! That was simply beautiful.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  13. #4
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    Re: Does Swimbait Size Really Matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by dsa2780 View Post
    The size isn't needed by any means. One could say that the ultimate challenge is to catch a monster striper or bass on a small micro fluke or clouser minnow fly.

    I have personally found success and more so, personal joy in throwing large baits like the DEPS 250 slideswimmer, a 6oz and 10" bait as well as some baits made by my friend that are approaching the 10oz and 13" size range. Do I have a lot of giants on these baits? No. Not a lot. A few here and there.

    How many giant sized fish have I seen because of them though? Tons.

    A lot of other elements within nature have to be lined up in order to have the stars align and for a giant to actually strike a mega sized hard bait. That's the easy part in most cases.

    The chaos that usually ensues when a 20-40lb apex predator hits a 10-13" hardbait at 1000mph is the hard part. Most of the big ones thrash like crazy for a good couple seconds and in some cases up to 30 seconds. This is usually when a big one comes off the hook. With that 3 to 10oz bait flailing around outside their face, a lot can go wrong. After that crocodile death roll/thrash, they usually wrap themselves up in your line and come in quickly, or if they're hooked outside the face it can super skitsy putting the pressure on them but if they're straight in the mouth and you're using a set up aimed at handling bigger fish, it's all good and they're whipped.


    I mainly keep the big stuff tied on and available for using as a search bait in the dead of winter when the temps are super cold. The main reason being for draw power. In my belief and observations from years of observing striper behavior, they hit a point in the winter where large baits become appealing to them as their caloric needs and metabolic rates require a larger prey base. Be that in the form of pikeminnows, splittails, panfish, bass, juvenile stripers or salmonids, I notice a correlation between a 10" bait actually getting more action and follows than say during a time of year like April or september when the fish might be more along the lines of chasing thinner and smaller prey or eating things like crawdads. This is just for the areas of the delta and rivers I fish, not saying for all of the waters of course.

    Around middle of December of last year, I tied the 10" and 12" baits on because we had sub freezing temps every night, and they got bit and followed. This last several month period from say November to the end of December, with it being warmer, the fish seemed to be chasing microbaits like threadfin, so I in turn went to sub 8" baits. My favorite production baits for this kind of all around swimbaiting is either the 8" savage gear glide swimmer, the DEPS 175 slideswimmer, or the S-waver 168. All three have a different forte, but can be fished effectively year round until it gets to be ultra cold. When the frosts hits, it's time to go big.


    There are micro factors to all of this as well. There have been several incidents I've ran into to where the fish I stumbled on were chasing 12" steelhead or in the case of this past march, in one of my areas, they were chasing and actively killing foot long plus hitch and sacramento blackfish. The small baits like the 8" savage and 168 waver were getting lots of teeners to 15", but when I busted out a larger 10" or 12" topwater or glide, the size of fish I was interacting with went from 12-15#ers to 20-30#ers.


    Don't be fooled though. It pays to always carry a wide variety of baits. Those 168 wavers, 8" thin profile savage gears and the deps 175 have saved my day more than once. And the 10-13" baits have produced some amazing moments that I felt I wouldn't have ever experienced if I hadn't had them ready in my box, ready to be rotated into the mix. Carry both and gauge what your fish want.


    You will catch 10" and 3# barely 18" stripers on a 10" 6oz glide. It's a good idea to build some confidence in these things by just going out for a few outing and bring NOTHING but a handful of those big ones you wish to catch on. Fish them for 8 hours if possible and learn the nuances of each one. They're just tools at the end of the day, so again, don't put an extreme amount of stock into only thinking big ones can be caught on big presentations.

    Might be off subject but sort of along the lines of the topic, there's a whole wave of "wishermen" out there right now on social media who own $10000's worth of expensive hardbaits but who have never caught anything on them. There's no real magic bait or "big bait or die" stuff in my opinion. That mid size sebile could be a lethal weapon in your hands, and useless in the hands of another. Just have to put the time in.

    Find a few that work for you and roll with them til you feel like you've mastered it and have "the faith" in it.

    An S-waver 200 for $45 will get you the same giant bite that a $400 "insert any random resin glide bait from a builder who proclaims to be king of the swimbait world" will get you. It's all just what you have faith in and choose to believe in.

    There's another side of this as well, and that is that these fish will hit a bare blank piece of wood with a wobble on it if it's put into the right place at the right time. The elements are like 99 percent of getting that bite. It's a subject I could go on forever about, but I'll spare ya.

    Final thing I guess, if you're going to get hardcore into this style of fishing, I'd take every single precaution and fish whatever bait you have with upgraded VMC 4x slatwater hooks or Owner ST-56 or 66's with 80-120# splitrings or use Japanese assist hook jigging chord in favor of split rings. 80-100# braid.
    Excellent report as always DSA. You give good details of your subject and complete it to the end. Inspiring report. I don't think you have placed any reports that I have not been moved by. I don't fish the big bait style or even medium types, but I am moving more toward that direction all the time. I just don't have the endurance you youngsters have, to make so many cast with the heavier baits.
    But it just takes one right cast and I could get lucky. The rest of the time , commitment will make it happen. This holds true to any style of fishing you do.
    Thanks again. Out.

  14. #3
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    Re: Does Swimbait Size Really Matter?

    Wow, what a detailed, informative clinic on fishing swim baits in the Delta! Thank you, Dsa2780 for taking the time to share your hard earned knowledge with the "sniffer" community. I am sure that your tutorial will benefit the accomplished anglers, but more importantly it will encourage those of us that are still putting in the time to gain mastery and confidence to stay the course. Competent instruction and good equipment are critical to success, but there is no getting around putting in the reps to gain the level of skill that you allude to in your post. That is why pilots are not licensed on knowledge alone but on HOW MANY HOURS they have logged. Thanks again for your generosity.

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