Big baits seem to be the order of the day currently for chasing Murray Cod. Huge surface lures and swimbaits have taken over and to very good effect. Cod are definitely not shy of big lures, and some would say they prefer to go out of there way for a decent bit of protein more so than a small meal.
Daiwa have now put their hand in the large swimbait mix with the “Live Trout Swimbait”.
|Daiwa Live Trout Swimbaits
|Soft Plastic Swimbait
|1m – 10m+
|180mm / 90g, 250mm / 230g
|5x strong hooks
The Daiwa Live Trout swimbait comes in 2 sizes. A 250mm, 230g behemoth of a lure, and then a smaller 180mm 90g version. Both come in the same 4 colours, Brown Trout, Arctic Char, Firetiger and Golden Trout.
Essentially it is a very realistic looking large soft sinking swimbait with a paddletail, able to be fished at the desired depth by the angler and without the need for much rod action.
Big baits are generally used for big fish. So think of the biggest fish we have here in Australia, and the Live Trouts will work for them. Murray Cod, Barramundi and Jew fish are what come to mind. I have used these for a while now whilst specifically targeting impoundment Murray cod, so this review will primarily focus on their application with this species in mind.
The Live Trout Swimbait is a sinking lure, and realistically could be used to target fish down to 10m in depth if you were game enough. Obviously having the trebles on the bottom of the lure make it prone to snag on timber fairly easily. But the option is there to target fish at different depths by altering your retrieve speed.
While swimbaits are designed predominantly for casting, I guess they could be trolled if so desired.
Swimbaits in general come in different sizes and weights, the Daiwa Live Trout Swimbaits are probably on the heavier side of the coin mainly due to there material and construction. So this then dictates how they cast, and more importantly what rod you will need to cast them, as they are pretty damn heavy. The 250mm model is 230g (8.1 ounce), and the 180mm model is 90g (3.2 ounce).
So specific XH swimbait rods will be needed. I currently run the Daiwa TD Sol 76XH-SB-AO and this allows me to cast the 230g Swimbait really well and as you can imagine, quite a distance!
With the paddle tail design of the Live Trout tail, or the “Duckfin” paddletail as Daiwa like to call it, the Swimbait has great action with a straight winding retrieve. Throw a few rod twitches into the retrieve and you get a bit more body roll with some great tail action, and a very realistic looking bait.
Two tow hooks are there to use on the swimbait, one on the end of the bait, the other on the top. This in theory allows the swimbait to run better at different depths and will keep the bait a bit more level.
Construction and Finish
These are probably one of the most realistic swimbaits you will see and feel. Made from silicone, they are soft and flexible, yet heavy and tough. They have amazing detail to their design and have apparently been moulded from a 3D scan of a real trout which certainly looks to be the case.
Attention to detail is superb, with things like the eyes, and scale patterns being very, very realistic and the highest of quality.
Featuring (2) 5x trebles, one located at the front, and the second “stinger” attached by a crimped 60lb stranded wire attached back to the front treble eyelet. The stinger has a handy little keeper barb which you push into the belly of the swimbait to keep the hook up hard against the lure, but then it pulls away once a fish is hooked to ensure the heavy lure cannot be used as leverage and accidentally pull the treble out of the fishes mouth.
Generally we have to modify or replace the standard hooks that come on our Cod lures, but I was pleasantly surprised by the size and gauge of the standard Daiwa black 5x hooks and haven’t bothered upgrading them.
Heavy duty through wire construction gives you secure connection from the tow point to the hooks, and it also has two tow points on the swimbait, one on top of the head which should make the lure run deeper, and one in the mouth which will let it run shallower.
The silicone construction makes these super tough, and with no paint to chip off, the colour and finish seem to hold up very well to plenty of use. My major durability concern was with the trailing stinger hook. I have found the steel wire can kink and become frayed, especially after lots of snag and de-snagging etc. not a huge deal, but keep that in mind as you’d hate to lose a fish if the steel wire broke.
I have now re-done my worn trailing stinger hooks with 80lb leader and some crimps.
The location where the stinger hook barb, pushes into the soft silicone body can become quite chopped up too, so it pays to slightly lengthen your new stinger hook length to access some new silicon which will keep the stinger hook in place a bit better.
These baits are really well priced for such a well made and large swimbait. They retail for $29.95 AUD, and considering some swimbaits can cost up to $400+ each, I think they are priced great. Realistically with such a low price point, you will be less worried about losing them, and will most likely fish them more effectively and closer to structure etc.
The Live Trout swimbait is definitely a lure that you should try at least once. Being such an affordable and realistic looking swimbait option, you’d be crazy not to. I always have a dedicated swimbait rod with one of these guys tied on whenever I’m chasing cod now, especially if the water is clear like most of the places I fish. I think the fact it is so realistic looking and its swimming action is one of the reason i have had good success with the swimbait.
The Daiwa Live trout swimbait can be found at good Tackle stores that sell Daiwa lures. A list of retailers can be found here.