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Lure Review


Looking Lively! Live Target's Threadfin Shad Swimbait


Date: 1/22/17
Tackle type: Lure
Manufacturer: Live Target
Reviewer: Wolbugger

Total Score: 7.19 - GOOD

Despite living out west for most of my life, I was never a huge swimbait guy. It's not that I don't enjoy fishing them, it's just that I grew up fishing things like worms, jigs, spinnerbaits, and senkos so I've always tended to gravitate towards more “standard” offerings first. In the last several years, however, I've really changed my thinking when it comes to lots of lures—swimbaits included. My local waters don't contain any true lunkers, so fishing smaller swimbaits really has a lot of appeal. Speaking of appeal, Live Target's new line of swimbaits has a ton of it. These are offered up in a variety of forage imitations, one of them being my usual favorite: the threadfin shad. As many anglers know, looks are one thing and performance can be another, so let's hit the water and see how the Live Target Threadfin Shad swimbait fares on Florida largemouth!


Live Target Threadfin Shad Swimbait Specifications




3-1/2 inches and 4-1/2 inches (tested)


1/2-ounces and 1-ounce




Single Mustad Wide Gap


Green/Bronze and Violet/Blue




$8.99 to $9.99 depending on size

These baits certainly look appealing in their packaging.

Quality/Construction: Arriving in a clear plastic package, my 4-1/2 inch test bait was impressive even before laying hands on it. The anatomically-correct shape is dead-on, and there's some nice detailing around the head, fins, and body. The soft plastic body doesn't feel too soft and the bait was crafted and rigged nice and straight with no kinks or bends. The stock hook is sharp and ready to go right from the package. Upon close inspection, however, I did find a drop of glue/epoxy/whatever on the barb of the hook, but I left it alone and found it did come off by itself in short order.

Quality Ratings for Live Target Threadfin Shad Swimbait















Rating (=Tot/pos *10)









I experienced many quality bites while fishing the Threadfin Shad Swimbait.

Performance: To test the fish-catching prowess of the Live Target swimbait, I headed to my local Florida lake to show it to some of the resident largemouth. Fishing had been somewhat slow in recent weeks likely due to low water that was still dropping by the day, but I still had confidence. To toss this shad imitator, I chose my Majorcraft NANOACE 7'3” Heavy paired with a 13 Fishing Concept C reel along with 20-pound braid and a 15-pound Yo-Zuri Hybrid leader.

Although this spot didn't produce, the day before I had great success casting far off a similar point and letting the bait go deep.

Tipping the scales at one-ounce in weight, this is an easy swimbait to cast that doesn't fatigue you like the truly BIG swimbaits might. It's a great size whether you want to probe some slightly deeper water or just fan-cast around some shallow cover. The bait is rated at a “medium-slow” sink rate which equates to about a foot per second. I found this ideal for efficiently covering water from just off the bank out to about 10-feet deep. This tantalizing sink rate not only allows you to effectively fish it in some deeper water, but as I found out it helps trigger an occasional bite on the way down since it doesn't plunge rapidly. For this reason, if I'm not in a hurry I like to let this swimbait sink on a tight line so I can feel for a THUNK as it sinks. In testing, I found that my bait sank straight down head-first, didn't spiral, and had a nice little tail kick on its way to the bottom. When on the bottom, however, the bait just laid on its side.

The tail design is really cool—it features a large clear oscillator to attain the desired action, but the most visible part of the tail maintains an extremely natural size and appearance.

The Live Target Threadfin Shad Swimbait gives off a surprisingly tight vibration upon retrieval. It's not nearly as pronounced or harsh, but its fast, tight vibration feels faintly similar to that of a lip-less crankbait.  It takes very little speed to produce action in the tail, and the bait still performs and runs true even if “burned” at a rapid pace. Unlike many swimbaits, there isn't a ton of body roll or huge wagging action of the tail—the action is purposely tuned as such to closely mimic an actual threadfin shad without artificially overdoing it.

The finish is very pleasing whether from afar or right up close.

Next Section: Getting those bites with two retrieves









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