Glide Baits: How to Fish the S-Waver

The popularity of glide baits has exploded in the last 2 years! With their advent, jointed swimbaits went from a warm-water bait to a year-round bait almost overnight. Whether you choose to throw a Roman Made Negotiator, a Deps Slide Swimmer, or an S-Waver, the retrieves that consistently put fish in the boat are completely interchangeable.

After our S-Waver 200 video came out in the spring we received a lot of requests for a video explaining how to fish the bait. Unfortunately we were headed into summer and couldn't address the questions right away. With fall upon us, the glide bait season is in full swing and its time to teach you how to fish these incredibly deadly baits!

Matt and Tim have developed a unique style to fishing these baits that has allowed them to catch numerous giant limits on a variety of lakes and reservoirs. As is often the case with these two, there is great variance in the gear they choose to use. Both have fine tuned their equipment to their own style and both think the other does it wrong. Perhaps you can see through the mire and identify which style you more closely relate to.

Matt comes from a traditional swimbait background and prefers stouter equipment than Tim. Tim comes from a tournament background and prefers a more balanced, (play the fish instead of drag the fish) approach.  

For the 8" and larger glide baits both anglers use the Dobyns 806H. While this may seem light to a swimbait angler it will be extremely heavy for a traditional tournament guy. We choose this rod because of its great balance, stout backbone, and moderate action. You can sling a giant bait but its not so stout that the fish will bend the hooks. Both anglers also agree on using 65-80 lb braided line with a 30 lb mono leader under most circumstances.

This is where the similarities stop. On occasion Tim will drop down as light as 17 lb fluorocarbon if he's fishing clear water reservoirs. Matt insists that big bass won't shy away from his 30 lb line as long as the leader is of substantial length. Reels are another point of contention between the two anglers. Matt prefers the fit and feel of a traditional round reel for big baits. He loads his rod with Shimano Calcutta in 300 and 400 sizes. Tim on the other hand prefers the relaxed fit and feel of the Abu Garcia Revo 50, insisting that the 60 is too large.

For the 6-8" Glide Baits including the S-Waver 168 the angler's unique styles show themselves again. Matt prefers a Dobyns 764C (traditionally known as a jig rod) for its stout backbone and ability to drive the hooks into the fish. He couples it with either a Lew's BB-1 Pro or Curado 200. Both reels are spooled with 50-65 lb Sufix 832 Braid affixed to a 15-20 lb mono leader.

Tim on the other hand reaches for the Dobyns 764 CB (Soft cranking rod) for its gentle load and ability to play the fish. He couples it with the Lew's Team Gold Speed Spool filled with 30 lb braid and a 15-20 lb Sunline Flourocarbon Leader.

While the anglers can't agree on their equipment both have proven their technique is effective at landing big bass. Once you've dialed in your gear, the following retrieves will help you turn your followers into committed bites.

4 Retrieves for Glide Baits:

  1. The Slow Crawl: As the name insinuates, this retrieve is as easy as it gets. Reel the baits slowly and steadily at the slowest possible speed you can before the bait loses action and starts dragging through the water.
  2. The Pull and Glide: This retrieve involves a 6 slow handle turns to get the bait moving followed by a long sweep of the rod. The bait will go from a slow crawl to a fast escape attempt followed by a sweeping left or right turn and is deadly on big followers!
  3. The Crawl and Twitch: using a combination of 4-12 slow handle rotations followed by two quick snaps of the rod/reel you can create the appearance of a bait that has been startled. Use this retrieve around cover or when a bass is closely stalking the bait
  4. The Walk: Use a combination of the rod tip and reel handle to "walk the dog" with the bait. Fast or slow, the walk will pull incredibly vicious strikes from bass that are chasing bait, in shallow water, or are otherwise acting aggressively.

Use these 4 retrieves the next time you're on the water to turn your favorite glide bait into a fish catcher. Each retrieve has been proven to put big bass in the boat time and time again! As always, if you have questions, comments, or tips of your own, we'd love to hear them!

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