Talk to pro anglers about the most significant additions to tackle box and skill sets in recent years, and many will single out soft swimbaits. Why? The swimbait is a “stealth” search bait in the hands of a skilled angler. It enables him to cover water quickly and find fish without setting off the “alarm” that baits with loud rattles, big vibration and extreme water displacement sometimes do.
Kalin’s soft plastic grubs, tubes and twin-tail trailers are widely acknowledged as some of the most supple, fish catching baits on the market.
In another corner of the Uncle Josh brand stable was the Sizmic line, made famous by the Sizmic Toad, a “meaty” soft plastic buzz-frog that drew strikes by causing frantic surface disturbance.
By almost any measure of size and action, a soft swimbait sits at a mid-point between the subtle Kalin’s grubs and tubes and the flamboyant Sizmic “Toad.” So it was fitting for it to become the bridge bait that brought those venerable brands together in what is now the Kalin’s Sizmic series!
On the water
The Kalin’s product development team had extreme tail action in mind when it created the Kalin’s SIzmic Shad. The tail tapers rapidly from the bait’s round barrel body to a thin tail stem before blossoming into a broad paddle tail that delivers a wide swing and heavy thumping action.
Kalin’s will launch its Sizmic Shad in 10 colors and two sizes – 3.8- and 4.8-inch.
In addition to a detailed head, the bait features a ribbed body that delivers its own fish-attracting impulses. A slotted back makes it easy to Texas rig and still manage an effective hook set with a variety of weighted or unweighted wide-gap swimbait hooks.
Matt Bichanich, a member of the Kalin’s product development team, noted that the swimbait ranked high on the company’s product development list.
“But we took our time testing it in the R&D lab and on the water to get it right,” he emphasized.
After a video shoot, I cajoled two of the last prototypes of the Kalin’s Sizmic Shad from the design team and headed north from Uncle Josh territory to the Door County peninsula.
I was careful to keep the swimbait under wraps until conditions called for something different.
After a good early bite, the smallmouth became shy in late morning. It seemed like a good time to reach into the bag of tricks.
I opened my jig box to find a jig that matched up in profile and weight with the 4.8-inch Kalin’s Sizmic Shad. But the first item that caught my eye was a vibrating jighead, a tool that matches up well with a variety of minnow-style soft plastics.
The combined action of the jighead and Sizmic Shad had me immediately mesmerized. In the clear Great Lakes waters, I could watch it working through much of my cast.
On my fifth cast, a large black shadow trailed my bait. Just as the lure began to swing toward the boat, the smallmouth nailed it. Minutes later I was smiling with a fish well past the five-pound mark!
Ways to rig
The vibrating “Scrounger” type of jighead is only one of several ways to rig a soft swimbait.
When these baits first hit the tackle shelves, most fishermen restricted their usage to belly-weighted swimbait hooks, some of which worked with the baits they chose; many of which didn’t!
The Kalin’s Sizmic Shad has a slot on top for the hook point to facilitate hooksets with a standard Texas rig. Arm yourself with several styles of swimbait hook to find the size and style that matches best with your bait.
In open water, sparse cover, or whenever conditions permit, you will want to work Kalin’s Sizmic Shad on a jighead. A jighead allows the body and tail of the swimbait to deliver maximum action.The Kalin’s Ultimate Swimbait Jig is a good match, and it comes in a variety of weights and hook sizes.
A deadly combination in and around cover is the 3.8-inch Sizmic Shad on a swim jig such as the Kalin’s Swim Stalker jig. The combination delivers a rolling side-to-side action and pulsating skirt movement along with the tantalizing tail action.
New lures, new rigs, and a fresh knowledge of how and where to fish them keeps the mind fresh, the fishing fun, and the bass off their guard! Add the Kalin’s Sizmic Shad to your arsenal next season!