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Best Paddle Tail Swimbait Tips for Bass Fishing (These Work!) | Bass Fishing

Best Paddle Tail Swimbait Tips for Bass Fishing (These Work!) | Bass Fishing

Glenn: There we go. Oh, he took it. Wow. You
know when they want it when they do that. That’s awesome guys. Awesome. Boy, he took
it. All right. Hey folks, Glenn May here with
Today, I want to talk to you about fishing the Paddle Tail Swimbait. That is, some people
call this a Boot Tail swimbait. It’s got that little… Let me get right up to here. This
little puppy right here. You guys have seen these before with that little tail right there.
That’s what I’m talking about. This little six-inch. This is the Rage Swimmer right here.
I love this bait. There’s a lot out on the market. There’s a lot of different ways to
fish it. They’re extremely popular baits. So, I’m going to go through and show you guys
how to fish this. First of all, we’re going to go with rigging. And then I’m going to
show you a lot of different tricks and tips for fishing this bait, starting with the rigging. So, what we want to do with is starting off
with the hook. There’s two different schools of thought here on rigging. A lot of people
like to use a screw-lock hook. 4/0 screw-lock. Well, first of all, you have to have a keel
weight, my opinion. I like to use a quarter ounce keel weighted bait. It keeps the bait
running straight. But this is the screw-lock right there. See that? It’s hard to see. Maybe
against my hand, you can see a little bit better. But, typically, what that screw-lock
does is, see it hangs like that with the bait, with the hook. Just like that. So, you screw that into the nose of the bait.
Just, like, you literally screw it in. And it holds the bait in place, and then you can
rig it. Texas rig like so. It sits in just like that. I’m not a big fan of screw-locks. At least
for this bait. The reason being is no matter how I rig it, I don’t know what I’m doing
wrong. But every time, it’s just a little bit off center from the eye of the hook, either
one side or the other. So, it runs a little bit cock-eyed. Just like that. A little bit
sideways on me. I’m not a big fan of that. I don’t like that. Now, maybe I’m doing it
wrong, and you guys have a tip for that. But I haven’t been able to rig it perfectly straight
with a screw-lock. So, instead, I just use a standard keel baited
hook like this. The problem is you’re like, “Okay, cool. Well, how do you rig it?” Well,
if you try to rig it regular Texas style, what you do is you go right down the nose.
Straight down the nose. Right down the middle. Just like you normally do. Right to the bend
of the hook. You flip it out. You start to go through and you’re “Oh well, hold on, hold
on, hold on. I hit that weight.” What are you going to do? Are you just going to push
it on through and tear up your bait? No. Now that you’ve made that little channel, we’re
going to use that. Let’s back that up a minute. We’re just going
to take that eye and now go right back through that hole we made, and it will go right back
in just like so. All right. It goes right back in. Sorry. Right through. Boom. Out it
comes. Perfect. So, you first make that little channel, and now you can rig it right through.
It’s perfect. When you rig it, you just want to Texas rig. Tex-pose it, if you want to
call it that. But I just like the skin hook a little bit. Bring it right through. And
that’s how it’s rigged. Perfect. Okay? I’ll take that hook point and put that in a little
bit. Now, I can bring it in cover without it getting snagged on anything. Okay. So, this rig that I’ve set it up right
here, this is a weedless type setup. The reason I’ve done it this way is a lot of the stuff
I fish in is weedy. Lots of flooded brush cover. Lots of submerged weeds. And I don’t
want this to get hung up. However, if I were fishing in a lot of rocks and open water,
another way you can rig it is with a jig head. And that just simply is a weight in the front,
and then the hook comes out the top and it’s exposed. I don’t have any of those with me
because I’m not fishing those on this lake. But that’s another way to rig and fish these
baits is with an open jig head. The thing is with those is you are going to get hung
up. So, make sure that you’re only fishing areas where there’s not a whole lot of weeds
and stuff. Okay. Now that I showed you how to rig the
bait, let me show you what kind of equipment that I’m using. In this case, I’m using a
medium-heavy. A 7-foot medium-heavy power rod with a fast action tip. That’s the kind
of rod you want to be using in all sorts of bass fishing. In this case, I’m using it for
paddle tail. I rig with it. I’m using 30-pound Fireline Ultra 8 line. I use that because
what I’m doing a lot of times is I’m fan casting. I’m covering a lot of water and that Ultra
8 is great for long casting. It’s designed for that. So, I can get long, long casts on
that. The line is no give to it, so it’s ultra-sensitive. So, I can feel that bite when the fish is
way out there and hits the bait. I can tell that it’s a strike. And with it, I’m using the Abu Garcia Revo
SX reel. I’ve got in the 7.3:1 gear ratio. I like it a little bit fast because I like
to bring that bait back pretty quick. This s a reaction kind of bite. So, I like to move
the bait pretty fast. Personally, I like to cover a lot of water, so I’m reeling it rather
fast. So, 7-3 is a pretty good size reel gear ratio. I don’t need a super high-speed reel.
So, you don’t need to spend the money on that just for fishing these baits. But if I happen
to have one of those, I’ll use that as well. But the 7-3 works really well for me. The
drag on it is what I like. It’s a 24-pound drag on it. Super strong. Super smooth. It’s
great for fishing these baits. If they tend to bury up a little bit in the cover, I can
wrench them out. Because, again, that’s what I throw these in. So, that’s the bait that
I’m using. That’s the setup. Now that I have all that, let me show you how to fish it. There we go. You got a face full of swimbait.
Paddle tail. Come on. Give me your face. There you go. Boy. Look at the mouth. Like that.
Not a huge fish but, you know, how can they get big if they’re not small first. Ate that
paddle tail. I’ll let you go. Okay. So, the first technique that I want
to show you is very simple, straight-forward, and works surprisingly well. And that’s just
your simple retrieve. All you’re doing, you’re casting it out there. In this case, it might
be over the tops of weeds, over some rocks. You might be throwing it next to a weed line.
Something where the bass are hiding where they can come out and ambush fish. It’s just
a nice, steady retrieve. It’s nothing real too crazy. I’ve got my rod tip down. And I’ve
got it to the side. That way I can feel the strikes a lot better, and I’m in a hook set
position. You don’t want your rods sitting way up here.
I’ve got the line out. You don’t want your rod, when you’re casting this, and when you’re
retrieving it. Unless you’re…you want it right near the surface. Say, for example,
the weeds are right under the surface, you don’t want your rod way up here. Because you’re
not in a hook set position. If a fish bites it, you have to remember to bring your hook
down. You bring your rod down. Reel it up really quick, that slack line, and then set
the hook. It’s kind of difficult to do. So, you got to keep your rod tip down here, and
just a nice slow, steady retrieve works really well. Sometimes what I like to do, when I’m
retrieving, I’ll give it a pause if I see like a little hole in the weeds. I like to
drop it down the weeds. I’ll pause it and let it kind of just flutter down in there,
and sometimes that will draw a strike. Another way I like to fish it is burning it
back. This is great when you have just submergent weeds right under the surface. You bring it
back at a good clipping speed where it just barely breaks the surface where the paddle
tail just might be bulging the surface just a little bit. But you’re bringing it back
really fast. You’re looking for that reaction strike. This is great for warmer months. In
the spring, all the way through the Fall, you’re going right along the weed lines. You
want to get that fish to react to it, so you’re bringing it right towards the surface. This
is great for early morning bites. Especially, if they don’t want to hit buzz baits, this
is a more subtle approach, and you can usually get that bite. Especially, if that sun starts
to come up and starts hitting the surface and they’ve been hitting surface lures, that’s
a real good lure to switch to so you can keep that topwater bite going. So, the next retrieve is almost the opposite
of that. Actually, it really is. It’s great for when fish are feeding off of bottom fish.
For example, gobies and sculpin and even crawdads. But what I like to do is let it…I cast it
out. Let it sit on the bottom. Bring the rod tip down low. And here I’m just crawling it
on the bottom. I want to mimic that bait fish that feeds off the bottom. This works especially
well in the winter time. When the crawfish are hibernating, you’ll get sculpin and gobies
and whatnot that are sitting on the bottom of the lake feeding. That’s what the bass
are feeding off of then. Sitting right on the bottom. So, you’re just dragging along
the bottom. Now, one way to do it is with the reel, which works in the warmer months
because you’re moving it pretty fast. But in the colder months, what I like to do is
I like to reel up, bring my rod tip here, and just drag it along with my rod tip. Here it’s a lot easier to feel the bite rather
than doing it with your reel. Then you get all the way to here, reel all the way back
over, and then do it again. Just drag it with your rod tip. That way you’re getting a little
pause in the action, too. You’re not doing it too fast. You can really pay attention
to how fast you are moving that bait because as fast as you’re moving the rod tip is how
fast you’re moving the bait. If you’re doing it with your reel it’s a little hard to visualize
that. Plus you get a lot more sensitivity when you have it out on the side like that.
That works exceptionally well when those fish are just hugging the bottom. Feeding off the
bottom. Feeding off those little bait fish. Sitting on the bottom does a really good job. A lot of people don’t fish it that way, so
try it that way when the bites off. Now, another way I like to fish this bait is a little bit
unorthodox, but I like to use it as a pitching and flipping lure. Again, I’ve got the same
setup. But, if I come across some cover or something that looks appealing to me, I’ll
actually pitch right out there to it, and let it drop straight down like I would a jig
or a worm. I fish it exactly like that. And it can work really, really well. And if you
don’t think it does, watch this clip. Glenn: There’s a bass right there. Woman: There you go. So you can …. Oh. Oh,
oh, got the tail, got the tail, got the tail. There you go. Glenn: There you go. Oh, my… Geez. Woman: Look at that. Glenn: Geez. It just whacked it. Woman: They might be little, but… Glenn: This fish. Woman: …they’re fun. Glenn: They’re aggressive. Whenever they grow
that big they’re fun to catch. Woman: Little paddle tail is almost the size
of your hand. Glenn: See, that’s a lot of fun. Sight fishing
is fun, but you saw that fish react to it. I pitched it out there and it was a straight
drop. That fish hit it before it even hit the bottom. So, pitching works really well. Now, one last one is a lot of people like
to fish it weightless. I don’t have it rigged up that way right now. But, if you fish it
without any weight on that keel weighted hook like I’ve shown you that works exceptionally
well. You throw it out there and just reel it very, very slowly and let that paddle tail
just slowly wiggle along, and that works really well, too. So, that’s another great way to
fish these baits. All right. If you watched the video this long,
now I want to give you some really good tips for maximizing how many fish you can catch
with these paddle tails. I’m telling you what. There’s a lot of guys who stopped watching
this at this point, so you guys are the ones that are going to have it over on them when
you’re fishing these baits. So, here’s the great tips. First of all, you want to match the hatch.
The first thing you want to do is if the fish are feeding on rainbow trout or sculpin or
if it’s gobies or whatever is the main forage base in your lake perch, bluegill, what have
you, you want that bait to match that color and match the action of that bait fish. So,
pay attention to that very closely and see what the fish are feeding on, and that will
up your odds. Here’s another quick tip. If the action of
the paddle tail is just a little too slow, and you want to bring it back faster. Especially,
say, for example, you’re fishing it weightless and you want to bring it back quick. But that
little tail isn’t going to let you. You can grab a pocket knife and carve out some of
the plastic around that tail and make it a smaller tail. I haven’t done it on this one,
but I’m just telling you where to do it. Carve around that and get some of that plastic off
of it. Now that tail’s going to wiggle a lot faster, and it’s going to allow you to bring
that weightless bait back quicker. Or, if you just want a faster action on the tail
you can do it that way. Just carve it off. Another thing you can do with this tail is
just dip it in some Chartreuse dye. In my neck of the woods, the fish are feeding on
bluegill all the time. Especially in the summertime, and actually, this is throughout the United
States, fish feed on bluegill in the summertime way more than they are doing it in the crayfish.
So, what you want to do is dip that this tail in some Chartreuse dye and make it look a
little more like a bluegill. Something else that you want to do with these
paddle tails. A lot of guys don’t take the time to do this, but you want that bait to
mimic the prey. And I’m not talking about the color or size. I’m talking about how it
moves in the water. Study it. Watch YouTube videos. Watch other videos. Study how these
fish move naturally in the water. They don’t just come in a straight line all the time.
They don’t just stop and go. But they go one way. They slow down. They pause. They move
a little bit more. It’s a little erratic. So, pay attention to how they swim. Then,
go to a swimming pool. Hopefully, you’ve got one or maybe you know a buddy that does. But
go toss it in a swimming pool and practice mimicking that fish. You want to mimic the
way it moves in the water. A swimming pool is a great way to do it. Or if you have a
lake that’s super clear where you can practice that. But, that’s what you want to learn is
that technique. Another thing you want to do when you’re fishing
these baits is make sure your hooks are really sharp. Carry a hook sharpener with you, and
always check your hooks. Especially when you’re fishing it out in rocks where you’re hitting
it all the time. It doesn’t take more than just bumping it a few more times, then your
hook is dull. So, always check your hooks and make sure they’re super, super sharp. One other tip. This is a fun one, but this
is great in the Fall and in the colder months. A lot of guys, you’re used to fishing. You’re
used to positioning your boat out and throwing it against the shoreline. That’s what we always
do because the fish are in the cover. But in the winter time, a lot of times the fish
are moved out. In the Fall, the fish will move out. So, what you want to do is take
your boat, position it shallow, and cast out into deeper water. In this instance, you just
cast it out and you drag it along the bottom. You want it to move along the bottom nice
and slowly. Bumping it along erratically. Bringing it up shallow. And a lot of times
the fish are positioned down there and boom, you’ll get nailed. So, that’s a great technique
that a lot of people don’t do, and so a lot of fish don’t see that presentation. So, be
sure to do that when the water temperatures are cold. There we go. Good fish. Here we go. Stay down!
Come here. Here we go baby, come onboard. Look at that. How do you like that, guys?
Wow. Again, right in the roof of the mouth. That’s where you want them. That’s a good
fish right there. Nice four-pounder right here. Alright, ready? And that’s how you fish those paddle tails.
I hope those tips help. For more tips and tricks, visit

100 comments on “Best Paddle Tail Swimbait Tips for Bass Fishing (These Work!) | Bass Fishing

  1. Another great video. Already watched it twice. The underwater view is also way cool. So much information thanks Glen.

  2. Stop watching before the story is over  ?  only when we are sitting in our rocking chair telling fish stories  Thanks again Glen

  3. Flipping them is a good way.
    Caught a bunch one day on Potomac that way in grass pocket holes at high tide.
    They wouldn't chase em but killed it dropping by their face

  4. Liked technique for threading swimbait on a weighted hook. You can try cutting nose off of swimbait then try inserting keeper into swimbait. That might help. Have caught fish in heavy reeds using a swimbait rigged weedless.

  5. What in the world?! That tip for texas rigging without shoving the weight through the bait is genius, thanks!

  6. Thanks for the "secret tips" at the end of your video. as a sidebar; What lake (& State) are you fishing in this video?

  7. I agree with the screw lock thing- i've never had success with those. I also feel like the hook doesn't sit as well in the back part of the bait – at least not the ones I've been using. Overall a great video and technique, can' wait to try it out. Thank you bass resource.

  8. I like this bait after the spawn and late summer. We go to creek/river channels, cast let it sink to the bottom and slow roll along the bottom. We usually dip the tail in the chartreuse Spike-it. We catch a lot of big bass (six pounds and UP) in Lake El Salto Mexico with this technique.

  9. I just ordered some hoping to catch some bass. Just started to fish n tried the ned rig but no luck. The lake I tried has slot of weeds n like milfoil so I'll try to go weedless like you show w a weight.

  10. thanks for that simple solution. i slapped myself for not coming up with that myself. I just jammed the bait through the lead and hope for the best.

  11. Finicky spots sometimes eat them. I've caught fish with the slow technique of fishing them off the bottom & hopping the bait.

  12. Swimbaits fish through lilly pads make a great addition to ones arsenal. I've found when the bass are missing the frog and not fully committing to it, I can throw a swimbait in there and pause it in the openings and get the fish to hit it.

  13. I've only ever used paddle tails in the winter time. I throw them in the summer but very rarely. If my local fish are on a moving bait bite I tend to go for cranks and squarebills. I'm going to have to get a few packages to try out before fall gets here.

  14. I have never before seen that trick on how to rig a weighted hook in a swimbait by first inserting hook, then removing and going in the exit hole with the eye. Good tip. Also "match the hatch' is a tip for many baits so it is good to have it confirmed that it applies to swimbaits too.

  15. They are fun to use, and thanks for the chance to win the 360 but why in the email sent today or yesterday you said a winner will be chosen 27th of July, that was a month ago, I wish I was still July

  16. Just getting back into fishing. I hear "match the hatch" all of the time but what resource do I use to find out what the hatch is in any given lake?

  17. I've tried for years to catch on paddle tails and haven't had much success. I think partly because I give up on it sooner than other baits. the action in the water is crazy cool though

  18. I love using paddletails, but I use them as trailers on larger spinnerbaits. With so many other lure options – especially soft plastics – I've never used a paddletail on its own. Maybe it's time to give them a try.

  19. Mystery solved
    The channel with the hook point ….
    Just always used a screw lock
    Now I can use the other style weighted hook

    Thanks Glenn

  20. Have fish them since last spring when my son-in-law bought some and gave me a pack. Great action on weighted hooks as well as the screw hooks the host has problems with. Don't feel too left out, I have the same problem with them not retrieving straight. Thanks for the tips, great video

  21. Wonderful vid Glen, appreciate the rigging options and retrieve techniques of the swimbait fishing. I liked the option of trimming the tail. And I liked the fall technique of fishing the swimbait out to deeper water from the shallows.

  22. Awesome timing I just bought some of these ! Thanks for the tip on rigging them (weedie LOL) Take care of that fishing elbow , those straps work great to give your tendons some rest while still be able to fish 🙂

  23. if you have trouble using a regular screw lock, use a owner center pin screw lock, keeps it straight and easy to rig.

  24. Excellent video and information on my favorite style of swimbaits. Paddletail swimbaits have been awesome this year for me. I am more partial to using jigheads my ratio have been better though I have tried the keel weighted ewg hooks.

  25. Great technique that I am currently using on Guntersville and chickamauga lakes. Also a great rig for kids because of the seedless presentation, and because there is no wrong way to retrieve it.

  26. Fantastic info and tips as always. I really liked the Texas rig tip I too dislike screw locks. I appreciate the time and effort you put into these videos.

  27. Good video for beginners getting into the game. For some, this is redundant info. Swimbaits work sporadically for me, definitely not my go-to for bass. The 3-4" versions are great for walleye all year.

  28. thanks for the tip on how to rig your swimbait I never thought about doing it that way I love to fish paddle tail baits as well

  29. I like the action of the paddle tail baits, there are times when they hit this bait over others, great video as always

  30. 1/4, 3/8, or 1/2oz Jighead with a stout hook or a 3/8oz swimjig, 3.75-4" paddle tail are perfect for SMB and LMB. Pike like em too

  31. Great tips Glenn! I use a a 5/0 1/16oz swim bait hook with a screw lock that has a centering pin. I throw it on a MH with 50lb braid.
    With this set up I start out with a horny toad across pads and grass. I can then change to a mag speed worm or rage craw buzz it and drop it into holes. I’ll put on a paddle tail and work the edges. I’ve also put a large stick bait (fat ace) with a spinner in the tail and have had success with that. I can fish all morning with the same rig just switching baits (another tip I got from Glenn).

  32. I haven't fished much with swimbaits, but after your tips on this video I feel like I can give it a try. I'm glad i stuck around for the entire video! Thanks for the tips!

  33. Email said awarded Jul 27th got on Aug 20th however still love your posting . I use swim baits you r so right about the screw in hooks I have noticed that. Nice trick on hooks will have to try that.. What size weight do u use?? 30 lb fire line.. will have to switch to that been using 20lb.. going to try burning it back and the bottom drag.. Pitching?? really never thought of that..Matching makes sense..gotta remember the colder months tip..nice fish at the end..Love ya Glenn

  34. I prefer the screw lock because I fish Kietech and they're a little more pricey than some of the other brands. I get more life out of them with the screw locks.

  35. I know they catch fish but they are a technique to cover water but still slower than I usually fish a crank bait. Hard to make myself slow down.

  36. I've really wanted to try these particular swimbaits and my friend uses them all the time for smallmouth fishing.

  37. I have quite a few swimbaits but not much confidence in them. After seeing this video I think it will be easier for me to give them a much longer try . I don't give them much time but think that the next time I go out it will be with just swimbaits in order to give them a fair chance. video was great

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