Simple Swimbait Rigs
With swimbaits being so much in vogue among pro bass fishermen these days, more and more weekend anglers are attempting to try these seemingly simple baits. Unfortunately, as effective as swimbaits can be when rigged properly, they can be just as ineffective when rigged wrong. And, they tend to be a bit finicky when it comes to accepting a hook. Rather than fiddle with basic terminal tackle, most bass fishermen would be wise to invest in a manufactured swim bait rig. Two of the best are produced right here in Texas - the Stanley SwimMax Head and the Creme ChangeUp.
The SwimMax is essentially a modified hook and comes in both weighted and unweighted versions. When rigged on a SwimMax hook, swimbaits will be entirely weedless. The process for putting a swimbait on a SwimMax hook is very simple: 1) screw the wire screw into the nose of the bait, 2) place the hook through the belly slit of the bait and hook it 'Texas-style,' with the point buried in the back of the bait.
Utilizing the ChangeUp, which could best be described as a hook harness, is just as simple: 1) screw the wire screw into the nose of the bait, 2) insert the 'L' shaped wire into the belly of the bait.
Because the wire screw on each of these rigs allows for a little post-placement adjustment, lining baits up straight is not nearly as difficult as it is with a worm hook or jig head. However, at this point, you may be wondering why you would need two ways to rig a swimbait. Like all lures and rigs, each of these methods have their strengths and weaknesses. By arming yourself with both, you can literally cover any situation that arises.
Although both rigs are pretty weedless, the SwimMax, due to the buried hook placement, is the better choice for fishing extremely dense cover or thick hydrilla. Swimbaits rigged on a SwimMax also offer a streamlined profile, which is excellent for skipping baits under docks. It is also the best bet anytime a bait is to be bumped along the bottom. The buried hookpoint, however, will occasionally interfere with hooksetting.
The exposed hooks on the ChangeUp, on the other hand, lend to a higher hookup ratio. When used with the backward facing double-hook it comes packaged with, the ChangeUp is weedless enough to most situations. And, when fishing open water, the double hook can be replaced with a treble, giving it an even higher hookup ratio. Because of the higher hookup ratio, the ChangeUp is the absolute best option for open water work or fishing moderate cover.
Essentially, the ChangeUp and SwimMax both offer advantages in different circumstances. And, they are each easy enough to use that even a grade schooler could properly rig a swimbait with them. If you're one of the thousands of bass fishermen trying to tempt bass with a swimbait, there's really no reason to keep wrestling with conventional hooks and heads.