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Swimbait Update


A "Tail" of Two Baits: Baitsanity Explorer Gen 2 Swimbait Updates


Date: 1/22/24
Tackle type: Swimbait
Manufacturer: Baitsanity
Reviewer: Zander

Introduction: At first glance, the latest generation of the Baitsanity Explorer may appear nearly identical to the original glidebait that the company originally debuted to launch their brand. However, there are a number of updates that have made significant improvements to the bait's capabilities and performance over even last yearís models. In this update, we explore these latest improvements, fresh tail designs, and a bones option.


Baitsanity Explorer Gen 2 Glide Bait (2024 Latest Version) Specifications

Type Swimbait (Glide Bait)
Length 9.5 inches
Weight 5 ounces
Material ABS Resin Body, PVC Plastic Tail (Comes with standard tail but other options are now available in the HatchMatch Series)
Sections 2
Sink Rate Floating, Slow Sink/Suspending
Patterns 122
MSRP $84.99 ($65.99 for Bones Version)

One of the newest Baitsanity Gen 2 patterns, the Ayu features enhanced paint finishes, join paint, and is a suspending version

It has been over five years since I bought my first Baitsanity Explorer swimbait at Tackle Warehouse. At the time, the Explorer glidebait was the only lure the young brand offered, and it was available in only two patterns: trout or carp. Since that time, Baitsanity has significantly grown their product portfolio under the leadership of owner and lead bait designer Fahad Ahmed.

Gen 2 introduced the Hatch Match interchangeable tail system. Here a early Gen 2 Kokanee is equipped with a PVC paddle tail in matching paint. One of the challenges was matching the paint seamlessly between various material types (ABS body and PVC soft tails)

Swimbaits like the affordable Antidote Glide made their baits much more available to a larger audience, while feature-rich lures like the Antidote TUG demonstrated the lengths the company was willing to go to offer something unique and different. The company has even partnered up with retailers like Tackle Warehouse to co-design exclusive lures like the new Chimera Shad.

The latest generation (what we call Gen 2.1) features a foil layer underneath. This Hatchery Trout pattern is equipped with the new Shad Tail

All these new Baitsanity lures place a focus on consistency, configurability, quality, and value. While I enjoy unlocking the unique retrieves of the TUG or catching more numbers with the Gill Glide, I still have a soft spot for the Explorer glidebait Series.

One of the first fish I caught with the Hatchery Trout + Shad Tail combo. Even smaller fish seemed to react strongly to the new profile and clean S-Glide action

The original Explorer was the first Baitsanity swimbait I ever caught a 6+ lb. largemouth on, and I had so much success early on that it even got me to put down my favorite Deps Slide Swimmers and try something new.

Baitsanity has also partnered with Tackle Warehouse to introduce a Bones version to make the latest Explorer cores more accessible

This season, Baitsanity came out with a few more options and enhancements to refresh the Explorer Series, including two new HatchMatch tails that are significantly different from the existing options.

The new Shad Tail (or Shadow Tail as TW calls it) retails for $11.99

Explorer 2.1: While the Baitsanity Explorer is currently technically still in its second generation, there have been a number of enhancements to the lure since we reviewed the 2nd Gen lure back in 2021. These include the addition of enhanced resin, new patterns with reflective foil layers, improvements to the interchangeable Bait Connect tail system, and multiple new tail options that change the entire profile and action of the baits.

Gen 2 Bones kits come with just the core bait, no tails or hardware

Finishes: What sparked my interest in the latest Explorer changes was a successful day fishing the new Hatchery Trout Gen 2 glidebait. After catching two fish on the bait, I started to notice just how much more the bait flashed than other Explorers that I had fished previously. Some of the new patterns like Hatchery Trout and Electric Shad feature a base foil layer that adds depth and also delivers a significant amount of flash during the glide. Though some of the paint wore off due to strikes and hook rash, this only further exposed the foil layer, adding to the effect of a genuine injured trout or baitfish.

One of the things that I like about the latest generation are the painted joint sections that flash red or yellow during the glide

The latest generation patterns are some of the companyís most detailed yet. Not only do they feature more sub-layers, but the company has added more hand-painted airbrush touches to the process. There are more exclusive patterns, like the TW Steelhead. Anglers will notice that some patterns feature separately painted joints, like yellow on the Ayu or red on Hatchery Trout and Electric Shad. I personally like that extra flash of red, which is visible for a split second with each swing of the tail section.

Hook rash over time reveals more of the foil under-layer. Oddly enough this only adds to the realistic injured scale look of the bait in the water

Resin and Sound: I also noticed that when I fished the bait aggressively, I could hear the contact with the joints more than previous Explorers. I wasnít sure if I was imagining things, so I pulled out my older lures and started comparing them to one another. Sure enough, I could definitely detect a higher-pitched clack when the joints made contact on the latest generation Explorers. I reached out to Fahad to validate what I thought I was hearing.

The more I fished the latest baits the more I observed that they actually sounded different than my older Explorers

Fahad confirmed that the company had made improvements to their resin formula since the introduction of the Gen 2. The company has continually looked for resins that improve the baitís behavioral and performance characteristics. To ensure that the company has enough resin and to drive consistency, Baitsanity purchases and stores all their own resins to streamline production, as a number of their baits make use of different formulas, some are even translucent like the formula for the Chimera. This latest resin exhibits better density, durability, and buoyancy than the original formula and, as I expected, sounds slightly louder as well.

The new Shad Tail enables the bait to be fished slowly or aggressively almost like an oversized subsurface ripbait

Next Section: Exploring the New Tail Options









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