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Lure Review


"New" Slide Swimmer Glidebait, Same Old Song?


Date: 8/15/23
Tackle Type: Lure
Manufacturer: Deps
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 8.00 - GREAT

Tossing big baits for big bass is a movement rooted in Southern California where OG trophy hunters used baits mimicking trout to deceive double digit weighing bass into biting. While there are different styles of big baits, a subset, the glide, found its way into prominence through the influence of a couple OG baits developed oversees. GanCraft's Jointed Claw and Deps's SlideSwimmer are to the glide bait movement in the early 2000s what the Temptations and Four Tops were to Motown back in the 1960s. One of those two baits underwent a transformation in 2014, and I figured it was about time to get ready for a closer look at the "New" Deps Slide Swimmer 250.


Deps Slide Swimmer 250 (New) Specifications

Type Glide Bait
Length 10"
Weight 6.0oz
Depth Any
Material ABS Plastic
Colors 41+
Hooks 2x 1/0
MSRP $169.99


Impressions: Deps's Original Slide Swimmer 250 was a ten inch (10") bait built with a hard polyurethane foam core covered with a soft plastic sheath. It weighed 6.3 ounces and came in a handful of colors. It was produced for about a decade before being replaced in the Fall of 2014 with the New Slide Swimmer 250 featuring an injected ABS core but covered in that same, soft plastic sheath. The baits are identical in appearance but the New Slide Swimmer is actually a hair lighter at about 6 to 6.1 ounces and comes with an internal, spring loaded knocker concealed within the head.

Though some malign the "New" SlideSwimmer 250 for being ABS, it is still very difficult to come by in certain patterns

There are countless discussions regarding the merits of the old versus new versions of the bait including tuning strategies for both and even methods to convert the floating, wake bait version, the Silent Killer, into a Slide Swimmer. I'm here to discuss and investigate the New Slide Swimmer mostly on its own merits with a couple of tweaks I've found to get better consistency out of the bait.

Available in several different sizes, for me, it's all about the 250

Real World Tests: Make no mistake about it, the Slide Swimmer 250 is a serious, big bait and requires some serious tackle to fish effectively. There are smaller versions of the bait, the 175, 145, and 115, but I feel the Slide Swimmer is all about the 250. To fish the 250 effectively, you need a rod with a max lure rating above 6 ounces. Somewhere around 9 is ideal because then, 6 ounces will be a breeze to cast. For a reel, it comes down to what line you want to use. If straight fluoro or nylon monofilament, I recommend something in the range of 0.435mm or more in diameter. With braid, something beginning in the neighborhood of 0.330mm is what I'd recommend.

I've been fishing the New Slide Swimmer 250 on and off since its release

If you've been reading my big bait reviews of late, you'll know my line strategy is hollow braid with a shock leader of high quality fluorocarbon. This allows me to use 150 sized reels and while I've been fishing the New Slide Swimmer 250 on and off since its release, for the purposes of this review, I fished this bait on a couple of sticks including my self wrapped Phenix Rods TJXL710H-B Titan Long Fall blank and my self wrapped B-USB-C 790H, also from Phenix. Among my choices in reel have been my Shimano Scorpion 150DC and my 2020 model year JDM Shimano Exsence DC SS - essentially a saltwater version of the Scorp DC.

Fresh out of packaging, the stock hooks are actually somewhat thin and light

Castability: Once you have your combo of choice dialed in, casting the Slide Swimmer 250 is the same as any other big bait. So long as your setup is appropriately sized, it just takes a few swings with which to grow accustomed to launching such a large bait. I find nice smooth lobs are most effective to avoid helicoptering and possibly fouling your bait before that first turn of the handle.

One way to tune the SlideSwimmer to stay down more consistently is by swapping the stock hooks (center) with heavier, aftermarket replacements

Rate of Fall: Upon splashdown, this bait will sink at the very slow rate of about a foot every two seconds. It does so in that same, classic manner with its body perfectly parallel to the surface of the water. Be ready though as sometimes hits come as the bait is sinking. Otherwise, depending on the depth you're targeting, I find it best to count down at least six to eight seconds in order to get a good consistent run. If you begin your retrieve right away, the Slide Swimmer will swim along the surface, sometimes breaking it with its head to create an enticing splash. Retrieve in this manner, the bait looks enticing as a topwater bait, however, for some reason, I can't get myself to fish it this way on purpose.

You can also purchase the Deps tuning weight

Ease of Actuation: The Slide Swimmer is among the smoothest swimming, widest gliding baits built. This was true from its initial introduction in that OG foam core to the current ABS based model. It is a super easy bait to swim, but there in also lies the difficulty. Because it's so smooth and natural, it is best fished with a choppy retrieve to mix things up and give the bait less of the appearance of a fish just swimming around, to one that is panicked and trying to escape.

This weight is specially shaped to fit right inside the bill cavity on the Slide Swimmer 250

The issue with this new version is many of them tend to nose up meaning when they swim, the bait actually takes a slight upward angle, so instead of staying at the depth to which you counted it down, it will rise in the water column - not ideal. However, there are a couple of ways to reduce the chances of this happening. The first is to either give your bait a tug with the rod tip before you crank the handle, or to pause after your first turn, turn and half. Even though the Slide Swimmer descends in a neutral position, doing so seems to reposition the bait and keep that head down more consistently. Beyond that, you can tune this bait to stay down more consistently.

For best results, add a dab or two of super glue gel or similar product else the weight will fall out (more if you want the weight to stay in permanently)

Next Section: Tuning the New Slide Swimmer









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