Before I was a swimbait guy, I was a spinnerbait guy. Nowadays, I mostly tell folks new to swimbaits, just fish it like you would a spinnerbait. It never really occurred to me that that you could fish the two together. The Gem Blade from Jewel Baits incorporates a 3/8 ounce compact spinnerbait design with a custom head, Grip Tech Keeper System and quality components as well as a 4-inch Keitech swimbait for the body in lieu of a silicone skirt.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Gem Blade, here’s a bit more about it and what I found interesting about this unique spinnerbait.
Quality Components and Build
I’ve really grown to love the swimbait side of Jewel Baits, particularly their Gem Series. I have high hopes still for a 1-ounce version of their swimbait heads but for now I’m enjoying the Gem Shad, Gem Spin and now the Gem Blade.
Mostly because I really like their Resin Tech over molded injection process where they make a lead swimbait head and then encase it in plastic so it looks new for as long as you use the head. A silver head stays shiny the whole life of the head. It also makes the head very durable and comes through cover better I think.
This is important on a spinnerbait where the upturned chin of the swimbait head encased in plastic seems to just slip right past a branch or stalk of grass.
Great Keeper and Head Design
The Grip Tech Keeper System holds a swimbait on the Gem Blade amazinging well. Most of the time the bait tears before it gets torn up at the connection to the spinnerbait head. So I’m able to get a bunch of fish thrashing around on one swimbait.
And when it wears out, you can take the Keitech Swing Impact FAT off and thread whatever color swimbait you want in a flash to match water color or forage you realize they are feeding on and instantly change the profile and character of your spinnerbait to match.
I also love that the elbow is twisted wire so your tie stays in place. I sometimes use braid with this specific setup so I can snatch it hard out of grass and clear it easily if I’m fishing where the grass is breaking off or laying on the surface. Braid just handles that specific situation easier. Most of the time I’m using 17-pound Seaguar fluorocarbon though as I think this has spinnerbait and swimbait appeal and it catches good ones.
Simple but Right Colors
Jewel Baits kept this line real simply. A clear shad color, a white and a chartreuse. Which for me is about all I use in double willow spinnerbaits other. So these colors are perfect and like I said you could throw on a bluegill colored swimbait or a black swimbait and have a totally different bait in seconds.
Hooks and Holds Fish
So the interesting part to me on the Gem Blade is how vicious the bites are. One of the things that I love about soft bodied swimbaits, especially the bigger ones in the 6 to 8-inch ranges, is how vicious the bites are. I am getting the same sort of response to the Gem Blade. It gets more of a swimbait bite. Maybe because I like to fish it slow and keep it down in the water column. But there’s no mistaking that thump when one gets it.
The hook is a strong and sharp Mustad hook that keeps the fish hooked well. The Gem Blade’s design is compact which keeps it from bending out as bad and keeps fish pinned. I think it really looks like three little shad swimming by and they smash on the biggest one.
Compact, Natural and Capable of a Lot
I’ve really enjoyed fishing this around cover in the late summer. I’ve caught fish on laydowns, stumps, and bank grass as well as open water schoolers. It’s only 3/8 ounce, but it casts like a heavier spinnerbait. I’ve lately been experimenting with adding belly weights to the swimbaits to get it down. I’m also going a little bigger (so I can put more weight in) and even experimenting with another little trick that I’ll share in a later article.
But for now, the Gem Blade is a solid producer as is and has lots of options from there. They make a Gem Blade 2.0 that is a 5/16 ounce smaller profile spinnerbait/swimbait combo. They also make the Jolt X which is a combination between their awesome night time spinnerbait—The Jolt—and Gem Blade. Big Blades and nighttime colors available in the Jolt X.