Keep it simple. I am intrigued by swimming worms and swimming fluke baits, as they relate to swimbait fishing. Swimming a fluke style bait is sorta kinda glide bait fishing to some extent. There’s a randomness and glide of swimming fluke baits that makes them special. Think about how the Scrounger Head, and Aaron Martens have pretty much validated that swimming flukes flat wear ’em out. Now transition to the Head Spin. Fluke influenced. Very critical to rig your Fluke or swimbait PERFECTLY on your Head Spin. Otherwise is runs funky or doesn’t look good. The fluke + Head Spin of course won the BassMaster Classic in 2015 on Hartwell. A blueback herring lake. The Head Spin swims but also has a glide to it as it sinks and falls. It has to do with the Fluke on the back. The Little Dipper is an excellent trailer for the Head Spin.
My first exposure to the Scrounger was back in the day, Pacific Ocean in about 1990 out on the Dana Wharf fleet. Saltwater calico bass fishing w 4″ curly tail grubs and Scroungers. My first exposure to the Head Spin, was in 2005, in Atlanta, GA. It was a local company and I read fishing reports for days trying to integrate into the Southern bass fishing scene. I would credit Ryan Coleman for dialing me into the bite more like in 2007. I hired Ryan to show me Lake Lanier. There was a BassMaster Open coming to Lanier that year (Which, Ryan would WIN!). He showed me how to slow roll a Head Spin over brush piles. Later, folks like Brad and Bob Rutherford preached to me about the Head Spin for places like Hartwell. Which is ironic because that is where Casey Ashley just won the 2015 BassMaster Classic — Lake Hartwell. Head Spins have their place for suspended fish, herring eaters, spotted bass, largemouths, and any fish truthfully. The underspin is a fundamental truth of fishing it feels like to me.
So WTF does that have to do with the Mann’s Reel N’ Shad? Watch this bait swim. Watch it hop. The straight reel, this thing has a sweet little wiggle fluid drive swim. This is a “Do Nothing Swimbait” if I’ve ever seen one. This thing looks lethal to me, on spinning gear , or casting gear. There is a 3 3/4″ and and 5 1/4″ models which is cool. The small one is definitely spinning gear time. 7′ M or MH Spinning pole and some 10-15# braid with a 10# floro leader. Bang goes the dynamite. This thing is part senko, part fluke, part glide bait, and part swimmer. I just appreciate the simple yet super fishable and fish catchyness of this bait.
I have to admit, I haven’t fished a fluke on a standard roundball jig head enough. I haven’t fished a fluke or fluke style (meaning V or U shaped body when looking at bait head on), that don’t have a swimming tail enough. The swimming tail takes away from glide. The tail straightens the swim into a more uniform flow/engine. Fluke baits with a simple little fork tail (or no tail, ie Sluggo) don’t swim thru the water. They glide. The swimbait world is all blown up on, glide baits. Glide baits are something so simple but something we (well, me certainly) are just scratching the surface with. I’m so f@cking blown away on the Slide Swimmer 250, there’s no other way to put it. I got like 5 bites by MAGNUM brown trout in the span of like 2 days. It was sick and wrong. There are particular reasons it’s so good. I can kill it, stall it, etc that is very conducive to fishing current. The Slide Swimmer 250 kicks f@cking ass in current. Fishability. Net net, anything that ‘glides’ like a fluke rigged with a light lead head will catch fish. Try a 1/16 or 1/32 head on a Zoom Fluke sometime. It’s stupid how good that thing fishes (and catches). Mid-Strolling. Have you ever heard of that technique?
The video is of the 5 1/4″ version in guess what color? Hartwell Special/Blue Glimmer. You know somebody knows what time it is when they name something like that. This bait has blueback herring eaters written all over it. Likewise smallmouth and spotted bass. From creek fishing, to fishing steep walls / shade lines…boy …. this thing is super simple but looks effective.
Think about this bait for kids or for somebody who is new. Good enough to cast, retrieve, and sorta gets the feel for jigging a bait with a rod, reel, and line. You set them up with the Mann’s Reel N’ Shad , they are gonna be stoked. Floating down a creek or fishing small water? The 3 3/4″ version looks killer. Great colors. Mann’s surprises me from time to time. I try to keep an open mind and never be snooty about baits, companies, and techniques. That sort of arrogance has cost me a lot of money! If you know what you’re doing this bait is sorta a new ‘indicator’ bait / approach. One of those specialty baits you have rigged up on a shad bite/herring bite where fish are suspended, chasing bait, on steep stuff, or need to probe the depths.
We’ve got a lot of tools to pick from. This one definitely will help you keep it simple. And might be a good suggestion to some beginners or something you take on a trip w you where you need to put some newbies on fish. Mann’s Bait Company is about as OG as you can get. I think about Hank Parker and those Gold Colorado bladed spinnerbaits he won the Classic with, and I think of Paul Elias and the big ole deep dredge crankbaits. I have to say, the 1-Minus series has caught me a lot of fish. Anyway, Mann’s has some good baits, at a good price and seems to be hanging tuff. I imagine they’ve sold 1 or 2 umbrella rigs too?!?!?!
Purchase the Mann’s Reel N’ Shad from Tacklewarehouse: