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Lure Review

WTF!! A Big Bait Side Dish : BaitSmith's 5" Shad


Date: 4/11/11
Tackle type: Lures
Manufacturer: BaitSmith
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 8.25 - GREAT

Pick any technique within bass fishing, go through the sub-techniques within the larger and you soon realize each realm within itself is made up of several categories. One constant subcategory within just about every technique you can think of is the practice of slowing down and downsizing. in other words, finesse. The world of big baits is no stranger to this sub-category either with a plethora of smaller sized baits designed to entice the big bite. A common theme when looking for finesse style big baits to throw? Shad. These ubiquitous baitfish have been a recent favorite amongst big bait manufacturers presenting devotees with a real, and realistic alternative to tossing eight inch and larger baits. One such product that's been hiding in my tackle box? BaitSmith's very realistic five inch soft bodied shad.


BaitSmith 5" Shad Specifications

Type Soft Bodied Swimbait
Depth Any
Class Top Hook Soft Bait
Size (Measured Weight) 5" / 1.1 oz
Supplied Hook unknown brand
Colors / Patterns Three
No. per pack one
MSRP $18


Introducing BaitSmith's 5" Shad.


Impressions: BaitSmith’s Five Inch Shad bait debuted early in 2009 and I remember being very excited to see this bait. It was a smaller bait alternative to their very popular six-inch baits, but at the time, it was one of only a handful of shad profile alternatives. Combine that with the fact that the actual profile of this shad bait was very realistic and it was an easy decision to pull the trigger on this bait.

Note the fine detailing of gills and fins on this soft plastic bait.

Somehow, during the excitement of our Year of the Crank and our subsequent Search For One campaigns, I had forgotten about this fine little shad bait, but when preparing for What the Finesse, it did not take long for me to rediscover this gem.

There are hook attachment loops at the bottom of the bait and on top, behind the dorsal for custom rigging.

The 5” Shad is, of course, five inches long. It tips our scale at 1.1 ounces though specifications claim it to be only three quarters of an ounce. It could very well be the current version of these baits is lighter than the original. Regardless, the important thing to note here is while this bait is still a decent size compared to conventional baits, its weight is such that it can be thrown on just about any heavy powered bass combo, so in big bait terms, it really is a finesse style swimbait.

When not in use, the extra rigging loops are well concealed.

It comes with a jig style hook and a very unique v-shaped tail that is a more cut version of the tail found on BaitSmith’s original six-inch bait. There is a loop at the bottom of the bait and at the top, behind the dorsal fin for securing of stinger hooks if you choose. When a stinger was called for, I used an Owner stinger hook harness looped onto the line tie and then extended down and secured along the back of the bait.

Another option for rigging is to loop a pre-rigged harness on the line tie.

Even up close the detailing on this bait is really good.

Field Tests: I fished this bait the majority of the time on my Phenix Ultra MBX 707H paired with a Daiwa 50th Anniversary Zillion spooled with 14lb Toray HiClass fluorocarbon. Naturally, casting this 1.1 ounce bait on this combo proved to be just fine but what I like about this 7’7” heavy powered Phenix stick is, I could use it to pitch this bait with precision to visible structure too.

Baitsmith moves away from the popular wedge style tail on this bait ...

Next Section: The Baitsmith Shad goes to Mexico









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