Move, Slide, Stop ... Slammer Time!
Total Score: 7.75 +
Introduction: There’s little debate that the most exciting technique in any type of fishing is topwater. Getting a fish to commit to a surface bait and the ensuing commotion caused by the strike is about as close to being “what it’s all about” as one can get. Taking a closer look at topwater fishing as it applies to black bass and one quickly finds out that there are a confusing array of presentations and associated baits within this technique. Walking, buzzing, waking, popping, darting, propping and more all describe different baits and how they’re presented each with the same end goal – the white water explosion of a fish inhaling your bait.
A bait that needs no introduction to many big bait anglers, the MS Slammer Wake Bait
Combine this exciting technique in bass fishing with the big bait mentality, sprinkle in some success, and you have the makings of a bait you can never put down. Afterall, topwater fishing might be fun, but topwater fishing with big baits is like using an illicit substance.
Each MS Slammer is hand made and features a well integrated diving lip.
One of the most popular types of big bait, topwater weapons is the wake bait. We’ve already shared our experiences with baits like the AC Plug Minnow and the 3:16 Lure Company Wake Jr., but one bait that’s been in our box for quite some time now and often gets taken for granted because it’s been such a staple since its introduction in 1993 can, along with the AC Plug Minnow, be considered one of the originals in this big bait category. The occasion has come to dig out those old, colorful parachute pants, tie this bait on, and chuck it out as we share what we’ve come to term… Slammer-Time.
||0 - 4 ft
||7" (~1.75oz), 9" (~3oz), 12" (~4.5oz)
|Colors / Patterns
16 standard colors
||$33 - $45 depending upon size
Background: Each MS Slammer is hand built bait by the bait’s namesake, Mike Shaw, a veteran trophy fish angler who designed the bait to tempt big striped bass. These wood plugs are all hand painted and waterproofed by Shaw who tells us the bait can now be credited with assisting anglers in seducing such species as lake trout, brown trout, musky, catfish, yellowtail, striper, and of course, black bass. With proven takes such as this, it’s obvious our take on this bait is long overdue. So just how does this bait designed almost twenty years ago stack up against the modern day bait?
Tied up and ready to go aboard a Daiwa Zillion TDZL741XHFB paired with a Daiwa/Megabass Ito Monoblock Bespoke Racing Condition spooled with 55lb Daiwa Samurai Braid.
Impressions: Most modern day baits are plastic or resin based for ease of production and duplication. Each MS Slammer is built out of wood not only for that traditional, old school, look and feel, but also for that unique sound made by the collision of one body section against the other as the bait snakes its way back to your position during a retrieve. Though certainly more maintenance intensive should the finish wear on your bait, wood just has a certain allure.
A closer look at the light rainbow MS Slammer.
Field Tests: Another nice thing about the Slammer is because they are made out of wood, they don’t weigh as much as their modern day counterparts, so depending upon the size bait you’re throwing (the Slammer is available in three sizes), you can use anything from a traditional “medium heavy” rod to a flipping stick or, of course, a swimbait stick.
Pictured are the stock hooks of the MS Slammer manufactured by VMC.
I’ve had the MS Slammer in my arsenal for a good four or five years and have thrown it on countless combos over this course of time. I tend to favor lighter powered swimbait sticks simply for the length of these rods and how they aid in making long casts. Some good choices in today’s market include the Daiwa Zillion TDZL741XHFB, Shimano Cumara Reaction Series CUCX711MH, Evergreen International TKLC-71MHX Super Stallion, and more. Most anglers would probably recommend equally stout reels, but I really enjoy throwing this bait on Daiwa Zillions and my Daiwa/Megabass Ito Monoblock Bespoke reels spooled with 55lb Daiwa Samurai Braid.
The Slammer is about as simple as they come held together by this single, but very durable joint.
Casting: The Slammer is available in three sizes with weights ranging from roughly one and three quarter ounces for the seven inch (~1.75oz @ 7”) or small sized Slammer, to three ounces for the nine inch (~3oz @ 9”) or medium sized Slammer, to roughly four and a half ounces for the twelve inch (~4.5oz @ 12”) or large sized Slammer. The nine inch slammer is by far my favorite size but all three are easy to cast and really, feel even less than the weights listed here.
Each bait is initialed and dated by Mike Shaw.
Because of the two-piece design of this bait, and the very liberal movement, single joint, actual casting distance can be affected as compared so something like the Black Dog Bait Company Lunker Punker (a non-jointed surface plug), but not to the point where the bait is un-castable. This is a case though, where a longer rod definitely aids in really bombing the bait out there.
On a slow or medium paced retrieve, the Slammer leaves a really nice wake.
Section: A killer wake and a deadly twitch