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When I hear the name Skinny Bear in the fishing world I think of some of the best jigs ever made, but when I got a package in the mail recently from Skinny Bear it turned out to be some the best looking swimbaits I have ever seen.

Company: Skinny Bear

Lure: Swimming Shad Eye

Sizes Tested: 3.5″ / 5″

Colors Tested: Ghost Minnow, Ayu Shad, Smoke Ayu, Shad

Lure Type: Soft Plastic

Lure Style: Boot Tail

MSRP: $9.49

MLO Rating: 4.5 out of 5

With a fishing market flooded with swimbaits it always impresses me when I get a chance to see and fish something just a bit better than the rest. The baits I tested from Skinny Bear were the Swimming Shad Eye Swimbaits in the 3 1/2″, and 5″ the colors were Ghost Minnow, Ayu Shad, Smoke Ayu. Skinny Bear has over 19 colors to choose from in their Swimming Shad Eye arsenal, but my favorites were the Smoke Minnow, and Bluegill.

Skinny Bear Swimming Shad Eye

The Ayu Shad color pictured above was another color I was impressed with, it looked good out of the package and even better in the water. The package that the Swimming Shad Eyes come in are awesome and keep your baits straight, but when you try to put the baits back in the package after a trip it can be a challenge due to how tight the package is, but once you get them aligned and all the way in the package they will be good until your next trip.

A Sample of some Colors

Colors pictured above are from top to bottom; Ghost Minnow, Shad Smoke, and Bluegill.

Swimming Shad Eyes

The Swimming Shad Eye Swimbaits come with silver eyes on them and after several weeks of using the baits I did not have one eye peel off. I really think having good eyes on a swimbait are key to getting bass to want to bite it, and the Swimming Shad Eye Swimbait has some good reflective eyes.

Scale Pattern View

I was very impressed with the scale pattern on the Swimming Shad Eye, it looked even better in the water. Skinny Bear payed very close attention to detail with scale imprint, it is very clean and stops around the head and the tail sections which really helps give these small swimbaits life.

Side Tail View

Rear Tail View










The tail of the baits was another area Skinny Bear payed close attention too with adding imprinted tail rays to give the bait a very realistic look.

Owner 6/0

When I was ready to go fish it was time to choose a hook and I went with the Owner 6/0 Twist Lock that has the spring that you screw into the nose of the bait.

Nose Rigging

Align Hook

When using a the Twist Lock style hook make sure you insert the spring into the nose all the way to the hook eyelet and then lay the hook on outside the swimbait so you will have an idea of where you need to run the hook through the swimbait.

Run Hook Through the Swimbait.

The Swimming Shad Eye has a slit on the belly of the swimbait which allows the hook to easily pass through to the top of the bait.

Weedless Rig

With the 6/0 hook rigging on the 5″ swimbait you have a perfect weedless match-up for the Swimming Shad Eye.

Ready to fish Rig

Once your done rigging your Swimming Shad Eye Swimbait it should look like the picture above, a weedless set up, or an A-Rig ready to fish swimbait.


Pros: I found the colors to be some of the best I’ve seen in a small plastic injected swimbait, the detail of the bait is top notch from the scales to the eyes this is a very well thought out swimbait.

Cons: I was not a huge fan of the packaging, once you got the swimbaits back in the bag it worked fine, but it took some time.

   MLO Rating:  4.5 out of 5





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.