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Chop It Like It's Hot. Baitsanity X TW New Chimera Shad


Date: 7/5/23
Tackle type: Swimbait
Manufacturer: Baitsanity X Tackle Warehouse
Reviewer: Zander

Introduction: Baitsanity is launching their first shad profiled swimbait, the Chimera. In addition to a number of unique design features, and emphasis on chop-style action, one of the things that makes this new swimbait so interesting is that it was co-developed with the Tackle Warehouse product team from inception to mass production.


Baitsanity X Tackle Warehouse Chimera Shad Specifications

Type Swimbait - Glidebait
Class Suspend - Float
Depth 0-6 feet
Length 6.5 inch body, 2 inch tail. 8.5 inch total length
Weight (measured) 2.85 ounces
Material Injected Plastic + brush style tail
Sections Two (One Joint), and soft tail
Patterns 5 confirmed (Gizzard, Threadfin Shad, Bluegill, Hitch, Yellow Perch)
Features 3D eyes, 3D scales, 3D fins and gill plates, brush tail, Submerge-to-sink Tuning (STS), Gamakatsu Treble Round Bend hooks #2
MSRP $79.99


Chimera: It is fitting that the newest swimbait from Baitsanity is named the "Chimera" as the creature in Greek mythology was a fire breathing monster that comprised of multiple creatures. This bait not only incorporates a number of different features and design cues from multiple bait classes but is a true amalgamation from both Baitsanity and Tackle Warehouse design teams. When both teams first told me about the bait they described the bait as being "co-developed," and my first question was "does that mean a collab, or something more?"


I learned that the idea for the Chimera came from discussions between the team at Tackle Warehouse and Baitsanity's President, and lead designer, Fahad. The resulting project spanned nearly two years and included multiple designs, tests, and revisions, to create a shad profiled bait that was capable of multiple retrieves, and would excel at chopping.


The Baitsanity Chimera was co-developed with Tackle Warehouse


I asked the Tackle Warehouse team why they partnered with Baitsanity and to describe the development process to create the Chimera and they explained, "Tackle Warehouse has carried Baitsanity since their inception, and successful ventures on TW exclusive colors proved Baitsanity to be a proactive, insightful, and easy partner both for bait design and collaborative content. The Chimera Shad project began when we identified a need for a “chopping” style glide bait that fished as well as the custom-built glide baits, but was affordable and accessible to all anglers. The concept started as a gizzard shad mimic, but quickly evolved to incorporate anatomical features and profiles of other common bass prey: threadfin shad, minnows, shiners, perch, hitch…hence the name “Chimera.”

The Chimera compared with the larger Explorer


When the Chimera first arrived at our lab I was immediately excited by the profile and overall dimensions of the bait. Measuring 8.5 inches from head to tail the bait has a nice compact body and is relatively easy to cast all day weighing in under 3 ounces.


The paintwork on the Baitsanity X TW Chimera is very good and is hand airbrushed. The teams went back and forth on many patterns during the design process and will be introducing some non-conventional shad patterns like Bluegill later


The lures look and feel detailed, and the quality of the finishes are as good, or better, as the latest generation Explorer and Tug swimbaits. There are parts of the lure that are obviously finished with an airbrush, and though the Chimera will be a injected bait it does look and feel more like a custom garage-built bait than any Baitsanity yet. Additional elements that adds to this custom-vibe are the 3D painted fins and gill plates and a paintbrush-style tail.


Even though the Chimera swimbait looks quite different in profile and style to previous generation Explore and Antidote baits I was glad to see the signature frown that makes the bait instantly recognizable as a Baitsanity offering.


Notice the ports around the rotating hook hangers, this is where water enters the chambers in the STS system. Bundled tungsten weights can be added to fine tune the bait


The Chimera was designed to be fished out of the package at 0-6 feet, without any additional weighting. This bait includes hollow chambers in the belly which fill with water from the 2 hook hanger ports as soon as the bait is submerged in water. If the bait is not submerged in water for 5-10 seconds (upon initial cast) the bait will slow float in the water at the 1-2ft depth. As soon as the hollow chambers fill with water, the bait will sink at approximately a half foot per second until it reaches a point of neutral buoyancy (will not sink or rise) at 5-6 feet deep. The concept of this bait being weighted with water as it is submerged is described by Baitsanity as their “Submerge-To-Sink”, or STS, Tuning. The Chimera was designed to suspend at 5-6 feet so that it could be efficiently “walked in place” around cover or in front of fish that are following the bait to trigger a reaction.


When I first fished the Chimera I found it very easy to wake, glide, and chop this lure depending on how long the bait sits in the water and based on the cranking action and speed imparted on the reel.


We were happy to see the signature frown that makes the bait instantly recognizable as a Baitsanity swimbait


There are four basic ways to fish the Chimera and each bait will come bundled with two .72 gram tungsten adhesives so anglers can fine tune the bait to best fit their application, and preferred fishing style. The four ways to fish the Chimera are:


1. Wake – Rod tip up, steady reel retrieve as bait reaches surface. The addition of tungsten adhesives is not recommended for this retrieve, however it will still work on a faster retrieve.

2. Wide Glide - Steady reel retrieve, rod tip pointed toward water.

3. Chop – Quick chops of reel handle or steady retrieve with sudden twitches of rod tip. Rod tip pointed toward water.

4. Fast Burn – Start slow retrieve, as bait makes it’s turn to the side, immediately burn reel handle. Rod tip parallel with or pointed toward water.

The Chimera has a lot of details including flared out gill plates and oversized recessed eyes. In keeping with the Chimera amalgamation theme some anglers of the head even look frog-like


The team at Tackle Warehouse describes the Chimera as a Chop-Style bait first and foremost and I can see why. When fishing with a chopping reel action, or with rod twitches, the bait darts side to side aggressively and basically looks, and feels, like the bait is walking under the surface.


A look from the top shows the tapered body design and angled joint section


I asked the Tackle Warehouse team to describe the action that they were looking to achieve with the Chimera's design. They explained, "the Chimera Shad is primarily a chopping style glide bait but it is also extremely versatile. The Chimera has a beautiful S-glide on a slow roll, and is stable and true on the burn. A key feature of this bait is its slight belly roll that occurs as you transition from the slow glide to a quick chop-chop. This belly roll acts as a real bait fish flashing on its side as it is being chased, it really gets interested fish to commit."


3-D scales add depth like on the previous Antidote baits but the airbrushed paintwork is a step up


As with most swimbaits the type of hooks used on the bait will drastically alter sink rate also, and adding heavier hooks will allow anglers to fish the bait deeper, but will likely affect the Chimera's neutral buoyancy. We are just beginning the test processes for the baits and found that right out of the package the bait will fish easily with the #2 hooks. I was happy to see that Baitsanity and Tackle Warehouse are using high quality Gamakatsu treble round bend black hooks which are great for bass. Anglers looking to tune their baits for a faster sink rate can use #1 hooks or Gamakatsu SP XH #3 hooks when targeting stripers. We will be trying the complete gamut of hooks on this bait in the complete review.


The brush style tail adds a custom bait feel to the Chimera


The Team at Tackle Warehouse about provided some additional color on the hook selection and tail design, "We specifically sized this bait to optimize hook up ratio, also including swiveling hook hangers to aid in landing fish. The hook selection of Gamakatsu #2 round bend trebles was made specifically to prevent fouling during casting. In addition, the inclusion of smaller hooks on this bait to encourage more bites was taken into consideration in our hook selection. One of the main features we also wanted to see in this bait was a soft, oversized brush tail. This tail really gives this bait a natural, lifelike flow in the water."


The paintbrush, or brush-style, tail is something we have seen in other custom swimbaits for years and is a good option due to the way it looks and moves in the water, ability to bend on strike, and overall excellent durability. The implementation looks good on the Chimera and adds to the bait's custom feel. 


Tied on and ready to send. The first combo I fished the new Baitsanity X TW Chimera on was a Nameless Phenix rod with the JDM Daiwa IM Z Limitbreaker. I'll be doing a complete review of the bait after ICAST but thus far really like versatile actions the Chimera is able to display, especially the chopping retrieve


Our Quick Take: The Baitsanity X Tackle Warehouse Chimera is fresh bait that brings much of what we liked in previous Baitsanity offerings including quality design, consistency, and great value in a brand new easy to cast profile. What makes the co-developed Chimera so interesting is that it features styling and elements of multiple baits. The overall profile and eye-design read as "shad" and yet the larger gill plates and head design also can pass for a perch or minnow, and at some angles the eyes and head almost look frog-like to me. A true amalgamation of prey types the Chimera also is a blend of both injected and custom resin bait designs. The Submerge-to-Sink Tuning design is clever and only something consistently achievable with a mass-produced injected bait, but features like the hand airbrushed paint and brush style tail also give the Chimera custom-bait flavor. The Chimera will obviously be a Tackle Warehouse exclusive and hard launches this ICAST with a retail price of $79.99.  My first impressions of the bait in the lab, and when test-swam, is the bait looks and feels very high quality and the chopping action is legit! The Chimera is very versatile, fun to fish, and has a lot of potential for anglers that enjoy putting in the time to fully unlock the swimming bait's chop style underwater walking action. This Chimera might not breath fire but both the action and overall value of this bait are definitely hot. 


Stay tuned for a complete review of the Baitsanity Tackle Warehouse Chimera post ICAST










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