Swimbaits are a loosely defined class of large fishing lures that imitate fish and tend to be distinct in design from a typical crankbait.
Swimbaits originated as lures designed to imitate the planted rainbow trout in Southern California reservoirs that Largemouth Bass and Striped Bass fed on. They were larger and more lifelike imitations than most available mass produced lures.
Swimbaits are usually different from crankbaits by the way they generate lure action. Some are large rubber "paddle tail" lures that appear to swim when the tail flutters during retrieve. Some are jointed baits that wave like a flag in the water when retrieved, without any obvious mechanism to generate motion. Some are large crankbait/plastic lure hybrids.
Swimbaits are a very popular trend (late 2000's) in lure manufacturing and are growing rapidly in popularity amongst fisherman for bass and other large gamefish.
The term swimbait is sometimes used to indicate plastic "paddle tail" lures, regardless of size or appearance.
* [http://www.flwoutdoors.com/article.cfm?id=144130 FLW Outdoors article 'The evolution of the swimbait']
* [http://sports.espn.go.com/outdoors/fishing/news/story?page=icast50_swimbaits_wright_day-one ESPN Outdoors article 'ICAST50: Swimbaits changing the industry']
* [http://www.swimbaitnation.com/ SwimbaitNation] - An online portal about swimbaits
* [http://www.thewiredangler.com/wiredangler/2008/06/top-ten-swimbait-picks-in-my-box.html 'Top Ten Swimbait Picks in my Box'] - TheWiredAngler article with images
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