Glide bait fishing has made a big push in recent years to become more of a mainstream technique. A bait that many of us across the country relegated for decades to the West coast only, now seems to be popping up more and more across the Midwest, Southeast and even north of the Mason-Dixon.
There have been two main contributors to this increase in popularity, in my opinion. The first is the intentional effort made by tournament anglers like Brandon Palaniuk, Carl Jocumsen and Chris Zaldain to incorporate these bigger baits into their arsenal during tournament competition on some of the biggest stages in the sport.
Second is the increase in availability of quality, mass-produced glide baits sold at reasonable prices. Today, we’re going to review one of those quality glide baits, the 13 Fishing Glidesdale Glide Bait.
A great glide bait for your buck
Just a few short years ago, a quality glide bait would go for several hundred dollars; there were no mass-produced glide baits. Even when a few companies started to toy around with the idea of mass producing glide baits, the first few to hit the market paled in comparison performance-wise to those old blue-blood wooden plugs.
But now, there are several quality glide baits available at reasonable price points. That’s definitely the demographic I’d say the Glidesdale falls into. For just under $20, 13 Fishing has put together a really strong overall product with a great action and strong components. A solid bait to try out if you’re interested in getting into the glide bait game and a bait I’d challenge some of the wooden handmade glide bait aficionados to put to the test.
For starters, let’s talk about the action of the Glidesdale. On a simple reeling retrieve, you can easily keep this bait right below the surface to create a wake, or let it slip down in the water column a few inches to a couple of feet if you’d like. On that slow and steady retrieve, the bait will swim back and forth in a fairly tight S pattern.
If you begin to add a little stop-and-go to your retrieve, you will generate those wider drifts that a glide bait is known for. You can add this action by twitching your rod tip but it’s far easier to do this by simply starting and stopping your reel handle. As you pause your retrieve, the bait will sail to the left or right and as you start it up again the jerking motion of your line beginning to move again will send the bait gliding in the opposite direction, creating a walk-the-dog action.
Hooks and split rings
The hardware 13 Fishing went with for the Glidesdale is top notch. With heavy-duty hook hangers, thick split rings and large No. 1 round-bend trebles, the Glidesdale has everything it needs to haul a big one to the boat. The round-bend hooks are a good selection for this bait as the round bend offers up a wider gap between hook point and hook shaft compared to other trebles. This is important since most fish take a swing at a glide bait and don’t really eat the whole thing. Round-bend hooks give you the best chance of hooking up with a bass that’s swiping like this.
I really like the oval split ring on the front of the bait. Adding a split ring here gives the bait one more hinge point to allow for maximum action compared to tying a knot directly to the eye. The oval shape of this split ring in particular is really nice; oval split rings are better than round ones because your knot stays in the bend of the split ring and doesn’t run the risk of getting up against the sharp end of the wire of the ring. With round split rings, the knot often works its way around to the place where the ring comes together and the sharp end of the wire can damage a knot.
Profile and tail
The Glidesdale has a great overall size and profile. At 6.6 inches long and 2 1/2 ounces, this bait is a big bait that you can bomb cast but not a massive bait. It’s large enough to draw the attention of a bass but still small enough to represent a wide range of bait fish and not pose a threat to a bass. The top and bottom fin really break up the otherwise streamlined design of the Glidesdale and give it a good look in the water.
I have been particularly impressed by the tail of the Glidesdale. With many glide baits, even the high-dollar ones, the tails can be easily torn, lost, bent or otherwise damaged. This takes a big toll on the overall look and action of the bait and typically requires a replacement tail to make the bait effective again. The material 13 Fishing went with on this tail is flexible but super durable. Although I’ve actually stored this bait poorly a couple of times and pulled it out to find the tail had a bad bend in it, after laying the bait out for a little while I’ve found that the tail has returned to its original shape every time.
Color selection and final thoughts
There are four color choices in the Glidesdale: Rusty Bream (seen here), Rainbow Trout, Goldilocks and Clear Perch. These options offer anglers a color choice to mimic many of the larger prey bass will frequently go after, sunfish, trout, golden shiners and perch respectively. This covers a pretty wide range and the only color I’d like to see added in particular would be a more paled-out shad imitator for Tennessee River-type fisheries, which would work well for mimicking big shad in stained water.
But overall, the 13 Fishing Glidesdale Glide Bait is a fantastic lure I’ve had a lot of fun testing out. The bait offers the angler a lot of bang for his buck at only $19.99. There’s a small but strong offering of color choices and the quality components used to make this bait has created a durable lure that can haul big ones to the boat or bank for years to come. I’m really impressed by this one.
The 13 Fishing Glidesdale Glide Bait is available at TackleWarehouse.com.