8inch (6 & 10" also available)
Swimbaits like the
Basstrix are not miracle baits that will catch huge fish every time you use
them. While they definitely are effective at landing large fish they also take
plenty of perseverance and commitment from anglers to exercise effectively.
Anglers who fish swimbaits are hoping to land a few “quality” fish rather than a
large quantity of smaller fish. During tournaments few pros will turn to large swimbaits until after filling the live well with a few fish. Once they have
reached a worthy weigh in weight they may then turn to a swimbait for a chance
to boat a hawg.
Meet the Basstrix Swimbait,
featuring attractive hand poured construction
There is no one swimbait that
can do it all, just like hard baits, each swimbait is designed for a certain
range of use. A light swimbait is better suited for shallow clear water, while
the mongo sized swimbaits can be used effectively in water as deep as 40+ feet.
The Basstrix falls in the medium to heavy category and is useful for targeting
mid to deep holding fish. The lure is hand poured and features very nice color
and pattern distribution throughout the length of the body. Unlike some other
swimbaits which feature numerous protruding fins the Basstrix is more like a
silhouette, with small aerodynamic bumps in the place of fins. The lure also
features nice holographic eyes which are well beneath the clear surface skin of
The action of this lure comes from
it's enlarged knob tail
for fishing the Basstrix 8" Swimbait
GLoomis MUR844C (MUSKIE)|
Shimano Calcutta 250|
lb. Trilene Big Game|
Swimbaits have proven
effective over the entire country, but are so popular in the West Coast thanks
to aggressive trout stocking programs in many reservoirs. Bass in these lakes
have grown accustomed to ambushing newly stocked trout and have grown quite
portly thanks to the constant stocks. I decided to test the Swimbait on two
local lakes, one of which was receiving regular stocks of trout, and another
which had not been stocked with trout for over a decade.
Casting: Casting a heavy swimbait like the Basstrix can do a real
number on your arms. Basically acting as a human catapult, your job is to launch
these massive lures over the strike zone. This requires a unique setup, that
often looks more like a saltwater rig than anything else. I prefer fishing with
a rod with plenty of backbone, and a length minimum of at least 7 feet. Longer
rods provide more chucking power, but I have found certain species specific rods
like the 7 foot GLoomis MUR844C Muskie rod are actually perfect for this
application. Next, make sure you have a nice casting reel. I have tried fishing
swimbaits with spinning gear, and while it is great for light swimbaits and
deadsticking techniques they are absolutely a nightmare when fishing large baits
due to the heavy line required. Casting distance rests heavily upon the weight
of line you elect to use. I prefer 20lb line for any medium to large sized
baits, as the Basstrix will cast reasonably well, and the line offers plenty of
muscle for lifting larger fish from all depths.
This largemouth found himself
hooked on the lip after slamming the Basstrix just 3 feet from shore
Retrieving: Just about any baitcaster or conventional reel will be
able to work the Basstrix effectively. There is absolutely no need for a high
ratio reel, as the key to fishing this swimbait effectively is to work the lure
slowly in most cases. When retrieving the Basstrix at high speed the tail whips
back and forth nicely, and when lifting the tip and jerking the bait I have
noticed that the tail will whip violently, doing a good job of imitating a
frightened trout trying to flee.
The Basstrix is a rather heavy swimbait, and thus not the best suited for
surface work or deadsticking. The advantage of this lure is that you can
effectively use it to target any depth below the surface. In deeper lakes I had
success fishing the Basstrix in 10-15ft of water during the spawn, and in water
30+ feet deep during other periods. A great technique for the Basstrix is to
find a deep channel, cast as far as possible and allow the lure to fall to the
bottom. Once hitting the bottom allow the Basstrix to rest for a minute, then
begin a slow retrieve back to your position. You can vary your retrieve with
jerks and rests between retrieves. When a big bass takes the lure you will
usually know right away, as most fish will try to engulf the entire bait.
Unfortunately fish can strike the Basstrix hard, and still only get their mouths
around the knob tail. To increase hookup percentage you can add a trailer hook.
One trick I learned was to actually tie a treble hook using braided or fused
line to the main hook, then insert it into the Basstrix, this provides two hooks
near the rear of the bait, and does not inhibit the action of the lure.
After months of use the head of
the lure began to discolor
Durability: All swimbaits take abuse, hopefully from the jaws of large bass,
but always from contact with structure on the lake floor. The Basstrix features
a very nice solid body which is actually above average when it comes to overall
durability. I fished with the lure for 3 months and after many fish the lure
continues to produce with only minor damage. The notable deterioration included
small rips in the plastic where the line ties on, and parts of the lure body
becoming hazier with all the contact with water. Neither of these issues seemed
to have any negative effect on the effectiveness of the lure.
Most bass will engulf the Basstrix
as they try to swallow what they thought was just another stocked trout
Applications: The key to fishing the
Basstrix with success is simply patience. Both patience in committing to tossing
the lure for extended periods, and patience when waiting during the retrieve.
While it is possible to inspire strikes from bass on the fast retrieve, the
majority of large fish will be taken from a slow retrieve, or a sporadic jerk.
In very clear water the Basstrix can actually incite strikes from fish that you
see protecting nests during the spawn, simply retrieve the lure over the nest
and park the bait right on top of the nest area. In some cases the Bass will do
it's duty to protect the nest and strike the swimbait aggressively. The Basstrix
can be used all year long, but I found that the Basstrix was more than three
times as effective when fishing in lakes that benefit from stocking programs,
and actually worked well right after the stocking, especially in cooler weather
when the stocked trout move up to shallower water.
I also decided to take the Basstrix out for a
little Striped Bass fishing and found that it worked well during both fast and
erratic retrieves as well as hopping along the bottom of the lake. The only down
side to fishing with the Basstrix for stripers is that they often hit the lure
but failed to hook up.