Soft Plastics

Soft Swimbaits

Find out how to set up soft swimbaits, when to use them, and which ones to buy.

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Soft Swimbaits


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Soft Swimbaits

Swimbait fishing has become so popular these days that it’s now a fully-fledged type of bass fishing in its own right. Soft swimbaits are one type of swimbait used by anglers, especially those hoping to catch trophy largemouth bass wherever they go.

If you’re new to swimbait fishing and want to learn more about soft swimbaits, this handy guide will detail the different options. Plus, you’ll also learn how and where to use soft swimbaits and some of the top examples to buy this year. Here’s what you need to know:

What Are Soft Swimbaits?

As you’ve probably gathered, there are different types of swimbaits that you can use. Soft swimbaits are one of the most popular types, and they come in an array of different shapes and sizes.

Soft swimbaits, also known as “soft body swimbaits,” are typically large, heavy lures made almost exclusively of solid rubber. They have soft bodies which give a realistic feel, and the more premium examples can withstand a lot of abuse from fighting fish.

soft swimbaits setup

When it comes to tying on a line, you’ll often find the eyelet is at the tip of the lure’s nose. It’s worth keeping in mind that some soft swimbaits have eyelets further up on the “head,” making them practical for dragging along the bottom of a body of water.

There are three different categories of soft swimbaits; they are as follows:

Full-Body Soft Swimbaits

They are solid rubber lures that use treble hooks attached to the bellies, similar to what you’d find on most soft swimbaits. It’s worth noting that the treble hooks get sold separately to most full-body soft swimbaits.

With a full-body soft swimbait, the eyelet gets connected to the hook ring through the inside of the lure.

Line-Through Soft Swimbaits

If you want a more robust soft swimbait, a line-through is a better option because they can withstand a lot of abuse when a bass fish clamps onto them. Line-through soft swimbaits also slide up the line during a bass fish fight to protect them from getting torn.

Top Hook Soft Swimbaits

Lastly, top hook soft swimbaits have a standard hook attached to the top, and the long shank runs through the center of the lure. You can get weighted or unweighted models, and they are ideal for dragging along the bottom of a river or lake.

Best Soft Swimbaits Setup

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a new bass angler or someone that’s had a lot of practice. If you want to have the best results each time you go fishing, you need to have the right equipment at your disposal.

When it comes to having the right set for soft swimbaits, you will need a selection of choices from the following three essential elements:

Rods for Soft Swimbaits

Firstly, you’ll need to make sure you have a good selection of rods to suit each type of soft swimbait in your tackle box. Otherwise, it’s unlikely you’ll achieve the best results when you’re out fishing for bass.

It’s a good idea to have a minimum of three rods at your disposal. One should be for small soft swimbaits, such as the GLoomis BBR964C back bounce rod, while the others are for large and giant soft swimbaits, respectively.

Reels for Soft Swimbaits

Next, you’ll need to have a good selection of reels available when you’re out fishing for bass. If you use a small soft swimbait, a reel like the Daiwa Luna 300 is a good idea.

It also makes sense to have a reel such as the Shimano Calcutta TE 400 for larger soft swimbaits. There are many reels available to buy, so you should do some research and check the reviews on the most appropriate ones for your needs to make the right selections.

Lines for Soft Swimbaits

Which lines should you use for your soft swimbaits? It’s a question that stirs up much debate among seasoned anglers. Some elect to use braid, whereas others choose monofilament. Whichever you choose, you should keep in mind a rule of thumb about lines:

  • If the soft swimbait you want to use is 2oz. or bigger, use a line that’s 18lb or more;
  • You should pair 2oz to 4oz soft swimbaits with a 20lb line;
  • 4oz to 6oz soft swimbaits works optimally with a 25lb line;
  • Lastly, if you plan to use soft swimbaits over 6oz, use a 30lb line.

best soft swimbaits

How to Fish Soft Swimbaits

Now that you know the different soft swimbaits available and the fishing accessories you need to use with them, you fully understand what you technically need to lure bass. However, do you know how to fish soft swimbaits?

If you’re a new or inexperienced angler, or perhaps you’re a seasoned angler that never used soft swimbaits before, it’s vital that you fully understand how to fish soft swimbaits. The good news is, it’s surprisingly easy to fish soft swimbaits.

The following are some tips and techniques to keep in mind:

Be Patient

Firstly, you need to remember that the action is slow when using soft swimbaits instead of other types of lures. Bites occur less often with soft swimbaits than they do with alternative lures, but the flip side is you’re significantly more likely to get a shot at a trophy bass.

Mix Things Up a Little

The way that you would fish soft swimbaits is similar to what you might do when you fish a crankbait. However, you need to break up the repetition every so often by jerking or ripping the soft swimbait that you use. Doing so makes your lure more attractive to bass.

Use Floating Soft Swimbaits as Topwater Lure

As you probably know, when fish are dying, they float and swim along the surface slowly. Floating soft swimbaits are great for mimicking such fish and are easy prey for hungry bass fish in calm water early in the morning or late in the afternoon.

soft swimbaits dark sleeper

Use Sinking Soft Swimbaits for Targeting a Cover or Structure

Finally, one excellent way to outsmart bass is by using sinking soft swimbaits against covers or structures. That way, inquisitive bass won’t realize your lure is unnatural and swim away from you.

When to Use Soft Swimbaits

So far, you know how to use soft swimbaits. But, when should you use them? The following are a few examples of when it makes sense to use soft swimbaits for catching bass and, hopefully, get a few trophy bass:

Colder Months in Shallow Waters

If you’re a keen angler that enjoys fishing during the colder months of the year, soft swimbaits will be ideal for your requirements. That’s because you can use them in shallow waters where bass will end up swimming a lot of the time.

Off-Coast Fishing

Do you prefer heading out on a boat away from the coast to snag some bass? If so, you will find you have greater success using soft swimbaits in open waters. Of course, soft swimbaits also work well if you’re in the middle of a lake or some other large body of water.

Fishing in Waters Where Lures Often Snag on the Bottom

Do you have a favorite fishing spot but find that your lures almost always snag on the bottom? If so, it makes sense to use soft swimbaits as they snag significantly less than other lures.

Heavy Cover

Lastly, if you fish along docks or by patches of weeds, casting soft swimbaits works well because they mimic lone fish that have lost their regular school of fish. Such fish are easy pickings for bass.

Best Soft Swimbaits

There’s no denying that soft swimbaits offer many advantages for luring bass compared to the alternatives. The thing is, which soft swimbaits provide the best value for money? Take a look at the following recommended soft swimbaits for anglers fishing for bass:

1. Berkley PowerBait

Respected by bass anglers across the globe, the Berkley PowerBait features a ribbed soft plastic body that vibrates a lot in the water to entice bass to strike. It’s available in sizes from 3.8 inches to 4.3 inches and in different styles and colors to suit your needs.

2. Facikono Jig Heads

You get six soft swimbaits in a pack, each in different shapes and colors. They each weigh 0.31oz and are 3.54 inches long. They boast realistic 3D laser eyes and scales to attract bass fish.

3. Goture Minnow Big Tail Jig Heads

With five different color options, the Goture Minnow big tail jig head soft swimbaits are very bright and create an excellent presentation in any body of water. Each is four inches long and weighs 0.77oz.

4. Live Target Common Shiner

The Live Target Common Shiner has a soft body construction with a top hook, features anatomically detailed profiles, and boasts a medium to slow sink rate. There are several sizes and weight options available.

5. Savage Gear 3D Line Thru Trout

Lastly, the Savage Gear 3D Line Thru Trout is a multi-jointed soft swimbait that comes highly recommended by bass anglers. It looks very lifelike and offers excellent swimming characteristics in the water.

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