Chalk Talk: Lewin on Swimming Dances

(Editor’s Note: The following is the latest in his series of fishing tips Bass University. Check back every Friday for a new tip.)

Bassmaster Elite Series pro Bill Lowen has used the swimming jig successfully in water at a 45 degree angle as well as when the air temperature is 110 degrees, but he is happiest with it in the spring, when bass are generally shallow. “If I don’t kick mud with that trolling engine, I’m not happy,” he explained. Like everything he does, there is a system for maximum success.

“I think one of the most important things for swimming and dance fishing is the rod,” he said. “I’m very anal about my devices.” He prefers something in the 7’6″ range because swim jigs are almost always used around some form of heavy cap, but a ‘broomstick’ like a flip stick will tire him out. Instead, he works with Lew’s on something similar to a heavy swivel bait rod, what He calls it ’80/20′ with 80% spine and 20% tip. It allows him to make precise molds, skipping his swim jigs under a draped cap, rocking them wildly without straining him. He said, “Let the wand work for you.” He pairs it up With Lew’s Team Lew’s HyperMag audio reel, the 7.5:1 version, not the 8.3:1 model, he said with the latter he tends to “squeeze them too hard.” He wraps it in a 30-pound Seaguar TactX braid, which provides maximum movement. The hits are visible, and the soft tip of the rod provides a slight delay that prevents it from pulling the jig away from a gnawing fish.

Many anglers have trouble choosing a trailer because there are so many options. “For me, the simpler the better,” Lewin said. It tends to use three or four categories most often: something with a kicking action, such as a Rage Craw; A shad profile or bluegel, such as a Caffeine Shad Swimmer or Rage Swimmer; A less exciting creature to kick, such as the Rage Bug or the Strike King Menace; And some kind of caterpillar.

He digs those trailers on the various jighead designs he’s developed or refined for Lure Parts Online, all in a “quarter ounce window.” This is because Lowen prefers to move his jig and keep it in the strike zone as long as possible, and 3/8 or 1/2-ounce prevents him from doing so. When he hits a stump, a clump of grass, or a shade line in a sidewalk, he can “just float it.” This is best accomplished with a massive trailer in the aft, such as the Rage Craw, which offers great resistance. He will go to a “Quarter Heavy” when he wants to roll the lure more uniformly, and fish a little deeper and/or a little faster.

In all of his swimming dances—and choppy dances too, for that matter—he prefers some embellishment in the skirt: “It gives that taste a little bit of shimmer,” he said, convinced it produces more bites and more checks over the course of the season.

If you’d like to know some other secrets of how Lowen uses his swimming jig, including his basic choices of colors and the surprisingly soft plastic he uses as a trailer when it gets too cold, check out his full video on the water, available only by subscribing to Bass University TV.

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