Home Product Reviews and Resources 8 Best Swimbaits for Bass Fishing

8 Best Swimbaits for Bass Fishing

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Looking at the Best Swimbaits for Bass Fishing

The world of bass fishing can be pretty complicated. There are so many lures to choose from, so how do you decide what to throw? Below, we will review a list of what many may consider the eight best swimbaits for bass on the market today.

Keep in mind that any list of “best” anything is bound to be subjective, but every selection below holds universally strong reviews across the bass fishing community.

Strike King Rage Swimmer

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Photo via Christian Schultz/Premier Angler

Pros:

  • Nice action
  • Multiple color choices
  • Different size options
  • Fairly priced

Cons:

  • Prone to deterioration after extended use

Length:

  • 2-3/4″
  • 3-1/4″
  • 3-3/4″
  • 4-3/4″
  • 5-3/4″

Color Selections

  • Lavender Shad
  • Silver Shiner
  • Ghost Shad
  • Electric Shad
  • Green Pumpkin
  • Green Pumpkin/Pearl Belly
  • KVD Magic
  • Green Gizzard Shad
  • Tennesse Shad
  • Sexy Shad
  • Pearl Flash
  • Blue Bug
  • Morning Dawn
  • Pro Blue/Red Pearl
  • AYU

The Rage Swimmer by Strike King is one swimbait that should be in every angler’s arsenal. Not only is this an affordable and fairly durable soft plastic, but it is also super fun to throw! Even if you aren’t bringing fish into the boat, this is probably one of the most enjoyable lures to toss throughout the day.

The Rage Swimmer comes in multiple different colors and sizes. That said, there are three colors that are tried-and-tested that should be in your cart when it comes time to make your next purchase: pearl flash, ghost shad and pro blue/red pearl.

  • Pearl Flash
  • Ghost Shad
  • Pro Blue/Red Pearl

Again, the biggest selling point of the Rage Swimmer is the action! The tail on the Rage Swimmer offers a fluid side-to-side presentation which not only produces a natural look, but also attracts bites!

If you enjoy more of a multi-species approach, The Rage Swimmer is also a great choice. The presentation can attract multiple different species including as black bass, hybrids, walleye and saugeye, just to name a few.

Check Price at Bass Pro Shops

Zoom Swimmin’ Super Fluke Jr.

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Photo via Christian Schultz/Premier Angler

Pros:

  • Natural action
  • Multiple color choices
  • Solid value: Ten swimbaits in a pack

Cons:

  • Limited length options (compared to other swimbaits)

Length:

  • 4″

Colors Selections

  • Sexy Shad
  • White Pearl
  • Albino
  • Houdini
  • Tennessee Shad
  • Smokin Shad
  • White Ice
  • Bluegill Flash
  • Watermelon/Red Flake

The Zoom Swimmin’ Super Fluke Jr. is essentially a fluke body with a paddle tail on the end. This construction offers a nice flutter action at the rear of the bait while it is moving through the water.

The Super Fluke Jr. is slightly smaller than the original Super Fluke and can be fished weighted with a 1/8th oz. jig head. Many anglers also opt to fish the Fluke Jr. un-weighted with an EWG hook.

The Albino, Sexy Shad, and White Pearl are three solid color choices to consider when picking up a Swimmin’ Super Fluke Jr.

Check Price at Bass Pro Shops

Berkley PowerBait Agent E

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Photo via Christian Schultz/Premier Angler

Pros:

  • Great action
  • Versatile
  • Built-in guard above hook

Cons:

  • Color selection
  • Only two swimbaits come in a pack

Length:

  • 3″
  • 3-3/4″

Color Selections

  • HD Gizzard Shad
  • HD Chartreuse Shad
  • HD Bluegill
  • HD Yellow Perch

Berkley’s Agent E swimbait presents with a natural, lifelike action. The swimming presentation emulates a small bait fish. This helps make the Agent E an easy feeding option for a bass which, like many other species, are opportunistic feeders.

Slow rolling, burning, and steady retrieving while bumping it off the bottom accompanied with its built-in rattle turns heads underwater.

The Agent E also has a semi-circle guard over the hook that helps to keep from getting hung up in weeds but also allows enough flexibility for the fish to get hooked up.

This swimbait was also designed by 2016 Bassmaster Classic champion Edwin Evers, giving it an extra level of credibility.

Check Price at Bass Pro Shops

Berkley Powerbait Gilly

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Photo via Christian Schultz/Premier Angler

Pros:

  • Great for targeting big bass
  • Lifelike presentation

Cons:

  • Can take damage fairly quick
  • Not many come in a pack
  • Limited selection of colors

Length:

  • 3-1/2″
  • 4-1/3″

Color Selections

  • HD Pumpkinseed
  • IKE’s Green Pumpkin/Blue Flash
  • Green Pumpkin
  • Black Blue Fleck

Though the Berkley Powerbait Gilly hit the market in 2021, it has already shown considerable success – especially when targeting big fish.

The design mimics the swimming action and appearance of a bluegill (or other sunfish) in the water, giving the bass an extremely natural presentation to follow and strike.

Despite being a larger bait, the Gilly can still produce some smaller bass bites as well. The softer body can produce strikes from black bass and “toothy” predators of many sizes.

The Gilly is available in a few different sizes and can be rigged multiple different ways, depending on your intended presentation.

Need more incentive to pick up the Gilly? It was designed by ultra-popular (and ultra-successful) 2003 Bassmaster Classic champion Mike Iaconelli.

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STORM Arashi Swimmer

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Photo via Christian Schultz/Premier Angler

Pros:

  • Lifelike presentation
  • Natural forage colors
  • Comes with extra tail attachment

Cons:

  • One of the more expensive swimbaits on the market

Length:

  • 7″

Weight:

  • 2-3/16 oz.

Color Selections Include

  • Oikawa Mesu
  • Blue Back Herring
  • Black Silver Shad
  • Threadfin Shad
  • Rainbow Trout

The Arashi Swimmer by STORM is a multi-jointed hard body swim bait that can be used to target multiple different species including big bass.

This jointed bait, coupled with its different color schemes (such as Trout, Shad, and Herring) give the angler some great, lifelike presentation and action that is best utilized when chasing giant, pre-spawn largemouth.

The Arashi Swimmer remains one of the highest-rated swimbaits on the market, but it also comes with a heftier price tag than most others on the market. In fact, you can purchase several of the swimbaits on this list for this cost of just one Arsashi Swimmer.

If you are specifically targeting large fish and don’t mind spending a little extra money on a high-end product, though, this is an excellent option to have equipped in your tackle box.

Check Price at Bass Pro Shops

Megabass Dark Sleeper Swimbait

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Photo via Christian Schultz/Premier Angler

Pros:

  • Great action
  • Fairly priced
  • Guard around hook

Cons:

  • 1 lure per pack

Length:

  • 2-3/8″
  • 3″
  • 3.8″

Weight:

  • 1/4 oz.
  • 3/8 oz.
  • 1/2 oz.
  • 3/4 oz.
  • 1 oz.

Color Selections

  • Clear Chartreuse
  • Wakasagi
  • Haze
  • Mutsugorou
  • Hanahaze
  • Shirauo
  • Donko
  • Biwako Yoshinobori
  • Dark Shad

The Dark Sleeper from Megabass is an internally weighted swimbait (like the Agent E by Berkley).

While the two swimbaits are alike in many ways, there are plenty of differences in both designs.

The Dark Sleeper is surprisingly natural in its presentation, from its lifelike paddle-tail to the hook guard (which is two soft, plastic dorsal fins that surround the hook making the bait easy to pull through weeds) but it is also pliable enough for a bass to easily compress the soft plastic fins and get hooked.

Running the bottom with this swimbait can produce reaction bites from wary or sluggish fish that aren’t roaming around actively looking for a meal.

Check Price on Bass Pro Shops

STORM WildEye Swim Shad

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Photo via Christian Schultz/Premier Angler

When choosing a bait to match the forage hatch in a body of water its hard to look over the WildEye Swim Shad by STORM. Easy to fish right out of the package which can be retrieved slow or fast with subtle pauses or no pauses at all. The wildeye’s larger paddle tail and its holographic flash foil helps it to stand out from the rest of the baitfish in its area while fished. Great bait for beginners to pick up and try out since the wildeye is easy to rig and the retrieve isn’t complicated with different cadences.

Pros:

  • Good for beginners
  • Fairly priced
  • Color selection

Cons:

  • No weed guard

Length:

  • 2″
  • 3″
  • 4″

Weight:

  • 1/8 oz.
  • 1/4 oz.
  • 7/16 oz.

Color Selections

  • Firetiger
  • Pearl
  • Natural Shad
  • Olive Shad
  • Yellow Perch
  • Shad
  • Shiner Chartreuse Silver
  • Bluegill
Check Price on Bass Pro Shops

STORM WildEye Live Crappie

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Photo via Christian Schultz/Premier Angler

Pros:

  • Realistic action
  • Lifelike color
  • Fairly priced

Cons:

  • One color option

Length:

  • 2″
  • 3″

Weight:

  • 1/4 oz.
  • 5/16 oz.

Color Selections

  • Crappie

If it looks like a crappie and swims like a crappie…

The STORM WildEye Live Crappie comes pre-rigged (like many other swimbaits) but it is specifically designed to increase hook-up rate.

The Live Crappie is equipped with a single “J-style” hook on its dorsal fin, as well as a treble hook on its pectoral fin. This increases the chances of the hooks catching a predator fish’ lips regardless of where the initial strikes lands.

This swimbait is a solid option for beginners. It is also a good choice for times when the water is clear. If this is your first time using this lure, casting the Live Crappie around the outside of weed beds, edges of laydowns, and rocks is a good start.

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What are Swimbaits, and Why Should You Use Them?

When using any type of artificial fishing lure, the ultimate goal is to attract predator fish. When you throw a live minnow, even if it has a hook through its mouth or tail, it will present a natural movement in the water that will attract species that typically eat minnows.

When using a swimbait, then, the goal is the same: present the lure in a way that will produce a strike.

Types of Swimbaits

As you have probably noticed from the selection above, there are two “primary” categories of swimbaits: hard-body and soft-body. Within these two distinctions are countless “sub-categories” are it is easy to get caught up in the trap of over-categorizing these swimbaits.

An argument can be made that paddle tails (like the Rage Swimmer by Strike King or the BioSpawn Exoswim) and glide baits (like the Savage Gear 3D Glide Bait) should be their own, distinct categories, but that is a discussion for another day.

Hard-Body Swimbaits: These hard-bodies swimbaits will be composed similarly to crankbaits with bodies made of either wood or plastic. If you have read our review on the Top 8 Crankbaits, you may be wondering what is the difference between crankbaits and swimbaits, and that is a fair questions.

Typically, crankbaits are designed for a fast retrieval (hence the name “crank” – you want to rip that lure in quickly). Swimbaits, on the other hand, are designed for a more natural retrieval to emulate the natural swimming patterns (and presentation) of the bait fish that serve as their inspiration.

Soft-Body Swimbaits: Fortunately, it is easier to tell the difference between soft-body swimbaits and crankbaits because the lures in this category of swimmers are, as the name suggests, soft and gel-bodied. Like their hard-bodied counterparts, soft-body swimbaits are also intended to emulate the movements of a fish-in-water. Many anglers believe that the soft-bodies (like the aforementioned Zoom Swimmin’ Super Fluke Jr.) are superior in presentation. You will also get several lures per package, so while they are prone to deterioration with time (and, hopefully, success), you also get the most bang for your buck.

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