John Crews ICON Big Bait Rod
Big Bait Trend
By John Crews
Two trends have emerged over the past couple years on the bass fishing scene. The first one is more obvious. Forward facing sonar has changed a lot in bass fishing recently but we are going to stay away from that one here. The other is a trend of more and more anglers fishing with big baits. We all want to catch big bass and people are getting more comfortable with trying big baits to catch them.
Big baits are an entire category of baits. It includes 7” glide baits, 6 to 8” boot tail swim baits, 1 ounce spinnerbaits, oversized deep diving crankbaits like Strike King 10XD, and umbrella rigs. They all have their place to catch big bass.
To throw these baits, you need the right equipment. Let’s start with the rod. Cashion Rods let me design a rod exactly for these type baits. It is 7’10” and is called the Big Bait Rod. It has the right amount of power to throw these baits but moderate enough action to not rip hooks out of their mouth when fighting those big monsters. You will need a beefier reel than a normal 100 size baitcaster. I recommend between a 150 and 300 size reel. I use the Daiwa Zillion HD or the Daiwa Tatula 300 with this rod and these baits. Of course, don’t think about less than 18 pound line.
Once you get prepared to battle the big baits and big bass, let’s talk about my top 3 big baits.
- Glide Bait – Glide baits are the biggest trend in big baits. There are open water ones and choppy ones. Choppy ones are like jerkbaits. The new SPRO Chad Chad is a great way one to start with. You use the bait like a jerkbait by throwing it around places where bass are setup ready to feed.
- Big Spinnerbait – This one is an easier transition for most bass anglers. Spinnerbaits are a comfortable bait for most anglers so a bigger version is a concept we can all get behind. Just like a regular size spinnerbait, the big versions work in the same conditions. However, you will be taking a knife to a gunfight if you try to fish a big ¾ or 1 ounce spinnerbait on a regular spinnerbait rod.
- Umbrella Rig – If you fish in the winter, you better be throwing an umbrella rig. With all the wires, heads, and baits on it, it is a contraption to throw. The wild thing about this rig is that you can use forward facing sonar to throw it at fish, fish it like a spinnerbaits, or fish it around any type cover you think bass are in the winter. It is a versatile bait. However, you need a proper rod to throw this rig. A flipping stick is too stiff and many people have a hard time buying a technique specific rod for it. The Big Bait Rod is the way to cover it and more.
Big baits are a lot of fun because they do catch big bass! Take the plunge. Wrap your head about throwing baits bigger than bass you have caught. Get the right equipment. Go throw big baits and get ready to hold on.