I‘m a liberal leaning outdoorsman attempting to open the minds of right wingers to the idea that libs fish too. Anglers come from all walks of life, left, right, and center. Not everyone who fishes for bass is a redneck fond of Nascar, country music, and religiosity. Expect posts about largemouth bass fishing, techniques, reviews of lures and other products, but not any condemnable conservative rants. I hope to inspire the online angler community to dial down rhetoric which will do more harm than good to our sport.

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Friday, August 17, 2007

• Swimblade Commentary

A swimblade is a general term for a jig with a blade attached at the jig head that gives the lure a side to side shake. It can be worked like a crankbait, a jig, a spinnerbait, and some have even learned how to work it as a topwater lure.

A swimblade comes in many different forms. The Chatterbait was probably the first of its kind. Correct me if I've been mislead. Imitations soon followed with minor changes here and there. Most notably the Vibrashock Swimblade has won over many fishermen. Gambler Lures has their own Swimblade. Booyah has the Boogee Bait. Strike King has the Pure Poison. Zorro Baits has the Rattlin' Wing Ding. I know the guy at Doc Irv's Custom Baits made another swimblade, but I can't find it at his site anymore. Rad Lures has recently introduced the Chatterfrog. I'm fairly skeptical about a Chatterfrog. Each design offers a unique thump and subtle variations in action, so you have plenty to choose from.

Each company seems to have taken on a slightly different design approach. Some use a split ring to attach the blade to the jig head. Many come with plastic trailers made especially for this particular family of lures. Some skirts are long and others are cut short. Even the blade design can vary. The unique thump and action can be attributed to these subtle differences. Originally, the Chatterbait was attached right to the blade. It appears that now they use a split ring. So does Gambler. I can't tell from the photo whether or not the Pure Poison has a blade attached directly to the jig head or if it has a split ring. A split ring was supposed to add a little more side to side action and thump. The blade shape is essentially the same, although some are flat and others are curved backwards at the top. I would think this curved design might reduce some of the resistance the blade creates and change the feel of the lure completely, but maybe that was their intention. The Booyah Boogee Bait also has a rather odd looking blade I don't fully understand. The Vibrashock Swimblade recently underwent a change in design from a polygonal blade with well-defined corners to something a bit more rounded off. The same company has also introduced a spinnerbait with a blade like that in the front. Like any other lure, a subtle difference in design makes a world of difference on the water.

I have only used two of the above lures. I bought into the Chatterbait hype and it never caught anything for me. It had a lot of decent thump and I had one or two bumps by fish, but it never produced. I believe the two bumps I had were from gar. The trailer which shipped with the original Chatterbait smelled awful and did not do well in heat. It turned to sticky goo in my tackle box. I'm not sure if they changed that plastic to something more durable yet. The Vibrashock Swimblade was getting a lot of good press in my area and I bought the full clear-stained water kit from the guy who made them. I have caught many bass on this lure and it has won a few tournaments locally for a few folks. Like the Chatterbait, I do have a few problems with the Vibrashock. First, the paint on the football jig heads chips bad. I can't toss 'em into the trees without worrying about the paint. I hope he's changed the paint. The split ring catches in the hole of the blade so that the lure doesn't work as it should. Sometimes it takes a while to wedge the split ring free when that happens. The third problem I've had is with the snap lock attached to the blade. It has either opened up or become twisted on a few occasions in only one of the swimblades I received. The Vibrashock has, however, given me my second largest bass at 5lbs 11oz this spring. The photo is visible towards the bottom of this blog. I've even caught a nice 1lb crappie on one.

Looking at the others on the market, Gambler probably has a better reputation than Rad Lures in this realm. I don't know if I like the longer skirts on the Strike King Pure Poison and I definitely don't like the Zorro Bait version or the Booyah Boogee. Seeing as how the Strike King Pure Poison has a 3/16oz lure, I could see myself buying one that size to try against some crappie. I believe the guy that makes the Vibrashock has something in 3/16oz, but I think it's just a jig with a grub on it without a skirt. There is a new 3/16oz Chatterbait that I want to try out, but it's going to require some light tackle and a lot of patience to master.

I have a feeling now that I know how to work the lure, the Chatterbait might be a little more productive for me. Confidence is always key. I'm more apt to use the Gambler Swimblade over the others just because it's easier to get, but I'm still living off of my original swimblade kit for the time being.

Related Posts:
Swimblade Trailer Choices


beelziblog said...

I've been fishing chatters alot this year. I wade a lot of smaller or medium streams for SMB. Chatters caught me my last 3
20"ers of the year.

They don't catch as many fish, but they do catch large fish.

I love the 3/8ths oz size as it sinks fast.

The lure is nearly snagless as long as you keep a tight line.

Caught bass fishing the bait like a tube- slowly drug off the bottom as well as a search, they seem to really shine bouncing off wood!

Dug said...

With reference to the KaRu Lures Vibrashock, the paint chipping off is caused by the hard contact the blade makes as it swings back and forth. It seems to cause an EYE pattern on the football headed jig and in my mind, that's a good good thing.


BassFishingDem said...

You get an eye pattern? I seem to be getting a bald head/goatee pattern or a crack along the side.