Anatomy of a Swim Senko

It’s not often you see a bait that is actually a combination of two baits. Some companies have attempted this concept with horrendous results (Turbo Toad), but others have done a great job of efficiently crafting a lure that is comprised of the best parts of two separate ones. Today we’ll take a look at one such lure and explore the anatomy of the Yamamoto Swim Senko.

Before creating the Swim Senko, Gary Yamamoto would fish tournaments using a Senko and a swimbait in tandem with each other. The fish would follow the swimbait, but wouldn’t strike consistently. Then Yamamoto would cast a Senko to the followers to get a bite. While this tactic yielded great results, switching back and forth between two lures didn’t seem efficient, time-wise, which led Yamamoto to invent the Swim Senko and combine the two.

The Swim Senko consists of two halves. The first half of the bait is pretty much a standard Senko worm while the bottom half is made up of a thin, vertical section that ends in a tail. The respective actions of either bait are hard at work in the Swim Senko, as the Senko portion allows the bait to fall true when dropped or worked along the bottom, while the swimbait tail creates an erratic motion and water displacement when worked faster.

The Swim Senko can be rigged a few different ways—weightless Texas rig, screw-in weighted rig, and a flipping rig—to name a few. When rigged weightless, cast and retrieve the Swim Senko steadily in shallow water for great results. This rig works best with an extra wide gap hook in the 5/0 size range. When the wind picks up, weightless rigging gets difficult, and a screw-in weight comes in handy. The screw-in weight holds the nose steady and all the wiggle comes from the swimming tail section, which maximizes the action and erratic movements. Keep it moving when rigged this way because there will be no action in the tail unless the retrieve is steady. When fish are sulking and just won’t come out to the edge of cover to chase, flip the Swim Senko right into the densest part of the cover with at least a 3/8 ounce (or heavier) sinker. The heavier weight will cause the bait’s tail to move rapidly, even during the short little lifts and drops that accompany flipping.

Combining the Senko and the swimbait into one bait was one of the best things Gary Yamamoto ever did for the fishing community, and the overwhelming enthusiasm shared by anglers countrywide attests to that. If you’ve never fished with the Swim Senko before, do yourself a favor and toss one out this season. You’ll be glad you did.