If I'm being honest, which I always try to be and the only real gauge is how brutally, my first impressions of the lure I'm reviewing today weren't outstanding. I saw it and immediately judged it as a bit gimmicky. When I was a kid, I had a little wooden snake that my parents bought me in a souvenir shop in Florida. It was made up of little segments and I could hold it by the tail and tip it one way or the other and it would wiggle back and forth slowly.
I loved that toy but I never once thought of fishing with it. That's kind of what the Savage Gear 3D Snake Wakebait reminded me of at first glance. But because of what I do for a living, I try to give every single lure a fair and honest shot. So I picked it up, tied it on and… I'm glad I did. This thing is pretty wicked.
As I made my first cast with this bait, I audibly said the word "ew" out loud as soon as I started to reel the bait in. When I say this thing is nasty looking in the water, in mean that in the most complimentary way possible. The Savage Gear 3D Snake Wakebait looks just like a snake swimming. A disgusting, creepy, bass-enticing little snake easing along the surface. Just simply reeling the bait at a slow and steady pace, the head of the lure rocks back and forth creating a wake as the body of the snake wiggles along behind it constantly drawing out an "S" shape in the water.
As I played with the action a bit, I found that pausing my reel intermittently would allow the bait to walk a little wider, almost like working a topwater. I could also do this by twitching the rod tip a little, but the bait actually worked better just using the little pauses of the reel to create a cadence. Upon a hard pause where I completely quit reeling, the head of the bait would swing out wide like a glide bait and kind of coast to a stop while the remainder of the body down to the tail quivered to a halt as well. It was super realistic looking when thinking back to the times I've watched a snake stop swimming and just settle into one spot for a few seconds.
There are also two line tie points on the nose of the bait that will allow it to dive a little deeper. Initially, I thought this would be a waste of time. What's the point in a wakebait not waking along the surface? But in honor of due diligence, I moved the split ring up to the front eye and tried it out... and it looked so good. The bait still has the same action, simply 6 inches or so under the water instead. Again, it just looks so much like a snake. Savage Gear really did a fantastic job creating a super realistic bait with this one. But how?
Lots of segments and a wide lip
At the nose of this lure, you'll find a large plastic lip similar to what you'd find on most wakebaits. This lip creates the wide wobbling action while the angle of the lip pushes water instead of really digging in to make the bait dive deep. But all the many sections of the bait are what really sets it apart from other wakebaits. With 11 total segments versus the 2 or 3 that most wakebaits have, this lure creates a much smoother and more fluid action than any other bait I've fished with in its category.
Good hooks and locations
With two super sharp treble hooks, this bait is ready to go out of the box. The hooks have a longer shank, helping them cover the most ground possible and eliminating the need for a third treble. Typically I found the fish would get stuck by one of the hooks on the initial strike and inevitably the second hook would penetrate it as well on the fight as the bass rolled around and the very flexible lure rolled with the fish. I didn't lose a lot of fish on this lure like I do at times with other, more rigid baits. The bass can't seem to gain leverage because the bait does have so much flex.
Rotating hook hangers
Another cool feature to this bait that aids in keeping fish pinned are the rotating hook hangers. Savage Gear basically mounted swivels within the bait to use as hook hangers so that when a fish does fight and twist and turn, the hook will spin and relieve some of the pressure on the point of contact where the fish would otherwise be able to gain leverage used to throw the bait. Most hook hangers on other baits are simple fixed rings, and if the fish, by chance, can get the bait turned a certain way and then swings its head the other way as hard as possible, the weight and momentum of those baits will often tear the hooks loose.
Castability and gear
I have only fished with the 8-inch version, though the 3D Snake Wakebait is also available in a 12-inch version that I would like to try. But the 8-inch one casts surprisingly well. I thought it might fold up and cause it to throw like a potato chip. But I could cast it similar to how I would a midrange topwater. The bait is also listed as an ounce, but I was able to comfortably fish it on a 7-foot medium heavy baitcasting rod without feeling overpowered by the bait at all. I fished this bait on 30-pound braid but could certainly see fishing it with 15- to 20- pound test monofilament as well, though I don't think it would cast as well.
The Savage Gear 3D Snake Wakebait is one of those diamond-in-the-rough lures I stumble on every now and then getting to do what I do. It's a bait that I wouldn't have even tried if I didn't have to try new baits to write product reviews. But I'm so glad I did. It's an extremely fun bait to fish. Just watching the lure swim with anticipation of a blowup is exciting in an of itself and truly what I thinking fishing is all about. It has a great action, good hookup to strike ratio and does a good job getting the fish to the boat once you do hook into one.
With various ways to work the bait on or just below the surface, this is an effective lure to simply reel but one you can also work a little at the last second to talk a hesitant bass into finally committing to the bait. All in all, I'd definitely recommend giving this one a try. At $20.99 for the 8-inch version and $25.99 for the 12-inch, it's an investment for sure but not something that's going to break the bank or a lure you'll need 10 different versions of like a lipless crankbait for instance. You can buy one and when you get in a situation where you might be able to get a bite on it, it'll be a fun lure to fish.