Venture Lures' Essential Swimmer

Venture Lures' Essential Swimmer
At the top is a view of the dorsal section of a green-pumpkin-clutch 3.75-inch Essential Swimmer. At the bottom is a side view of a green-pumpkin-clutch 2.75-inch Essential Swimmer.

During the winter of 2019-20, we corresponded regularly with Michael Simonton of Berlin Heights, Ohio.

He is the proprietor of Venture Lures and the creator of all of its baits. Our correspondences focused around publishing gear guides about his Dropper, Essential Swimmer, Finesse Worm, Heckler, Steady Swimmer, Supervisor, and Skinny Minnie.

Simonton is an inveterate drop-shot enthusiast, and except for the Steady Swimmer, all of them were designed primarily for drop-shot applications. But for years on end, Midwest finesse anglers have discovered in the waterways that they traditionally fish that most drop-shot creations are more effective when they affix them to a small mushroom-style jig with an exposed hook than they are on a drop-shot rig.

To assist us in composing gear guides about his baits, he mailed us some of them for us to work with, thoroughly examine, and publish a gear guide about Steady Swimmer.


Here is what we discovered about his 2.75- and 3.75-inch Essential Swimmer.


In the eyes of veteran Midwest finesse anglers, the Essential Swimmer is a unique stick-style bait that abstractly replicates the anatomical characteristics of a variety of vertebrate and invertebrate creatures that abide in our waterways.

According to our measurements, the 2.75-incher is 2 13/16 inches long.

The tip of its head is somewhat domed shaped. The head’s dorsal in convex, and its ventral is flat. It has a width of three-sixteenths of an inch, a height of one-quarter of an inch, and a circumference of 1 1/16 inches. Its epidermis is smooth.

The first 1 5/8 inches of its body’s dorsal section is convex and endowed with six significant segments or ribs. Simonton says these segments allow the Essential Swimmer to look like it is swimming when anglers shake the tip of their rods. Its ventral is flat, and its epidermis is smooth and almost glassy.


The first rib or segment is slightly less than one-quarter of an inch long. The second one is one-quarter of an inch long, and the depth of the second one is greater than the others. The third one is one-eighth of an inch long. The fourth one is slightly more than one-sixteenth of an inch long. The fifth one is slightly more than one-sixteenth of an inch long. The sixth one is about one-eighth of an inch long. Except for the gaps between the six ribs, the dorsal’s epidermis is smooth.

The largest portion of its body occurs at seven-eighths of an inch from the tip of its head. It has a width of three-eighths of an inch with a circumference of 1 1/4 inches and a height of five-sixteenths of an inch.

The last 1¼ inches of its body’s dorsal area is not segmented, but it is adorned with a knob-like tail that is radically segmented from the Essential Swimmer’s torso. The epidermis of this entire section is smooth. The ventral is flat, and the dorsal is convex. Near this section’s junction with the sixth rib, it has a width of three-sixteenths of an inch, a circumference of fifteenth-sixteenths of an inch, and a height of one-quarter of an inch. At five-eighths of an inch from the tip of its tail, this section of its body has a width of one-quarter of an inch, a circumference of one inch, and a height of one-quarter of an inch. At the junction with its tail, the width is one-eighth of an inch, a circumference of eleven-sixteenths of an inch, and height of three-sixteenths of an inch.


The tail is one-eighth of an inch long. The ventral is flat. The dorsal is convex. The tail’s cusp is flat, and it’s a quarter of an inch wide with a height of three-sixteenths of an inch. Some anglers describe the tail as being knob shaped, and others say its bell shaped.

According to our measurements, the 3.75-inch Essential Swimmer is 3 7/16 inches long. It is endowed with the same features as its 2.75-incher, but they are larger.

The first 1 13/16 inches of its body’s dorsal section is convex and endowed with six significant segments or ribs.

The first rib or segment is five-sixteenths of an inch long. The second one is five-sixteenths of an inch long, and the depth of the second one is greater than the others. The third one is one-eighth of an inch long. The fourth one is one-eighth of an inch long. The fifth one is one-eighth of an inch long. The sixth one is about one-eighth of an inch long.

Except for the gaps between the six ribs, the dorsal’s epidermis is smooth. Its ventral is flat with a smooth epidermis.

The largest portion of its body is situated in the middle of the first rib, which is thirteen-sixteenths of an inch from the tip of its head. It has a width of seven-sixteenths of an inch with a circumference of 1 3/8 inches and a height of three-eighths of an inch.

The last 1 13/16 inches of its body’s dorsal area is not segmented, but it is adorned with a knob-like tail that is radically segmented from the rest of the body. The epidermis of this entire section is smooth. The ventral is flat, and the dorsal is convex. Near this section’s junction with the sixth rib, it has a width of five-sixteenths of an inch, a circumference of one inch, and a height of slightly more than one-quarter of an inch. At three-quarters of an inch from the tip of its tail, this section of its body has a width of three-eighths of an inch, circumference of one inch, and height of one-quarter of an inch. Near its junction with its tail, the width is five-sixteenths of an inch with a circumference of about seven-eighths of an inch and a height of one-quarter of an inch.

The tail is about one-quarter of an inch long. The ventral is flat. The dorsal is convex. The tail’s cusp is flat, and it’s five-sixteenths of an inch wide with a height of one-quarter of an inch.

They are available in the following hues: Green Pumpkin Clutch, Green Pumpkin PBC, Smallie Money, and Smoke PB.

They are described as being hand poured from what is called super-soft-floating plastic.

They are buoyant and enhanced with salt and a garlic scent.

A package of ten 2.75-inchers costs $4.50, and a package of eight 3.75-inchers costs $4.50.

Endnotes:

  1. Here is a link to Venture Lures' website: https://venturelures.com/. It provides information about its baits, and it is also a retail venue.
  2. When Midwest Finesse anglers affix the Essential Swimmer to a mushroom-style jig with an exposed hook, they will work with all six of the standard Midwest finesse retrieves or slight variations of those retrieves. And these will be what we call no-feel presentations.

    The Essential Swimmer’s flat ventral section will enhance Midwest finesse anglers’ abilities to employ the swim-glide-and-shake presentation and several of their other presentations.

    To properly execute those six retrieves with a no-feel presentation, it is essential that anglers use a lightweight jig, ranging in size from 1/64- to 1/32- to 1/20- to 1/16- to 1/15-ounces.

    Here is a link to the Midwest Finesse column that describes how to employ those six retrieves: https://www.in-fisherman.com/editorial/six-midwest-finesse-retrieves/153946.
  3. Here are two links to Joe Balog’s BassFan columns about Simonton: http://www.bassfan.com/opinion_article/211/news.asp#.XlV9dUpMGUk; http://bassfan.com/opinion_article.asp ID=212#.XlV7iEpMGUk.
  4. Here are links to a BassFan column about Simonton: http://bassfan.com/news_article/4116/simonton-to-transition-from-teacher-to-tour-pro#.XlV8pUpMGUk;
  5. Here is a link to Siminton’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MichaelSimonton10/.
  6. Here is a link to our Midwest Finesse gear guide about Venture Lures' Essential Swimmer: https://www.in-fisherman.com/editorial/venture-lures-steady-swimmer/374139.
  7. In the weeks to come, we will publish gear guides that feature Venture Lures’ Dropper, Finesse Worm, Heckler, Supervisor, and Skinny Minnie.

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