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Lure Review

 

 

Is Strike King's New Swimmer All The Rage?

 

Date: 10/24/19
Tackle Type: Lures
Manufacturer: Strike King
Reviewer: Cal






Total Score: 8.00 - GREAT

Introduction:
With each passing year it seems more and more paddletail swimbait options hit the market and more and more anglers use them to tip their spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, 'bama rigs, vibrating jigs, underspins, etc. This bait type is taking over the trailer market but they're also being used as search baits. What fish can't resist a tasty little morsel swimming around by its lonesome? Strike King recently introduced their interpretation of this bait type and their Rage Swimmer is the subject of our article today.

 

Strike King Rage Swimmer Specifications

Type Paddletail
Material Soft Plastic
Colors/Patterns 11
Sizes 2.75, 3.25, 3.75, 4.75 inches (5.75 coming for 2020)
Scent/Plastic Treatment Coffee Scented
# per package 9, 8, 7, 6 respectively by size
Resealable Bag? Yes
MSRP $5.49


Introducing Strike King's Rage Swimmer paddletail

Impressions: Strike King's Rage Swimmer comes in a very familiar paddletail swimbait profile. There are two that currently dominate the market. The first is the size and shape popularized by Basstrix reaching its peak roughly a dozen years ago when almost every soft bait manufacturer had their own interpretation. A couple of years later, Keitech quietly entered the scene with their Swing Impact and later Swing Impact FAT.

 

The Rage Swimmer features backwards facing rings

 

It is the latter which is now subject of the fishing industry's sincerest form of adulation and flattery. Strike King is the latest to join the fray with the Rage Swimmer. Currently available in four sizes and infused with the masking scent of coffee, the Rage Swimmer shares a similar profile to the Swing Impact FAT, but the rings around the bait are less like rings and more like ribs. They are thicker and more pronounced and are sort of backwards facing perhaps in an effort to create disturbance in the water to attract the attention of hungry bass.


The belly has a shallow slit to help guide hook placement

Real World Tests: I first started fishing Strike King's Rage Swimmer as a brand matching swimbait tail attached to the company's Thunder Cricket vibrating jig. It just seemed like the thing to do. The bait intrigued me well enough to try it on its own so I also fished it on an underspin and on Owner's bladed swimbait hook, the Flashy Swimmer.


The back end of the bait is very pliable lending itself well to a good swimming action fast or slow

 

The Rage Swimmer features a shallow channel on both the top and bottom of the bait to assist you with hook placement. The bottom channel isn't really deep enough for the bait to collapse over your hook, so if you want to fish the bait weedless, a wide gap hook of some sort is recommended. The channel at the top of the bait helps to conceal the hook point when rigged while still allowing you to fish the bait weedless.


A look at the Rage Swimmer's tail

Once rigged, casting and retrieving of course, moves much like any other paddletail swimbait. The Rage Swimmer's tail performs very nicely at all speeds so you can slow crawl it or burn it customizing your retrieve depending on how the fish are behaving on any particular day.

 


Rigged weedless on Owner's Flashy Swimmer

 

The bait's consistency is soft enough to let the bait swim in what appears to be a natural motion but dense enough to where it will usually last more than one bait per fish. It lasts a bit longer as a trailer where you're threading the entire hook through the body of the bait than it does Texas rigged on a wide gap hook, but that's kind of the case for most baits. Of course, results vary depending on the fish and how they hit it.


Hook point exposed but hidden in the channel on the back of the bait

Design & Ergonomics: I'm a little surprised for a company as large as Strike King is that they only offer the Rage Swimmer in eleven (11) colors. It is available in four different sizes with a new five and three quarter inch (5.75") version arriving sometime after ICAST to appease a few of the pro-staff clamoring larger size options.


The bottom channel isn't really deep enough for the bait to collapse over your hook, so if you want to fish the bait weedless, a wide gap hook of some sort is recommended

Like all of the company's soft plastic baits, the Rage Swimmer is infused with a coffee scent more of a way to mask human scents and oils than as a fish attractant. The baits are packaged in the usual clear plastic clamshell with molded cavities each holding one bait. This preserves the shape of each bait and protects the tail from getting bent or deformed which will affect performance.


Success fished on an underspin by Catch Outdoors

Price & Applications: The Rage Swimmer sells for $5.49 per pack. The number of baits per pack varies depending on the bait size you're purchasing. It is suitable as a standalone bait or as a trailer on any of your moving bait rigs - spinnerbaits, vibrating jigs, swim jigs, 'bama rigs, buzzbaits, etc.


The baits are packaged in the usual clear plastic clamshell with molded cavities each holding one bait

Ratings

Strike King Rage Swimmer Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Good plastic consistency and color patterns 8.5
Performance Very good swimming action and durability on par with other baits 8.5
Price Price right in line with the competition 7.5
Features Backwards facing ribs, coffee scent, clamshell packaging 8
Design (Ergonomics) Limited colors at this time 7
Application Good as a standalone bait or complimenting another bait as a trailer 8.5

Total Score

8.0

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:

Plus

Minus
+ Very good swimming action - Limited number of colors
+ Colors are nicely executed  
+ Easy to rig  

  


Strike King's Rage Swimmer is yet another effective option in the paddletail world

 

Conclusion: Paddletail Swimbaits sharing this same profile continue to pop up with each passing year as manufacturers scramble to grab their piece of the pie. The Rage Swimmer, with its backwards facing ribs, is an interesting option with very good swimming action and a limited, but nicely executed color pallet. Given the similarities, is it any more or less effective than other baits of this type I've fished? I'd say it's about the same. If that's enough to get you switch brands, or if you're brand loyal and have been waiting for Strike King to offer something similar, all those options and scenarios are out there. The one thing I can say is Strike King's Rage Swimmer works and sometimes, it's nice to have options.

 

Looking for Strike King Rage Swimmers?

Try TackleWarehouse


   

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