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The Best Line Choices for Glide Baits and Swimbaits

by Yoshinori Mitani
The Best Line Choices for Glide Baits and Swimbaits

There is no doubt that glide baits and swimbaits draw big bites from giant bass. There are two primary types of swimbaits: paddle tail and multi-jointed. There is a difference between a glide bait and a multi-jointed swimbait however, and the main difference is the number of segments. A glide bait has two segments, and only two segments. This allows the bait to swim in a big sweeping motion which can look like a big baitfish trying to escape. While glide baits involve lots of rod or reel twitches with pauses in between keeping it in the water longer, they can still draw fish in from 30-40 feet away. Because glide baits have so much drawing power, an angler can still cover lots of water even with very few casts. No other bait can do this quite like a glide bait can, which is why many anglers love throwing it. Some examples of a glide bait would be the SPRO KGB Chad Shad or the River2Sea S-Waver. A bait that has three or more segments is considered a swimbait as it creates more of a streamline swimming action. Swimbaits are usually used with a constant reel retrieve often burned quickly. Multi-jointed swimbaits are a great way to make repeated casts and cover lots of water. Some examples of a big swimbait would be the Bull Shad or the 6th Sense Trace.

While there are glide baits and swimbaits on the market that are small enough to throw on a lighter rod and reel with lighter line, for the sake of this blog we are going to address the bigger glide baits and multi-jointed swimbaits that are 6-inches or longer. When it comes to throwing these big baits, heavy duty equipment is required. Typically, a minimum of a 7-foot 4-inch heavy power rod paired with a minimum of a 200 size baitcaster reel spooled with a minimum of 20-pound test is what anglers use for throwing these big baits. Bassmaster Elite Series and Sunline pro Matty Wong uses a 7-foot 6-inch heavy power rod paired with a 7.2:1 gear ratio reel when throwing 6–8-inch glide baits. However, there are rods on the market designed specifically for oversized baits that are offered all the way up to 9-feet in length, and some anglers pair these rods with a 300-400 size baitcaster reel spooled with 25-30-pound test fluorocarbon. While 20-30-pound test fluorocarbon might seem simple enough when it comes to throwing big baits, we know that there is so much more to it than that as there are so many different fluorocarbon lines that we offer. Plus, there are several other options that anglers can choose from outside of just fluorocarbon. So, let’s talk about it!

Our two most popular fluorocarbon lines are Sniper and Shooter. Matty Wong typically spools his reels with 20-25-pound test FC Sniper when throwing 6–8-inch glide baits because of its excellent knot strength and castability. Our FC Sniper has great castability and abrasion resistance, but the Shooter is stronger and more abrasion resistant. Abrasion resistance is extremely important especially when fishing around heavy cover and casting these heavy baits. When pitching his glide baits around cover, Wong will use 22-pound test Shooter fluorocarbon. No matter what line he uses however, Wong will always retie his knot after every fish catch to decrease the chance of losing an important fish or an expensive bait. A third choice for these type baits is Structure FC. It offers high abrasion resistance and strength but has better handling for casting than Shooter. Ultimately, all three fluorocarbon lines are good for different reasons, but it just depends on your preference to decide which one is best for you! Some other options for more budget-friendly fluorocarbon lines are our Assassin and Super.

Outside of straight fluorocarbon, there are other great options for big swimbaits and glide baits such as straight braid, braid-to-leader, or nylon monofilament. There are some benefits to using straight braid, besides the obvious fact that breakoff issues are less common which is good if you don’t want to lose those expensive baits! Some of the other benefits of braid are abrasion resistance, low stretch for better hooksets, and better bite detection. A couple disadvantages of using straight braid are that the low stretch could pull the hooks out of the fish’s mouth when fighting the fish, and the fish might see braid easier than other lines. If an angler doesn’t like these disadvantages but still wants better bite detection, he or she should consider using braid-to-leader.

Some great braid options for the braid-to-leader technique are 40-60-pound test Siglon PEx8, SX1, Xplasma Asegai, or Siglon PE AMZ all depending on how much you’re willing to spend. Sniper and Shooter are also great lines to use for a leader just as they are great lines to use for straight fluorocarbon. However, a leader-specific material can be beneficial due to its perfect balance of tensile strength, knot strength, stretch, and abrasion resistance which are all beneficial qualities for fluorocarbon leaders. The 20-pound test FC Leader is an excellent fluorocarbon leader option for most swimbaits/glide baits. If the lure is larger than average however, you might want to go with 25 or 30-pound test Sniper or Shooter fluorocarbon. Another great option for a leader material is Nylon leader. This is a monofilament line, but this can be very effective when tied to braid as it provides the extra stretch that braided line doesn’t have. This can be beneficial at times because it acts as a shock absorber for those aggressive strikes from trophy bass! As a side note, always make sure to have the same or similar diameters when tying braid to fluorocarbon or nylon. Click here to read all the benefits of using braid-to-leader. It is also important to tie a good connector knot when using braid-to-leader. Check out all these different knots here.

When it comes to the least expensive option for swimbait and glide bait line, Super Natural nylon, it is a great option in 25-30-pound test. While nylon monofilament is not very sensitive or abrasion resistant, it is very supple, has low memory, and has some extra stretch that acts as a shock absorber when setting the hook on the fish!

So, if you’re looking for something that has some extra stretch go with nylon monofilament. If you’re looking for something that is very sensitive and won’t break, go with braided line. If you’re looking for the happy medium, go with either straight fluorocarbon or braid-to-leader! It might be helpful to try a couple of different options and see which one works best with your setup!