Just in case you’ve somehow missed the glide bait thing, you best be throwing glide baits, bottom line. The Slide Swimmer is so killer its hard to quantify. I have to admit, I’ve only caught a few glide bait fish, and they were on the S-Waver. I don’t have a ton of experience with glide baits. They are something I’m going to have to learn a whole lot more of. But do yourself a favor and find yourself a Deps Butch Brown Slide Swimmer 250 in case you don’t know that yet. Do not pass go without one. They are that good. The hardbait version of the Huddleston, it’s been said. Get yourself an S-Waver to get started into glide baits, or go Roman Made. I know someday Butch is going to release a film that just blow everyone’s mind with giants. I’ve seen a video he played at ICAST in 2011 in Vegas at the Bassaholics Booth. It was sick and wrong, and it had many Slide Swimmer 250 in it back then. I know some guys who’ve been devastating big striper on it. My pals in the world of swimbait fishing pretty much have been crushing fish on the glide baits out West for >2 years at least. I know Oliver Ngy is going to blow some minds with his Big Bass Dreams DVD coming out. Oliver throws the Rago Glideator, and l don’t even know what else. I’m a boring old Hudd, TT, MS, and Rat guy! I don’t feel like I’m letting the cat out of the bag by any means at this point. I just hate talking about a technique or bait or something I don’t have experience on. I can tell you, the 80# Braid, the Slide Swimmer, the LDC 8’XH, and the 400 TE are just incredible altogether. Power fishing at times, and glide bait fishing it at times. Crazy swim on this bait. Hard to do wrong, but you can get incredible 3-4 foot wide side to side S walks, stalls, turn-arounds, etc and it can be burned and killed and 180’d and all kinds of craziness.
Controlled glides. I love the term glide because it nails the style of bait. Glide is a discussion point among surfers. There are 1000s of variations in surfboards that are between 6 and 7 feet long. Small changes in volume/displacement/buoyancy do dramatic things in the water, let alone changing shapes, width, thickness, rocker, length, concavity, etc. I think the world of glide baits has similar abundance of variations that will likely work if for no other reason, this style of bait gets bit, and things are just starting to warm up with them to the masses. These glide baits are killer, and I’m just getting going really focusing time on them, and I advise you do the same if you aren’t already! The Roman Made Mother, was the bait our boy Manabu caught Her on.
Okeechobee has been a moving target this year. It’s not horrible, but it’s not the slug fest stomp its been the last 2 years. The water just isn’t good for a swimbait guy either. So its sorta fickle fishing at times, mixed with bad water (and wind) most places, most of the time. Algae bloom, dirty, choked out and the fish are outside grass line-ish oriented, so the bite becomes more pitching jigs and punching mats and that style attack. I have been throwing the Slide Swimmer 250 Flash Carp in less than ideal conditions on Okeechobee thus far. I was hoping for 3-4 feet of black clean water to work with, outside grass line, in certain areas, and it just hasn’t been there yet.
Want to give a shout to Ben Dehnadi and Low Down Custom Rods. Ben’s rods have really opened my eyes to much more progressive rod design. You need to get yourself a LDC 8′ XH for the Slide Swimmer 250. The Slide Swimmer is heavy…close to 6.5 ounces and it maxes out my Loomis 966 BBR rods that I love so much. The LDC XH fits that rod category you need for ‘megabaits’. The > 6 ounce baits, the big 3:16 Hardbaits, the big rats/terrestrial baits, the big Rago hard and softbaits, and whatever. >6 ounce baits require a special rod, even among the bigbait rods. I do fish the 8″ Weedless Huddlestons on this LDC 8XH rod, and love it. I swear I can lob that Huddleston 20% further in the open water sometimes. That thing flat flings a bait way out there. The longer than I’m used to rod handle really has extra leverage and surprisingly I find it fishes nicely under my arm pit, and just feels right to me. I’ve got 32″ arms. I get dress shirts with 17-18″ necks and 32″ arms! Hahahahaha. That aint no lie either. So the super long rod handles sometimes feel awkward to me. The LDC 8XH has a less parabolic action than the 966, but it still loads up pretty darn well, its just got more tip to it. You have a really more involved tip section, that is more in tune with finer things of swim, and helps soften the impact of bites so you don’t rip the bait out of a fish’s mouth, and definitely helps you in the casting department, it will load up and lob a 6.5 ounce bait like the Slide Swimmer very easily and low impact on your wrists and shoulders.
Just like recommending the 8″ Huddleston and the G-Loomis 966 BBR combo, I think you’ll find the Low Down Customs 8 XH and Slide Swimmer 250 a winner. I have to admit, the LDC-8HX throws an 8″ Huddleston really well, and really far. It’s anexcellent big and mega bait rod, yet has the tip for the 8″ Huddlestons and 10″ Triple Trouts. You need to be throwing the Butch Brown Slide Swimmer 250. End of story. You’re current bigbait rod may not have the guts to throw it. I have many Loomis 966s and find them under-gunned for the Slide Swimmer. Get a rod for heaving and lobbing the >6 ounce baits