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Lure Review

Unfinished Business: Our Soft Bodied Swimbait Tackle Drop

Date: 4/22/09
Tackle type: Lures
Manufacturer: Varied
Reviewer: Cal





Introduction: Prior to the explosion of the big bait craze, to most fishermen, the term "swimbait" referred to the soft bodied, shad profiled, paddle tail baits fished on the back of an oversized jighead. Personified by baits like Sunrize Tackle's Big Hammer, these baits were primarily used in saltwater fishing. At what point fishermen made the transition of using these baits in pursuit of freshwater species is unclear to us, but transition they did and in a big way. Today, these soft bodied baits have evolved into any number of different profiles offered in a number of configurations that range from pre-weighted bodies with hooks to pre-weighted bodies without hooks to non-weighted bodies without hooks. The great majority still rely on some form of a paddletail to create disturbance in the water, while a few have gone the route of a wedge-type tail for a more subtle, finesse presentation in the water.

As we dive into our 2009 Year of the Crank, there remains a bit of unfinished business from our 2008 review queue.

As we prepared for our 2009 Year of the Crank, we came to realize there remained a great number of product in our tackle boxes that fell under this soft bodied swimbait category and the best way to get word out on these products was to gather them all together and blow out each of their stories one after the other. This article is not intended to be a comprehensive list of the available product in this style - considering the number of this type of product out there and the speed by which they are reaching market, that'd be a never ending trip to the tackle store. Rather, this article provides a modest cross section of some of the more popular solutions available right now.


Introducing the Optimum Titan


Weighted Bodies with Hooks: The most evolved incarnation of the soft bodied swimbait, most would agree, is the Huddleston Deluxe Rainbow Trout. But smaller than the eight inch Hudd are a series of baits much simpler in design and still leveraging the paddletail design for water displacement. These weighted swimbait bodies are arguably the most prolific on tackle store shelves.


Optimum Titan Specifications

Type Soft Bodied Swimbait
Depth Mid-Water to bottom
Class Sinker
Size (Weight) 3" ( 1/2oz ), 5" ( 1oz), & 6" ( 2 3/4oz)
Colors/Patterns 25 Colors
MSRP $8.79 - $12.99


Optimum Titan: First up in our roundup of these soft bodied swimbaits is the Optimum Titan. The Titan is available three different sizes (3", 5" & 6") and twenty five different colors. It has the old school body style that can be likened to a tear drop cut in half along its longitudinal axis.


The Titan is available in three different sizes. Shown here are the three inch (bottom) and the five inch (top).


Action: The Titan's tail kicks well at all speeds with little to no body roll until you burn the bait back to the boat to get ready for another cast. In this case, it can start to spin in the water, but really, that's just knit picking. This bait has very good action right out of the packaging.

Each bait features a paddletail design.


Fall Rate: The Titan is an extremely quick sinker and effective for bottom bouncing techniques in freshwater situations up to about twenty or thirty feet. It will get down quickly in freshwater, but when we tried to fish it outside the box a little and drop it down forty plus feet in heavy current saltwater applications in pursuit of rock fish along the Pacific Coast, it just didn't work out. This was the case for all the baits in this article.


And a wire guard against weeds.


Application: One of the interesting features of the Titan is its weed guard which is actually fairly effective except in areas that are just bogged down with vegetation or even algae. In those instances, the body of the lure was more of an impairment than the actual hook.


Though nothing is effective at guarding against this type of vegetation.


Features: Speaking of which, the Titan features Eagle Claw hooks in the five and six inch sizes, and Gamakatsu hooks in the 3", and for or those who cannot fish any of their baits stock, you'll be glad to know the Titan comes with an extra hook harness located below what would be the bait's pectoral fins. We didn't perform any such customizations with our baits since the Titan is pretty small to begin with and easily engulfed by any decent sized largemouth.


Each Titan comes with an extra rigging ring just in case.



Optimum Titan Swimbait Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality A well crafted bait 7.5
Performance Swims well at all speeds 8
Price Certainly won't break the bank 7.5
Features The weedguard is an interesting touch 8
Design (Ergonomics) Not the best detailed bait we've seen 7
Application Not quite sold on its effectiveness in weeds given its wide head 7

Total Score

Ratings Key: Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
(For a detailed explanation of the ratings go here)

Pluses and Minuses:


J Bait comes pre-rigged ready to fish L Not the most realistic of baits
J Swims well out of the box  
J Lots of colors to choose from  
J Not hard to find  


The three inch makes a nice morsel for bass of any size.


Conclusion: The Optimum Titan may not feature the most realistic profile out there but it's certainly a solid performer and features a rather unique weedless design in a bait that comes pre-rigged and ready to fish straight out of the package. The tail is surprisingly compliant and swims at any retrieve speed and the available sizes for this bait make it great for both the uninitiated and veteran big bait thrower.


Looking for the Optimum Titan? Try TackleWarehouse.com


Next Section: Osprey Tournament Talon









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