Keep it simple.  I am intrigued by swimming worms and swimming fluke baits, as they relate to swimbait fishing.  Swimming a fluke style bait is sorta kinda glide bait fishing to some extent.   There’s a randomness and glide of swimming fluke baits that makes them special.  Think about how the Scrounger Head, and Aaron Martens have pretty much validated that swimming flukes flat wear ’em out.  Now transition to the Head Spin.  Fluke influenced.  Very critical to rig your Fluke or swimbait PERFECTLY on your Head Spin.  Otherwise is runs funky or doesn’t look good.   The fluke + Head Spin of course won the BassMaster Classic in 2015 on Hartwell.  A blueback herring lake.  The Head Spin swims but also has a glide to it as it sinks and falls.  It has to do with the Fluke on the back.    The Little Dipper is an excellent trailer for the Head Spin.

My first exposure to the Scrounger was back in the day, Pacific Ocean in about 1990 out on the Dana Wharf fleet.   Saltwater calico bass fishing w 4″ curly tail grubs and Scroungers.  My first exposure to the Head Spin, was in 2005, in Atlanta, GA.  It was a local company and I read fishing reports for days trying to integrate into the Southern bass fishing scene.  I would credit Ryan Coleman for dialing me into the bite more like in 2007.  I hired Ryan to show me Lake Lanier.  There was a BassMaster Open coming to Lanier that year (Which, Ryan would WIN!).  He showed me how to slow roll a Head Spin over brush piles.  Later, folks like Brad and Bob Rutherford preached to me about the Head Spin for places like Hartwell.  Which is ironic because that is where Casey Ashley just won the 2015 BassMaster Classic — Lake Hartwell.   Head Spins have their place for suspended fish, herring eaters, spotted bass, largemouths, and any fish truthfully.  The underspin is a fundamental truth of fishing it feels like to me.

How many influences do you see here? Alabama rig and adding a 2nd blade/flash .... Then I've got a Little Dipper, from my Okeechobee affair w swimming worms. Then You have Fish Head Spin with is a unique swimbait in it's own right. Underspins, like spinnerbaits and inline spinners get bit.
How many influences do you see here? Alabama rig and adding a 2nd blade/flash …. Then I’ve got a Little Dipper, from my Okeechobee affair w swimming worms. Then You have Fish Head Spin with is a unique swimbait in it’s own right. Underspins, like spinnerbaits and inline spinners get bit.

So WTF does that have to do with the Mann’s Reel N’ Shad?  Watch this bait swim.  Watch it hop.  The straight reel, this thing has a sweet little wiggle fluid drive swim.   This is a “Do Nothing Swimbait” if I’ve ever seen one.  This thing looks lethal to me, on spinning gear , or casting gear.  There is a 3 3/4″ and and 5 1/4″ models which is cool.  The small one is definitely spinning gear time.  7′ M or MH Spinning pole and some 10-15# braid with a 10# floro leader.  Bang goes the dynamite.  This thing is part senko, part fluke, part glide bait, and part swimmer.  I just appreciate the simple yet super fishable and fish catchyness of this bait.

I have to admit, I haven’t fished a fluke on a standard roundball jig head enough.  I haven’t fished a fluke or fluke style (meaning V or U shaped body when looking at bait head on), that don’t have a swimming tail enough.   The swimming tail takes away from glide.   The tail straightens the swim into a more uniform flow/engine.  Fluke baits with a simple little fork tail (or no tail, ie Sluggo) don’t swim thru the water.  They glide.  The swimbait world is all blown up on, glide baits.  Glide baits are something so simple but something we (well, me certainly) are just scratching the surface with.  I’m so f@cking blown away on the Slide Swimmer 250, there’s no other way to put it.  I got like 5 bites by MAGNUM brown trout in the span of like 2 days.   It was sick and wrong.   There are particular reasons it’s so good.  I can kill it, stall it, etc that is very conducive to fishing current.  The Slide Swimmer 250 kicks f@cking ass in current.  Fishability.   Net net, anything that ‘glides’ like a fluke rigged with a light lead head will catch fish.   Try a 1/16 or 1/32 head on a Zoom Fluke sometime.  It’s stupid how good that thing fishes (and catches).  Mid-Strolling.  Have you ever heard of that technique?

The video is of the 5 1/4″ version in guess what color?  Hartwell Special/Blue Glimmer.  You know somebody knows what time it is when they name something like that.  This bait has blueback herring eaters written all over it.  Likewise smallmouth and spotted bass.  From creek fishing, to fishing steep walls / shade lines…boy …. this thing is super simple but looks effective.


Think about this bait for kids or for somebody who is new.   Good enough to cast, retrieve, and sorta gets the feel for jigging a bait with a rod, reel, and line.    You set them up with the Mann’s Reel N’ Shad , they are gonna be stoked.  Floating down a creek or fishing small water?  The 3 3/4″ version looks killer.  Great colors.   Mann’s surprises me from time to time.  I try to keep an open mind and never be snooty about baits, companies, and techniques.  That sort of arrogance has cost me a lot of money!   If you know what you’re doing this bait is sorta a new ‘indicator’ bait / approach.  One of those specialty baits you have rigged up on a shad bite/herring bite where fish are suspended, chasing bait, on steep stuff,  or need to probe the depths.

We’ve got a lot of tools to pick from.  This one definitely will help you keep it simple.  And might be a good suggestion to some beginners or something you take on a trip w you where you need to put some newbies on fish. Mann’s Bait Company is about as OG as you can get.  I think about Hank Parker and those Gold Colorado bladed spinnerbaits he won the Classic with, and I think of Paul Elias and the big ole deep dredge crankbaits.  I have to say, the 1-Minus series has caught me a lot of fish.   Anyway, Mann’s has some good baits, at a good price and seems to be hanging tuff.   I imagine they’ve sold 1 or 2 umbrella rigs too?!?!?!


Purchase the Mann’s Reel N’ Shad from Tacklewarehouse:

Click the image to purchase from Tackle Warehouse


Here is some more fusion.  The Lucky Craft Blade Cross Bait you have to check out.  This thing really fuses the jerkbait, underspin, spinnerbait, and swimbait thing together.  I really like how neutrally buoyant this thing feels in general. It sinks out, but any slight tension flattens the bait out and you can get a near suspend with any bow or wind in your line.  Very senko-ish in feel.  You can rip rip rip and then stall this thing and just be totally stoked at this jerkbait, flash, spin, stall stuff this bait produces. You can slow grind out and transition out of your jerkbait cadance, and get more swimbait style.  Just slow grind it along, mindfully.

The Lucky Craft Blade Cross is pretty impressive.  They make a 110 size which tells me there has to be bigger / saltwater size of these things!  I want a 200 or 300 series!!!
The Lucky Craft Blade Cross is pretty impressive. They make a 110 size which tells me there has to be bigger / saltwater size of these things! I want a 200 or 300 series!!!


I think jerkbaits catch fish all year long, but as winter sinks in, and then again right before Spring springs….the jerkbait is king.  I can see smashing fish on the Ozark lakes on this bait.  Where ever you have a good reaction bait bite.  Lake Mead/Havasu come to mind.  I can see the herring eaters going nutty about this bait, especially those spotted bass herring eaters that love spinnerbaits and jerkbaits so much.  Lanier, Clarks Hill, Murray, Keowee, Hartwell —those lakes come to mind as well suited for this bait.  All clear water lakes, that is for sure.  And anywhere you know fish react to jerkbaits, well shoot, I would just tie one of these on and give a try, because this thing fishes sick.  There is no doubt you’ll enjoy and appreciate this bait.  It almost has a glide bait feel to it, and has so many other influences, I was impressed.


This is a modern twist on jerkbait, spinnerbait and swimming baits and if you think about it, is a bit of a sister to the spy bait thing.  The spy baits have the props and the whirring of their blades creates a new unique vortex.  So does the Blade Cross Bait.  Very unique swim signature and profile. Lucky Craft makes quality baits and this is no exception. I notice these things tend to be low in quantity and stock in Tackle Warehouse often.  That is usually a good indicator.

Fusion of jerkbait, spinnerbait, underspin and swimbait.  Pretty rad bait.
Fusion of jerkbait, spinnerbait, underspin and swimbait. Pretty rad bait.


Purchase the Lucky Craft Blade Cross Bait HERE


The Triple Shad Elite, is the fusion of underspin and umbrella rig fishing.  The bait is made by my long time friend, Cameron Smith.  Cameron has been quietly selling the Triple Shad Elite to bait shops in San Diego County for maybe a year, and now he’s stepping up and got his baits sku’d and online at Tackle Warehouse.  San Diego lakes are small, highly pressured, and guys tend to be really good at tweaking their baits and thinking outside the box, because that is what you have to do to get bit and be competitive.


The Triple Shad Elite comes in various weights:  1/4, 3/8 and 1/2 ounce models, and the baits come in a good standard baitfish centric colors.  They are built with 4/0 and 5/0 solid Gamakatsu hooks.   I fished with Cameron this past Fall in the Ozarks, and he brought me some baits and showed me how he fishes them.  Cameron will throw the bait out, and let it hit the bottom and slow grind it back to the boat, or he’ll count it down to the desired depth and slow grind it in.  The bait has a lot more thump and feel to it, than underspins with a single blade.  The traditional underspins can be hard to get a feel for because there is so little drag or resistance when you reel it, you aren’t sure if your bait is fouled or have any real connection with the swim of your bait.  Not the case with the Triple Shad Elite.  You definitely get a good feel for the bait swimming along, blades turning and thumping.

Triple Shad From Behind

Cameron recommends Zoom Super Flukes (Regular or Jr. size) as the trailers.  Traditional ball knobber or boot tailed swimbaits don’t always go well with underspin type baits.  The kick of the boot tail will mess with the swim and tracking of the bait, so by using a Fluke, with a nothing, no swim, forked tail, you eliminate the trailer messing with the balance and track of the bait.  Cameron I know will throw on a good old fashion curly tail grub from time to time too.  You just don’t want a lot of drag created by whatever trailer you choose.

Cameron Smith

With the lessons learned of the umbrella rig and the super nova of the Alabama Rig, there is no doubt that creating a school of baitfish flat catches fish.  Cameron is fusing the best of underspin fishing with the goodness of umbrella rigging, and delivering it in a single compact bait.   Underspins have been quietly cashing checks on Tour, at local levels and all over country now.  They are great ways to catch suspended fish, so the Triple Shad fits into a great space of suspended fish tools, that bring the multi-rig dimension where you’re giving them a school of baitfish.   Cameron fishes his Triple Shad Elites on 15-17# Florocarbon a Medium Heavy 7 foot casting rod, and a standard casting reel.


$8.99 Each

Click HERE to Get Yours