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Lure Review

"New" Slide Swimmer Glidebait, Same Old Song? (continued)

Tuning the New Swimmer: The first, and probably easiest method, of course, is to purchase the accessory nose weight sold by Deps and built to fit right into the slot where the diving lip would have gone had the bait been built as a Silent Killer. Be aware, it takes a dab of super glue gel or something similar to keep that weight in place. Unless you want the weight to be permanent, it is just a dab. Without it, the weight will likely fall out after a few casts. I experienced this first hand. With the weight in, the bait sinks a hair faster, but more importantly, the nose stays down more consistently.

Tuned with new, heavier hooks and ready to go

A second method, and the one I actually prefer, is to use heavier hooks and split rings to tune the bait's performance. By swapping out with different hooks, adding split rings as necessary, you can get the bait to swim and ride more like the original. It will still sink at a slow rate, but it does better staying down - especially if you stick to the pre-retrieve routine of tugging at the bait first, or pausing after the first couple turns of the handle.

Fishing the OG next to the "New" version

Design/Ergonomics: The plus side to going through all the effort to dial in your 250 to sink and swim where you want it is the feature Deps added to the bait with this refresh - the spring loaded knocker in the head. At slow to medium speeds, the New Slide Swimmer is barely distinguishable from the OG. But when you speed your retrieve or give the bait a super hard tug before you pause, that spring loaded knocker will activate sending an alert through the water.

Bait Detail : A feature and dimension breakdown of the Deps Slide Swimmer 250 as detailed by our Swimbait SkunkWerx division

If you've raised tropical fish, you will understand the purpose of this knock with the way the Slide Swimmer glides off and suspends. It serves as a challenge to any would be predators. When fish square off and challenge one another, flaring their fins and posturing, they actually let off an audible knock. I've heard it many times raising some of my larger tropical fish like Angels and Discus. A similar challenge from a smaller fish to a large mouth bass is simply a dinner bell. I'm not aware of another bait, especially one the size of the Slide Swimmer 250 that offers this kind of call (given the number of baits available, there probably are, I just can't recall any).

One big advantage by going with an ABS body is the ability to offer ghost colors

Another benefit of the new Slide Swimmer is colors. By using an ABS core, Deps can now offer the Slide Swimmer in translucent or "ghost" colors. This was not possible with the solid foam core because the foam is not transparent. Colors like this can be very effective in clear water situations and offer more ways for you to spend your money collecting all available patterns. That is a good thing, right?

These can be especially effective in clear water situations

Price & Application: Deps's New Slide Swimmer 250 has held consistent at the price point of $169.99 for quite some time. Availability remains scarce and when available still, consistently sells out. For all the talk and pining online about seeking out the OG Slide Swimmers, it's still difficult to get your hands on the current version. That should tell you all you need to know about how effective the bait continues to be.


Deps Slide Swimmer 250 (New) Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality More consistent than ever, to the uninitiated, that silicone covering over the ABS body still gives the Slide Swimmer a very dull, unimpressive look and feel 8
Performance But put it in the water, and the bait is as impressive as the original 10
Price Slightly more expensive than it used to be 10 years ago, but with the way resin baits have gone up over the last couple of years, the Slide Swimmer is almost a bargain now - almost. 7
Features Silicone shell adding texture while protecting the finish, internal knocker, stout hardware 7.5
Design (Ergonomics) A true big bait for those so inclined now available in some translucent color patterns 7.5
Application With tuning, can be fished any number of ways 8

Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here


Pluses and Minuses:


+ Swims as well as ever - Many will not like the need to tune the bait for maximum potential
+ Available in more colors than before - For all the talk about the OG, the New version is still difficult to find in stock - especially if you have your eye on a specific color
+ Enticing rate of fall  
+ The slow rate of fall opens up options for custom tuning  


Conclusion: Maybe it's just my imagination, but the way the Slide Swimmer does the things that it does, I find it still as classic as ever. This goes for both in the water and out because when I see some of the rarer patterns pop up in availability online, I just can't help myself but purchase a few. Yes, the need to tune the bait to get it to behave the way you prefer can be trying, but really, what big bait enthusiast does not invite the opportunity to get something more out of a bait that the next guy might not have? If you don't want to do it yourself, there's a legend down in Southern California who will happily oblige - fella by the name of Butch Brown.


To me, the New Slide Swimmer is still as classic as ever.


Otherwise, the New Slide Swimmer still fishes very well right out of the box. You just need to slow down and take some of the steps mentioned above for better consistency. It's not really a bait that you just chuck and wind. It takes a bit more concentration to understand what the bait is doing and what it can do based on the cadence or lack there of in your retrieve. The bottom line difference between the new version and original? Out of the package, the new version rides higher in the water column. This could be good, it could be bad, as with any piece of tackle, that's up to each individual angler to decide for themselves. In the meantime, I know my collection of Slide Swimmers, new and old, will just continue to grow.


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