Swim Signatures: The 5″ Big Hammer Swimbait

The 5″ Big Hammer is a workhorse swimbait plain and simple.  Born in the Pacific Ocean, to catch calico, sand, and spotted bay bass the 5″ Big Hammer Swimbait is a unique bait that swims high and low, and with the exposed lead head design, provides you bottom contact and rate of fall few other swimbaits can match.   The 5″ Big Hammer is one of the few swimbaits I can say I’ve consistently caught fish with in >15′ of water (speaking about non-trout fed tournament style lakes) off the bottom and fish that were suspended.  The ledges of Kentucky Lake, for example, has deep schools of fish and I found the 5″ Big Hammer to be an excellent bait to catch them with.  This Swim Signature Series piece is dedicated to showing the swim, hop and drag of the 5″ Big Hammer swimbait.

The 5″ Big Hammer Swimbait on a 3/4 Big Hammer Head. The 5″ Big Hammer swimbait is a swimmer but also a drop bait, a stroke bait, a vertical bait, and a dragging style swimbait. A well rounded swimbait, you might say. But the tail is anything but round. Known as the ‘square tail’ you can see the twist of tail and the ripple effect on the back half of the bait in the picture. Also, you can see the beautiful purple hue of the color, “Silver Phantom”.

I fish the 5″ Big Hammer on a 3/4 ounce Big Hammer Head with the 4/0 hook.  That is the setup in the above swim signature series, where we are looking at the the Big Hammer as a swimmer, but also a dragger and a hopping bait too.  The exposed lead head just gives you excellent touch and feel, to know hard and rock bottom vs. sand or muck, and dang it if the bait doesn’t sink out like a rock.  Incredible rate of fall, even with a 3/4 ounce head (Big Hammer makes them up to 1.5 ounces).   So, you can fish these thing DEEP and maintain excellent bottom contact.

Notice the pyramid head and shape of the Hammer head how well it orients a bait that sits on the bottom. For an exposed hook/top hook swimbait, the Big Hammer is amazing at getting thru rock and hard bottom/sand. Not so great around wood. The pyramid head shape with the line tie back off from the nose, is really good for swimming and for hopping and dragging. You don’t bang your knot into rocks as bad and you tend to be able to orient the bait up and pop it up and out of harms as you fish it out deeper.

I suggest fishing the 5″ Big Hammer swimbait on at least 20# mono.  I fish the bait on 65# Power Pro braid tied to a 4 foot piece 20-25# of P-Line CXX Copolymer.   I have excellent feel with the braided line, and get a good hook in the fish with the braid too.  I have fished this setup lots of times successfully with just 17-20 pound mono/copolymer, and no braid, and this too is another setup I’m switching over as I slowly migrate all my swimbait baits to braid + leader.     A faster action, not super fast, but not super slow, long rod is what you want to fish this bait. I like the Shimano Crucial 7’11” MH  for the 5″ Big Hammer.

Music:

Song: “Not Even…”

Album:  The Left Hand Side

Usage Courtesy:  Body Deep Music

One Response »

  1. TJ says:

    Hiya Matt,

    Great topic, with an equally well written article!

    Thought you’d appreciate some additional feedback on additional ways of using the Hammer effectively.

    This is the way that I’ve found to reuse/use the bait to better advantage, especially after the nose is all torn up from repeated hook replacements and it won’t hold a jig hook any longer.

    Using a (my preference) Owner Weighted Beast Hook w/ Twistlock 5/0 or 6/0 EWG 1/8-1/4 oz. (or more as desired) keel weighted hook, hooked in the Hammer bait side to side, 1/2″ back from the nose, is an equally effective setup; and preferred in my case. It swims in ways that the jig head can’t (e.g. can you say “side to side wobble baby!”). You can also use this method weightless with a standard Owner Beast Hook w/ Twistlock when dealing with suspended bass and you need to work the entire water column slowly.

    One last thing, if you finesse hook the bait in the nose, about 1/2″ back, and through the bait side to side, so the bait doesn’t pass the bend in the EWG hook, you can work these baits alone, on a standard EWG keel weighted or weightless hook with tremendous bait tail and body action.

    Thanks again!

    Tim

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