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How I Store Swimbaits to Avoid Bent Tails

Swimbaits have become some of the most prominent fish catchers through all seasons, but storing them can be a headache for some folks. I catch bass 12 months out of the year on various swimbaits, whether it’s out deep on jigheads, or shallow on a weighted hook and even as trailers on Chatterbaits and swim jigs. So keeping a various supply becomes necessary.

The problem is their most important component is their tail, and these baits are maybe more susceptible to getting out of shape and not working right than any other soft plastic fishing lure made. Part it of it comes from their design. But the other part is how they are stored in your tackle box and in your fishing boat.

Here are four things that have helped me store and keep my swimbaits fresh for more fish catches throughout the year.

Not just how they lay in the boxes

One easily overlooked component of keeping your swimbaits from kinking or getting a permanently crooked tail is by not stacking storage boxes of swimbaits on their sides. For some reason it seems that swimbaits in boxes laid side by side in tackle storage compartments of boats or in big tackle boxes seem to kink.

I keep my boxes of swimbaits laying flat in my center compartment of my boat. And I store them flat on my shelves in my workshop. I make a point to only store a couple layers of swimbaits in a compartment of a storage box. When you turn it up on its side, now there might be 3 or 4 swimbaits pushing down on a tail.

I keep a lot of my big swimbaits like Megabass Magdrafts and Magslowls in the Flambeau Double Deep Waterproof Container 5012. I store smaller paddle tails in the Flambeau Tuff Tainer 5007 Box with Zerust dividers.


Small containers that fit the baits 

I also have become fond of putting one kind of swimbait in a small container that fits the baits. Its not easy but if you do some hunting you can find containers that are the same length as your swimbaits. If you get one pretty close the same size, you can use the head to hold the curve of the tail in place. 

I will lay maybe 10 or so swimbaits in a small container to have on the ready with larger 6-7 inch swimbaits. And again I try to lay those containers flat in my boat or tackle box. These are some Sterlite containers I found at Walmart.


Big containers that hold molded packs

The thinner a swimbait tail, the more susceptible the tail is to getting bent. So I will often throw a bunch of swimbaits stored in molded plastic packages in a bigger tote. I can keep that in my truck or in my boat and grab a pack out for when I’m fishing without worrying about the tails being bent. 

Some swimbaits are more likely to get bent than others depending on the type of plastic used. So I have some I store in boxes and some I keep in their molded packages to make sure I’m putting on a bait that is going to give a good presentation in the water.


Store like swimbaits together

I will also try to store swimbaits with similar tails together. I don’t want a thin round tail swimbait with a bunch of heavier flat tail swimbaits laying on top of them. So I often store flat swimbaits together and round tail swimbaits together. And I lay them in the box where the heads and tails are helping each other stay straight. You can see from the pictures how a head laying next to a tail can keep the tail from moving and getting bent as much.

If I don find a swimbait with a kinked tail, I will put it aside. When I get several that need to be straightened, I will boil some water and dip the tails and straighten them out with a little TLC in my down time off the water. 

Hope this helps keep your swimbaits working longer and catching fish. I’d love to hear what other tricks you have for keeping swimbaits straight on our social channels. 

Some of my favorite soft plastic swimbaits

I have a lot of swimbaits that I reach for when bass fishing, but here are a few of my favorites that I keep on hand all the time now:

Zoom Swimmer

Megabass Spark Shad

Megabass Magdraft

Megabass Magslowl

Strike King Lures Rage Swimmer

Keitech FAT Swing Impact

Scottsboro Tackle Company swimbaits