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Thinking back well over 40 years of bass fishing one thing always comes to mind and that is how I have always liked to tweak existing lures, or build new ones from scratch that would work for the bass hunt I was currently  on. I absolutely enjoy creating something from just a few ideas and testing it in the water and hoping it would trick those finicky bass, not every idea works, but you learn from each one. Tweaking, or adjusting a lure is something I do on almost every trip, so after time and time of doing this you kinda know what most bass fisherman are looking for in a specific style of lure.

I have also spent many years working with, or consulting with some of the finest swimbait makers on the planet, from Sean Donovan the original owner of Optimum Lures to Jason Scott (Castaic, Decoy Lures), to Matt Servant (MattLures), and Jerry Rago of Rago Lures. These guys are all legends in the swimbait world and have made several lures to date that have caught many personal best for thousands of bass fisherman. These men all have one thing in common, they are all driven to build the best lures on the market today.

For well over 30 years I have worked full time in the construction industry, but a few years ago after that industry collapsed I decided it was time to pursue one of my dreams and build lures for the general public and so my company Natural Series Swimmers was born.

It has been a learning curve making production lures. In the past I only had to make a few lures at a time which is much easier than trying to make 20-50 a week.

The first lure I built under Natural Series Swimmers  name was a glide shad .Glide Shad

I Started with a picture of threadfin shad and an idea of how I wanted the bait to swim and after years of watching shad in the water and viewing countless hours of under water video footage of shad in their natural environment. I knew how I wanted to start.

Next it was time to make a carving.Glide Shad Template
I started with the picture of what I wanted the lure to look like, traced it out with some tracing paper and transferred that image onto some bass wood and then cut out my design. I made the shad in one piece first so I would have a future template that I could build multiple jointed baits with.

Wood Glide Shad

Every hard bait I build has my “ML” intial and is numbered in the order as it was built.ML Initial and Number

The end result which was made out of urethane and hand painted had to be field tested, which for me was one of funnest parts of the entire process. On the first field test of the glide shad I scored a few nice bass up to 11 lbs. and found I only needed to make a few minor tweaks as to where the hooks were placed and what size.Natural Series Swimmers Glide Shad Big Bass

This 6″ 2.5oz. lure which I call my Glide Shad is an incredible little bait that did everything I designed it to do. I prefer to use the Glide Shad with a 7′-4″ Dobyns Rod (744) and 18Lb. Maxima Fluorocarbon line. I also add a #4 Duo Lock snap to every bait which really helps give the Glide Shad maximum freedom in the water. I balanced the baits with Owner size 1 treble hooks which work perfectly with the 6″ Glide Shad.

Every bait is field tested to make sure it meets my standards.

When working the Glide Shad it is very important to keep your rod tip pointed towards the lure and make it glide side to side with a reel retrieve only. I made a video which shows the Glides Shads swimming and how I’m “reel retrieveing” them to get the side to side motion.

My second glide bait is my Gliding Panfish

Gliding PanfishThis is a 6″ bait that weighs in at around 3.6oz. and along with a floater comes in sink rates of super slow sink, slow sink, and fast sink.Natural Series Swimmers Gliding Panfish

The Gliding Panfish is a bait that I have made for myself for quite sometime, I just thickened up the tail and smoothed the edges to make a more durable swimbait for production to the public. That is one problems I have with my personal baits is that they are not always built to take a lot of abuse, but built as life-like as possible and when fins break you just build a new one and your back in business.

Gliding Panfish Wood CarvingThis was another bait that I carved the template out of wood off of a concept I liked in a two piece bait. Once again this is a balanced swimbait that needs a steady reel retrieve to get the Gliding Panfish to swim hard left and right. This little 6″ swimbait is a beast around docks and trees where you can get the glide the  lure partially into these targets where some giant bass are hiding out.Gliding Panfish Catch

Field testing the new design went very well, I found I only needed to make a sleight hook adjustment which is now in all the new Gliding Panfish.

The Gliding Panfish comes with a #3 Duo Snap, two Owner Stinger 2X Black Hooks, custom Taxidermy eyes, and two magnum grade screw eyes to hold each section together. Each bait also comes with the “ML” initial and  is numbered in the order it was built. Every bait is field tested before it is packaged. Along with a floating version, there is slow sink, super slow sink, and fast sink.

Attached is a link to a video showing the Gliding Panfish in the water and the proper rod position with a reel only retrieve:

Gliding Panfish Video

Here is a link to the Glide Shad in Action:

Glide Shad Video

By clicking on the “Store” tab on the homepage there will be a link to the Natural Series Swimmers that are currently for sale:

Online Store

The Gliding Panfish are $105+shipping, and the Glide Shads are $68+shipping.

Coming soon are the AM Shads a soft plastic realistic looking shad with a internal bladder and weight system that gives this little 5″ bait a very realistic look in the water. This new bait is something I have been working on for awhile and just fine tuning the color patterns.AM Shads

 

 

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.