Probably the biggest segment of growth in bass fishing tackle for the last several years has been around swimbaits and new "twists" and "spins" manufacturers can put on that niche of fishing lures. And rightfully so. Swimbaits have accounted for a lot of my big bass the last 3 or 4 years.
So I'm always scouring trade shows, internet videos and tackle shops for cool new swimbaits I might not already know about. I found one of those last year with the Biwaa Divinator.
The Divinator is a hybrid swimbait that features a willow leaf blade for a tail as opposed to the standard boot, paddle or wedge tail designs. It comes in two sizes - 5.5 inches and 7 inches. The former weighs 3/4 ounce. And the 7-inch version weighs 1 1/4 ounces.
Here are several things I found interesting about this swimbait hybrid fishing lure:
- Perfect sizes
- Not nip-prone
- Deepwater performance
- Hook options
Two sizes are right for most anglers
Swimbaits as big as a tennis shoe definitely have a place in California, Texas, Florida and maybe the Tennessee River, but manufacturers learned early on it would be a tough sell in the northeast, midwest, southeast and northern parts of the country. So a 5 1/2 inch swimbait is sized perfectly for most waters and bass anglers alike.
However I found the 7 inch version to be more like a 5 or 6 inch hollow belly paddle tail type swimbait. It's longer because of the blade but not necessarily bulkier. I would think it will have a time and place on most fisheries around prespawn and post spawn bass. I think the 5 1/2 swimbait is really more like a 4 inch swimbait with a blade on it. It would be applicable I think to those same fish that bite fish head spins and small swimbaits.
But the 7-inch was a lot of fun this summer and fall. It caught bass deep on the ledges and even shallow in the backs of pockets where fish were feeding on shad schools.
Fish don't nip the blade
When I first saw the bait, I was a bit concerned that the bass would attack the blade, which isn't really close to the hooks. I found out the fish don't nip at the blade like I was worried. In fact it seemed to be a plus. When fishing deep in 20 feet or more of water, it seemed to help the fish hone in on the bait. I did miss some fish, but I miss fish on paddle tail swimbaits all the time. Sometimes fish just nudge a swimbait rather than biting it.
Made for deep water
The Divinator has a streamlined profile and a lot of weight which makes it a great deepwater swimbait. I threw the swimbaits on medium heavy and heavy power 7-foot and 7-foot, 2-inch rods with 6.4:1 or 6.5:1 gear ratio reels. The baits cast really well but we're too over bearing even though the weights can seem like it on paper.
What I liked about the swimbaits is they seemed to stay down. The blade spins but doesn't put much torque on the rod or cause the bait to lift as one might expect. I felt like I could crawl it along slowly and keep it where the fish were actively feeding.
The swimbait comes equipped with sharp and strong hook on its back. But it also comes with a hook hanger on the belly so you can attach a treble hook for fishing over the top of fish. I'm anxious to try the latter option on suspending fish on clear water impoundments like Table Rock or Lake Lanier where the bass tend to suspend in the summer. I think this could be a dynamite swimbait for those fish, and having a treble hook would make it pretty unique.
Colors and durability
I really liked the Arkansas Shiner, Herring, Pearl White, Ivory and Roach. The baits held up really well. In fact I've caught a lot of bass on one bait on several trips and it's still going strong. It's a little scuffed but the bait still looks great and fishes the same as it did when it was new.
With their durability, colors and unique bladed tail, I find these baits more of a cross between a spinnerbait and swimbait. It's not a consumable swimbait. It's one I feel will last for quite a while.
If there was one drawback I found it was the $12.99 price. That's a bit steep, however this isn't just a swimbait. It's a swimbait but it's also part spinnerbait, tail spinner and underspin. It's a deep water lure and a shallow water lure. And it appears to hold up well to lots of bass.
I love the innovation I've seen so far out of Biwaa. They are a new company to the US Market but they have been making lures in Europe for quite some time. They are working hard on more colors and aspects of their lures to appeal more to US bass anglers. We've been fishing with their Seven, Strout, Divinator S and Submission swimbaits as well. So we expect this line to continue to expand and improve. This was one of my favorite new booths at ICAST 2014.
They have a limited selection right now on Tacklewarehouse.com and a handful of other retailers right now. However they are taking orders now and have established an inventory stateside, so you should start seeing more on tackle shelves soon. But for now check out the Divinator at Tacklewarehouse.com and see what you think.