Swim Jig Fishing Secrets

Northern Swim Jig Fishing

By Mike Raber

Swimming a jig has become increasingly popular over the past decade. For good reason, this technique catches big fish.  The swim jig has been responsible for several elite level tournament wins in recent history. Perhaps its effectiveness is due in part to its versatility and adaptability. Anglers have employed swim jigs to catch winning sacks of bass from North to South and coast to coast. When I started fishing a swim jig many years ago, I learned the braid sizzling action of the south doesn’t always translate well to Northern waters. Creating a “system” for Northern swim jig fishing has been paramount to my successes with the technique.  What I’ve learned is it really boils down to two simple facts.

  1. You can’t hook bass that don’t bite
  2. You can’t land bass that don’t stay hooked

Getting Bit

Perhaps the most important yet most simple aspect of any technique in bass fishing is getting bites. The swim jig is great at this as it covers a ton of water and offers more realism than its counterparts. There are additional things you can do to tip the odds in your favor for getting more bites, however. Matching the hatch is very important in clear water swim jig fishing. For swim jigs, matching the hatch boils down to two things, the color, and the trailer.


Jig Colors

I keep my colors very simple, stocking only a few options to imitate bream and a shad pattern or two. My absolute favorite jig for imitating bluegill in the Midwest is the Candy Craw color in the Secret Lures MVP Swim Jig line.

Honestly, this has been the jig I’ve reached for time and time again over the past 5 years and it flat gets bit. Having a jig you can rely on is extremely important but the jig is only half of the puzzle.

Jig Trailers

Swim jig trailers come in many shapes and sizes and I’ve narrowed my selection to keep it simple and effective… catching the theme here?  The trailer should complement the jig in multiple aspects. The size, action, and color of the trailer should be coupled with the jig to create the most attractive package possible. Recognize that you can completely change your presentation simply by changing your trailer. That may sound quite complex, but I have a few favorites that seem to cover nearly all situations.

1 / 4 Ounce Swim Jig

Top trailer choices: Rage Craw / Reaction Innovations Little Dipper

The Rage Craw gets the nod in dirtier water where more water displacement is needed. It also serves well in situations where I’d like to keep the jig up in the water column and moving slowly. The Little Dipper is more versatile and serves well in any visibility 2 feet or more. This trailer helps to get the light jig a little deeper and allows it to move a little faster than the craw without blowing out.

 3/8 Ounce Swim Jig

Top Trailer Choices: Keitech Fat Swing Impact

This one is very popular and predictable and it works! My favorite situation for the 3/8 ounce jig is fishing outside weed lines on our natural lakes. The extra weight allows me to keep the jig in the strike zone longer and fish it at a faster speed.  I pull it out when I feel like one or the other subtle changes in retrieve or depth will make a difference.  That size jig, coupled with a 3.8” Keitech is a heck of a package for clear water green fish.

Keeping Fish Buttoned

If you’re new to the technique or you’re using the wrong equipment, losing fish with a swim jig can be a huge problem. It is important that your rod, reel, and line are all working in unison to put fish in the boat.

Secret Lures MVP Swim Jigs

Rod Suggestions:

Use a rod that has plenty of backbone but also allows you to reel into the fish and load up on the hookset. In my opinion, the best swim jig stick on the planet is the Denali Kovert LT 723WJ. The rod handles both 1/4- and 3/8-ounce jigs very well. People vary some on their rod choice here, but I strongly suggest using something at least 7’ and something in the Medium Heavy range.  Choose a swim jig rod you believe in and build your system around that.


I try to streamline everything as much as possible. For both 1/4 and 3/8 swim jigs I throw 15lb Fluorocarbon about 80% of the time. This allows me to transition from fishing a light jig up dirt shallow to slow rolling a heavier jig on deep grass lines by simply tying on a new jig. The situation where I consistently turn to a lighter line is in very cold water, where I’m looking for every advantage I can find to get a bite.


This is the simplest part of the system. Use the fastest reel you can buy. When a five pounder inhales your jig from behind and runs at you, you’ll thank me.

 What Makes a Good Swim Jig?

The three things I look for in a swim jig are realism, balance, and efficiency. I’ve used dozens of different jigs and while many of them work, I have settled on the Secret Lures MVP Swim Jig for a couple of reasons.


Realism – A swim jig must look like the baitfish it imitates. The water is usually clear when a swim jig bite is on and fish will often trail your jig before deciding to eat it. For this reason, I look for every advantage I can get.  I like a jig to have realistic eyes and a lively skirt. The trailer should do the bulk of the drawing in but when that fish gets close, it can easily be the details that make the difference.

Balance – Balance comes more from the head design of the bait. Make sure the head of the jig allows it to keel upright in the water and track true at all speeds. Nothing will hang up quicker or look more unnatural than a jig swimming sideways.

Efficiency – Efficiency is all about the business end, the hook. The Secret Lures MVP Swim Jigs are one of the few that I’ve found to actually tailor the hook to the head size.  That may seem like a small detail, but it is key.

A 1/4-ounce jig should sport a hook with light enough wire to not overpower the bait but should also be able to lean on a kicker and not straighten it out. A 3/8-ounce jig should do the same, but you want a stronger/heavier hook to compensate for the extra weight in the head.

Their 1/2-ounce version is actually built with a saltwater grade heavy duty hook, but I personally don’t have a lot of experience with that one…YET.  With that said, all you have to do is hold one in your hand.  It screams HEAVY DUTY and is just begging for braided line and big bass!

Each of these things is something I learned to be important over time with this technique. Put these pieces together and you have one heck of a swim jig.  Give them a try this spring and I think they’ll quickly become one of your Secret Lures.  

Keep it Simple

In summary, swim jigging truly is pretty simple if you start with a good product. You cast it out, you wind it in, it gets bites. If you take this system and make it your own, I’m sure your northern swim jig fishing will improve. Find a rod that works for your style. Find the line that you trust when your tournament is on it. Experiment with jigs and trailers until you find what you like but if you’re looking for a great place to start, look no further than the MVP Swim Jig.

If you are in my neck of the woods, Northern Indiana, stop in and see Reid and the folks at The Angler in Hudson, IN.  He turned me onto these baits several years ago and he keeps a great selection of the jigs and trailers mentioned here.   Make your swim jig fishing less complicated this year. Get bites, make them count, and tell us all about it when it works.

New Stupid Tubes for 2019

The Stupid Tube Goes BIG Time in 2019

The secret of the Secret Lures Stupid Tubes is leaking out at a pretty steady drip these days.  Three trips to the Bassmaster Classic, a BFL All American Title, and televised coverage have a way of doing that.  We’re expecting 2019 to bring a flood of successful bass fishing stories and bass tournament wins.  In part, because “The Secret is Out”, and in part, because of the Secret Lures HD Stupid Tube Jighead and Flippin’ Stupid Tube.

Secret Lures Stupid Tube and Flippin' Stupid Tube

(Original Stupid Tube vs Flippin’ Stupid Tube)

HD (Heavy Duty) Stupid Tube Heads: This one is something we’re excited about, and we know customers will be too.  It is built on the same design principles that have taken three anglers to the Bassmaster Classic, won a BFL All-American, and countless other titles, but heavy duty!


Secret Lures HD Stupid Tube Head

Secret Lures HD Stupid Tube Head

The new HD Stupid Tube Head is designed for pitching and flipping bigger tubes in heavy cover with heavy line and flippin’ sticks.  If you’ve liked flipping tubes in the past, you’re going to love it now.  Although still a 4/0 in size, the HD features a medium wire Mustad hook with more bite and less flex.  It fits perfectly in the new Secret Lures Flippin’ Stupid Tube.





The 4.2 Flippin’ Stupid Tube: A HD Stupid Tube Head in any other tube is only half right, so we took it upon ourselves to finish up the “system.”

Secret Lures Flippin’ Stupid Tube


By using our same proven recipe for hand-dipped salted tubes, we’ve come up with the ultimate flippin’ tube.  The Secret Lures Flippin’ Stupid Tube maintains the same proportions and texture that made the Stupid Tube famous but scaled up for the HD Stupid Tube Head.  Inside diameter increased by 50% and 1/2 inch 0f total length was added.  We’ve started with four proven colors and look forward to working with customers and dealers to expand our color palette in 2019.  If you’ve got a killer color combo you’d like to see, drop us a line, we’d love to hear about it and help make it a reality!

The 4.5 Big Dummy Stupid Tube:  This one was born out of the testing phase of the Flippin’ Stupid Tube with Terry McWilliams and Matt McCoy.  They are two of the most qualified Stupid Tube experts you’ll ever meet.

(Top to Bottom: Big Dummy, Flippin' Stupid Tube, Stupid Tube)

(Top to Bottom: Big Dummy, Flippin’ Stupid Tube, Stupid Tube)

They take tube fishing to the Ph.D. level!  Every time we sent them a new batch their response was the same, “These are awesome, BUT, can you make it bigger?”  That quest ended when these arrived at their doors.  Although we were skeptical of a tube that size, the first trip to the lake proved them right.  The Big Dummy is double the inside diameter of the Stupid Tube and closer to 4.5 inches long.  It’s bulky but not long.  There are times and places that a tube this size produces quality bites.  Rather than shelving them, we did a limited run for folks to try out.  What makes them different is that they are big and fat, but not thickly walled.

The Big Dummy collapses quickly with minimal pressure and that translates into good hookups.  Like the Flippin’ Stupid Tube, we’re going to let our customers help us decide what colors to make next.

For the die-hard Original Stupid Tube fans, we also took care of one of the most common requests!

Heavier Stupid Tube Heads: Lots of folks wanted to fish the Stupid Tube in deeper water and/or heavier current, which makes sense.  The more fish you can show a Secret Lures Stupid Tube, the more fish you can put in the boat.  We figured out how to squeeze a ¼ ounce of lead into the 3.7 Stupid Tube.  It makes for a fat head without hindering that proven action.  You can now get the ¼ once version in 3/0 and 4/0 light wire Gamakatsu hooks.

Get all the products mentioned here FIRST at!

The Secret is Out for Bass Fishing Tournaments

Bass Fishing Lures | Secret Lures Success in Bass Fishing Tournaments

For over a decade Secret Lures has been producing bass fishing tackle.  Not your average run of the mill products, but true tournament grade, precisely designed fishing tackle.  Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, spotted bass…it doesn’t matter; we’ve got something for all of them.  The focus has been on tournament grade because that’s the best venue for testing products against other baits and varied conditions.  Success in bass fishing tournaments has translated into success for all our customers, not just the competitors.


The problem with being proven on the tournament trail is, when anglers are winning events on your baits, they don’t tell anyone!  Occasionally, they will let it slip among their fishing buddies, but for the most part, they are tighter lipped than a Florida Largemouth Bass after a cold front.  How many times have you asked a buddy and they said, “Oh that one?  I caught it on a Secret Lure!”  They usually say it with sarcasm, just to throw you off the trail, but the truth is they probably did.  Secret Lures has been the official lure of big catches and big wins since 2008! 

Over the last ten years, the company has been quietly cranking out winning baits with our recipe of precision designs, extensive testing, and quality components.  It started as a quest to make the best and most efficient topwater frog, the Chubby, but it has grown into much more.  Secret Lures now offers dozens of different jigs, terminal tackle such as shaky heads, swimbait heads, wacky rig jigs, and tube jigs.  Secret Lures is also an expert in hand-dipped and salted tube lures.  The Secret Lures Stupid Tube and Stupid Tube Jig Head have qualified three tournament anglers for the Bassmaster Classic, as well as been credited behind the scenes for wins at all levels of tournament bass fishing.

It is precisely that “behind the scenes” credit that has fueled the company to keep making more great baits, but it is also why so many folks haven’t heard about Secret Lures.  Anglers have been keeping their Secret Lures to themselves.  That is about to change!  New ownership has been working diligently over the summer to make sure, “The Secret is Out.”  It is now time for everyone to learn about Secret Lures and how they can start using them to catch more fish.   

Whether you are a tournament fisherman or a weekend warrior on your local ponds, Secret Lures has products that help you make the most of every cast, and we are excited to start sharing that with anglers everywhere.   

We look forward to using as a way to communicate with our customers.  You’ll find multiple ways to contact us and follow along on this journey.  As far as the blog, it’ll be a mashup of things we’re doing at Secret Lures, as well as content we think our customers and fans of fishing should enjoy.  Ultimately, as we build out this platform, we believe you’ll appreciate what we are doing in this space.  We’ll also be using the various social media platforms to become more connected to our customers.  If you haven’t already, be sure to Friend, Follow, and Subscribe to us in the programs you use so we can stay in touch.   

Look for more details in upcoming blog posts!