Tackle Reviews

Yamamoto Heart Tail Shad Swimbait Review

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I’m a swimbait guy. While I’m still learning the ways of the big bait guys out west, a 15-year process that is ongoing, I do consider myself to be somewhat of a student of the game and try to keep tabs on all the new swimbaits and techniques around swimbaits as I can. So I enjoy every time a new swimbait is released. Not that every new swimbait is good, but there is always that chance you might find another useful tool to trick another big bass. 

One of the swimbaits I’ve thrown a lot in the last 6 months is the Heart Tail Shad Swimbait from Yamamoto Baits. This swimbait is listed at 4.5 inches, but it fishes more like a 5 or 6-inch soft-bodied swimbait because of its unique design and profile. Here’s the nitty gritty on one of the newer soft swimbaits on the market:

  • Specifics
  • Why you will like it
  • Applications
  • See for yourself

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THE ATTRIBUTES

Yamamoto has a history of making some of the most performance-based plastics in recreational fishing. Many pros call the Shad Shape Worm the best nose hook dropshot bait on the market. Their Senko quite literally set the bar on do-nothing plastics that do something. I talk to pros every year that are still mad about how effective the Senko is for novice anglers. “That thing makes us look bad,” they say jokingly.

So I had high hopes when I saw the new Heart Tail Swimbait last year at ICAST. It had a wider profile with more of planing bottom and a cupped recess on its belly to hide a weighted hook nicely for swimming it through cover and also to help it keel correctly with it’s roll and kick. 

The swimbait comes in 10 colors, and I found 5 of those colors to really be staples for a lot of the presentations for which I found it to be effective. They say the bait is 4 1/2 inches, yet when I lay it next to some of my 5 and 6-inch swimbaits, it doesn’t look any smaller. It’s a big piece of meat, and I think that profile is part of its effectiveness. I specifically liked the olive shad, white, black and blue, bluegill clear and goby. 

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WHY I LIKED IT

I like that wider profile that gives it a really great wobble and kick on the tail. A kick you can feel and see on your rod tip. It really looks alive in the water, specifically on a swimbait head. It has bulk but fishes really well through cover and open water alike. The tail design produces great vibration without causing the bait to rise too much. 

It was more versatile than I first thought. I tried it initially on a weighted EWG swimbait hook. I didn’t really like how it behaved. What I figured out later after fishing it on a jighead was the wider profile and hard kicking tail require a little more keel. So on a lightly weighted swimbait hook it will sometimes lay over a bit but you can get it swimming straight with a pause or snap of the rod tip. But if you use a heavier weight on the keel, it swims fine.

Where it really shined to me was on a jighead and even on a swim jig.

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APPLICATIONS

I fished it in shallow open water in the spring and caught a few fish on it initially. I then took it out deeper and fished it on some deeper fish and really enjoyed that presentation a lot more. But probably my favorite presentation with it has been on a swim jig. Many guys have been having good success the last couple of years with swim jigs and larger profile swimbait trailers and keeping it under wraps. I found the Yamamoto Heart Tail to have a great action and profile on a swim jig.

You can fish it both shallow and deep on heavier swim jigs and I liked that a lot, giving the swim jig a lot more profile and flexibility. 

CHECK IT OUT IN ACTION

The proof, however, is always in the pudding. So we put together a quick underwater video of the Yamamoto Heart Tail Swimbait. You can see it has a great shimmy, side to side roll and tail kick and it looks great be swam steadily along, ripped or just lifted and dropped

The baits are larger than most will expect and come 5 to a pack in a hard clam shell so that the tails never get messed up. You can find them at TackleWarehouse.com and other retailers that carry Yamamoto Custom Baits. 

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