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Lure Review

Move, Slide, Stop ... Slammer Time! (continued)

Retrieve: The Slammer can be waked across the surface very easily at a slow to medium retrieve. Twitch the bait and you can get it to dance with the best of them. This bait will dive nose down, stick it’s tail up in the air, and even spin around on a complete 360 with less line entanglements than any other wake bait I’ve fished. It is astonishing how well, how often, and for how long you can make this bait dance and do tricks without fouling your line in the hooks!

But pop this lure like a cigar bait and it really starts to dance!


The commotion this bait can cause is inspiring.

I tend to fish these types of baits either tied direct or at the end of a snap tied to braided line with no leader, so the propensity for getting tangled up in the slack line is pretty high, yet the Slammer somehow fouls a lot less than other baits.

With results like this, who can complain?

Speaking of snaps, the Slammer does come with its own snap, but I prefer to rely on a Decoy EGG Snap (a JDM terminal tackle product) or attach an Owner Hyper Wire split ring to the front of the Slammer and then tie direct to the split ring. The action of the Slammer does lessen when tied direct so unless that’s how you want the bait to behave, I’d recommend using a heavy duty split ring or snap.

Each bait comes with a snap recommended over tying direct as the snap gives the bait more freedom of movement.

Where there might be a negative for this bait, as with most any wake bait, is when you want to bring it back at a more brisk pace. Because of the lip, this bait will dive anywhere from a foot to four feet under water on a faster paced retrieve. The speed by which the bait begins to dive, and the depth to which it will dive seems to vary bait to bait showing the inconsistencies you can get with wood baits. Of course, for some this diving tendency of the Slammer is fine because hits can be triggered in this fashion as well. I have yet to experience a subsurface strike on this bait, but I’ve heard reports where it happens and apparently quite frequently. In fact, for species other than bass, some anglers will troll this bait down to whatever depth the fish are holding.

Did we mention this is a multi-species lure?

Durability: Each Slammer bait is shipped with a spare tail though I hadn’t run into an occasion where I’ve needed to swap tails yet. Of the half dozen or so baits I’ve had, I’ve busted the bill on one of them and that was on an accidental cast into a boulder – hardly the fault of the bait. If there’s any part of this bait that is questionable from a durability perspective it is the stock hooks. They are a light gauge brass product that I haven’t run into a problem with, but just the same, when I have the time I usually swap them out in favor of some Owner ST41s if nothing else just for peace of mind.

There is also a three-joint version of the Slammer.


The "X-2" features a much more snake-like swimming motion.

Availability: MS Slammers have been around for close to 20 years and thankfully, because of this longevity, they are relatively easy to source. What’s more, they are relatively inexpensive considering the baits are hand built and painted with prices ranging from roughly thirty three to forty four dollars ($33 - $44) depending on the size.


Ratings: (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide):

MS Slammer Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Simple yet very sturdy 7.5
Performance I still can't believe how well it performs on an erratic cadence 9
Price At this price? You can't touch this... well, almost 8
Features Stock hooks and snap could use some beefing up 7
Design (Ergonomics) The Slammer won't win an beauty contests, but with the fish catching results, who cares? 7
Application A proven mutli-species bait 8

Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here


Pluses and Minuses:


J Somehow less prone to foul on an erratic retrieve L Not the most intricate finishes
J Relatively light and easy to sling all day L Stock hooks could stand an upgrade
J Reasonably priced and affordable  

Conclusion: It’s taken me some time to get to this write up because what happens with most products after we finish our review is they are shelved in favor of the next one. I was and still am not quite ready to put this product on the shelf in favor of the next similar item because it is simply too much fun to throw! It amazes me each time how crazy and erratic I can get with the twitches, jerks and sweeps with this bait during a retrieve and still have it right itself tangle free – not to say it never fouls, because it can, but it will also work its way through most of what you can throw at it.

Our "Search For One" campaign has revealed a relatively low cost, quality alternative for wake bait fanatics.

Take out those crazy dance steps and retrieve this bait on a slow, steady cadence and marvel at the wake it throws together with the audible clack, clack, clack – though not quite as loud as the AC Plugs Minnow. Want it to dive? No problem, either speed up your retrieve, or give it one hard pull to get it under the surface, then begin your steady retrieve. This is no one trick bait, that’s for sure. The MS Slammer won't win any beauty contests as it is much less refined and realistic as other companies’ products, but there’s a reason the MS Slammer is still going strong after close to twenty years in production - it flat out catches fish. Throw on top of that, the bait’s affordable price tag and this is one big bait that’s too legit to quit. This long overdue review may be complete, but you can be certain Slammer Time will continue to play on the deck of our boats for years to come.

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