Saturday, January 30, 2016

Why Swimbait Fisherman Choose Dobyns Rods


Swim baits are a technique that have alluded me thus far, I just can't seem to pick it up. Oh sure like you I own a few swim baits, some small and cheap and others large and expensive, I buy them because each season I tell myself that this will be the year that I have success with a swim bait. But when that season ends I'm right where I left off, a pile a swim baits on my shelf and no additional fish in the boat, what am I missing?

To answer my own question.. The right gear to get the job done. 

Swim bait fishing more then another bass fishing technique demands the right gear in order to be successful, throwing big heavy baits without the right rod and reel is like getting tattooed in your friends basement with a homemade machine and some pen ink.. See where I'm going?

If you're like me and want to improve your swim bait skills then keep reading, because the two anglers below really know there way around a swim bait and as you can see above.. They sure can put fish in the boat (or kayak) 


Matt Allen

Clearlake, California
Full-Time Guide

I try to keep my swimbait rod selection as simple and streamlined as possible. There are so many rods and so many baits its easy for an angler to go broke trying to figure it all out. My swimbaits are broken into 4 categories with one rod supporting each category.

The first category is jighead swimbaits. This is going to cover basstrix, keitechs, and just about anything else that you put a swimbait hook, jighead, or insert into, regardless of size. My favorite rod for this application is the Dobyns Champion Series 765 Flip. This rod has a great flex and is very good at keeping fish pegged once you set the hook.

The second category is what I consider "smaller swimbaits". This is going to encompass everything from oversized walking baits up to 6" soft and hardbaits like an Osprey or JSJ Snacksize. For these baits I like to use the 795 SMBT. This rod has a short handle and allows you to easily cast and work these mid range baits without the clumsiness of an 8+ foot rod. Also, the short handle allows for a great deal of accuracy working with different cast angles around docks and other cover.

The third category is my treble hooks swimbaits. This encompasses every bait over the 6" cut off that has a treble hook on it. From soft line-thru baits all the way up to 10+" glide baits, I throw on one rod. Frankly, its not the rod people expect. I use the 806H for all treble hook swimbaits. Depending on the bait the rod may feel "overloaded" on the cast, but when you set the hook into a giant bass you're going to appreciate the flex this rod has as it keeps those hooks pegged in that fish's mouth.

Last but not least is the 4th category. This category is for my jig hook baits. Every softbait from 7-12 inches, whether its a huddleston, Osprey, Baitsmith Magnum, it doesn't matter, they're all getting throw on the 807 MAG. This one rod is a workhorse. Its one of the most versatile swimbait rods I've ever encountered. If you plan to throw a bait with a jig hook, use the 807. Once you set the hook, start working that reel like a winch and never let up! The rod will do the rest.

Matt Allen is a full time guide known for putting big fish in the boat. He is one of the only anglers I know that can boast about putting over fifty bass over 10lbs in his live well (not to mention atleast one over 17lbs. If your looking for a knowledge guide for your next trip be sure too check out 


Evan Howard

Lake Weiss, Alabama

Rod selection is critical in swimbait fishing and the two factors of rod design to take into consideration are power and action. I prefer 5 and 7 power, fast action blanks that carry enough muscle to drive home hooks, but have enough softness in the tip to cushion those wild boat side surges big bass are known to take. I utilize a versatile pair of Dobyns that allow me to cover a wide range of swimbaits between 5 and 9 inches.

My smaller swimbait setup is a Fury 795SB paired with a Daiwa Tatula HD. The 795SB is a fast action 7 foot 9 inch 5 power rod rated. I find the sweet spot to be between 2-3.5 ounces although it is versatile enough throw lures as light as a 5 inch Bull Shad and as heavy as an ROF 5 Huddleston8” trout. I use it predominantly for throwing jointed hard baits, glide baits, and line through soft baits. Dobyns really nailed the action on this blank as it is a true fast action that walks the line between penetrating power and forgiveness that allows the desired amount of give in the tip. 

I use a Champion 807 MAG HSB for my larger baits. The 807 is a fast action 8 foot 7 power rod that is comfortable throwing baits in the 3-6 ounce range. It pairs well with large round 400 size reels or low profile 300 size reels like the Lexa 300. It is a fairly fast rod, so it drives home top hook soft baits well, but I think it excels with large jointed baits like the 9 inch Bull Shads I throw so often. It has the guts to muscle in an 8 pounder, but just enough forgiveness in the tip when it gets to net. 

These two rods are so versatile that you can throw almost any swimbait on the market and offer an amazing one-two punch for the serious swimbait fisherman. 

Evan Howard has a pretty impressive resume, and his skills with a swim bait are undeniable even more so knowing he works them seated in a Kayak. If you are an avid swimbait angler or Kayak fisherman be sure to check out Evan's lengthly list of sponsors and teams. Just spent 5 minutes talking fishing with him and you'll quickly see there is a reason these teams have clamoured for his attention.

Jackson Kayak Fishing Team, 

So there you have it, two anglers that spend the majority of their time on the water chasing big bass with big swim baits and both of them choose Dobyns. There just isn't another rod company on the market today that makes as many quality rods geared towards the techniques you love. Now the hard part, which of these rods will help me finally break my swim bait slump.. stay tuned!


  1. Looking for a swimbait rod to distance cast 1/4 to 3/4 oz plastics. The rod should have a long handle. After reviewing the above suggesting by the pro's I don't think this was covered. Maybe the Fury is close but the handle might be too short?

    1. Mick, Matts Champion 765 Flip would be the one to check out But that being said, I like a Champ 805 CB RM. This is no ordinary CB rod. Being all graphite its sensitive and not whippy. It's got a working tip and good backbone. Where it really shines is casting. It's one of the best long casting rod I've ever had. I like moderate action rods to reel set. The 765 flip is better for single hook baits and the 805 CB RM is great for treble baits like the 168 S-Waver and smaller.