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Lure Review


The Defiant 247 and 210 Swimbaits Ė A One Two Knockout (continued)

Unlike traditional soft bodied swimbaits both Defiants do not come pre-rigged with an embedded top hook, and are instead designed with dual line-through channels that enables anglers to rig the bait with either top or bottom hooks. Each bait comes bundled with two hooks that are linked together so that you essentially have a pre-rigged stinger hook. The integrated rigging options on the Defiant baits are one of the most innovative features in these baits, allowing anglers to configure the baits easily in an effort to maximize strike to hookup conversions in different retrieve styles.

One of the coolest features of this bait is the hook design which comes pre-rigged with a stinger

Real World Tests: I have fished the full sized Defiant 247 for two seasons since Oliver first introduced the baits to me, and the smaller Defiant 210 over the last season from spring to winter, targeting largemouth bass in Northern California lakes including Berryessa, Clear Lake, the Delta, and a number of smaller local reservoirs. Iíve fished both baits on a variety of setups, but mostly the Megabass Destroyer Onager for the 247 and the Destroyer Mark 48 for the 210. My primary reel and line setups for fishing these lures was either 30lb mono, straight braid, or more often 50lb. braid with a 25-30lb fluorocarbon leader.

The Baitfsh pattern is beautifully painted, and one of the hardest to find

Operation: I find with many soft bodied swimbaits it takes time to build confidence on these big baits, and that many times what looks good to anglers in the water doesnít necessarily translate into strikes. Unlike hard-bodied swimbaits where they often exhibit an aggressive gliding motion, or water displacing tail whip, the action that soft-bodied swimbaits impart is normally quite subtle.

The pattern I fished the most was the Dark Trout which most closely matched the hatch of the stocked trout in the lake

I personally believe that fish often perceive soft bodied swimbaits as more lifelike, easy prey, versus hard-bodied swimbaits that often trigger strikes as a result of action. Iíve always had more success fishing soft-bodied swimbaits in clearer water when fish are able to see the bait clearly and key in on tail movement. That isnít to say that it isnít possible to draw strikes in heavily stained water, it just means having to put the bait right in front of the fish, or having to retrieve the lure at a snailís pace.

Each bait is finished with a wide knob tail that holds up well to strikes

My experience with the Defiant baits was similar, and while the allure of fishing a big bait and catching a big fish is always there, just like so many other swimbaits, anglers will need to put in the time to catch fish. The clearer the water the more followers I was typically able to draw, and the more trout that was in the lake the more likely I was able to convert those followers into strikes.

During the battle the lure slides up the line helping keep fish pinned

Like many other full-sized swimbaits the Defiant 247 delivered most when I was fishing it slowly. I was able to fish the lighter and smaller 210 a little faster, but still had to remind myself to slow down my retrieve in most situations. While the trout patterns clearly outperformed the other colors in lakes that had recently been stocked it was the plain white pattern that was consistently the most effective.

I didn't give the Pearl pattern much of a chance at first. This was a big mistake as it performed surprisingly well

While white patterns are typically the first color I turn to for targeting stripers I typically donít fish them as much for largemouth, unless the water is heavily stained, and prefer the added realism of fishing a bait with a more realistic pattern. ďDonít sleep on the white,Ē Oliver advised when we talked about my early results and he was right. Iím not sure if the fish view the plain white pearl as shad, generic baitfish, or just that it is more visible in deeper water, but for whatever reason this unembellished bait absolutely gets bit.

Like Oliver said... don't sleep on white! The Pearl pattern delivers and for those that want to get creative can also be customized to better mimic local baitfish

Next Section: Effectively converting strikes to landings..









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