July 11, 2018
For decades, many Midwest finesse anglers have wielded three- and four-inch grubs that have been affixed to a jig, and many of us old codgers call a grub a swimbait. Recently, however, some of us have become devotees to small swimbaits that we affix to a small jig and wield like we are wielding a three- or four-inch grub, and these swimbaits are endowed with a paddletail, which some folks call a boottail. But swimbaits that are constructed around an integrated-jig or hook system have not played a role in our repertoire.
But Savage Gear's three-inch 3D Baitfish Swimbait and their three-inch 3D Baitfish Paddletail Swimbait have caught the eyes of several veteran Midwest finesse anglers who suggested that we should publish a gear guide about it. And upon examining them, we agreed.
According to Mike Bennett, who is the Product Manager of Okuma Fishing USA of Ontario, California, these two swimbaits were created by employing a 3-D scanning system, which replicated many of the common anatomical features of the fish that largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and spotted bass prey upon. What's more, the designers of the 3D Baitfish Paddletail Swimbait worked on crafting a bait so that its entire torso would move, undulate, quiver, and gyrate rhythmically as an angler retrieves it. The movement of the 3D Baitfish Swimbait, which is segmented into three sections, is described as possessing a unique and alluring "S-curve swimming action."
The 3D Baitfish Swimbait is adorned with a No. 6 hook, which is affixed to what Savage Gear calls an internal-harness system. The hook for the Paddletail model is a No. 4, and it is part of an internal-harness system, too. Instead of employing a small lead weight in the body of the bait, the weight-system consists of a zinc alloy. Because this alloy is lighter than lead, it allows Savage Gear to use a relatively big piece of zinc. The advantage of using a big piece of zinc, Bennett says, is that "it will not tear from the bait as easy as a small lead weight in the body." The 3D Baitfish Swimbait weighs a quarter of an ounce, as does the 3D Baitfish Paddletail Swimbait.
The Paddletail model is graced with a small dorsal fin, two pelvic fins, and an anal fin. The two pectoral fins are engraved on the sides of its torso. Its nares, cheeks, and gill membrane are engraved on its head or predorsal area. It is embellished with a pair of 3-D eyes. Its caudal fin is replaced with a boot. The 3D Baitfish Swimbait possesses all of the features of the Paddletail rendition, but it has a heterocercal or V-shaped caudal fin.
The eye of the hook emerges in the predoral area or the top of its head of both models. The bend and point of the hook emerge in the dorsal area in front of the dorsal fin.
They are available in the following colors: Baby Bass, Blue Steel, Hitch, Fire Tiger, Golden Shiner, and Pearl.
The manufacturer's suggested retail price for a package of three is $7.99.
(1) Here is a link to Savage Gear's website: https://www.savagegear-usa.com/home.
(2) Here are links to other Midwest Finesse gear guides about some Savage Gear's other soft-plastic finesse baits: https://www.in-fisherman.com/midwest-finesse/savage-gears-3d-pvc-mayfly-nymph/ and https://www.in-fisherman.com/midwest-finesse/savage-gears-3d-goby-tube.
(3) A reader commented that the 3D Baitfish Swimbait weighs a quarter of an ounce, which he thought was too heavy for Midwest finesse applications. But Bill Ward of Warsaw, Missouri, reported that a 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig affixed to a 2 3/4-inch Senko-style bait weighs between three-eighths of an ounce and a quarter of an ounce, and it is a standard Midwest finesse rig.