Author: Rob Belloni
Overview/History: The Baby E was originally released under the Eagle Swimbait brand mid 2003. This little guy measures 5.5” and weighs 1.3oz (unweighted version). There is also a weighted version that weighs a little over 2oz. The Baby E retails for $10.95, comes stock with a #2 Owner 2X black/chrome hook and is available in approximately 25 color configurations. It is also worth noting that a weedless version of the Baby E is in the works. Pros: I’d heard good things about the Baby E before I picked up my baits but I felt skeptical about this bait because of its small size and chubby shape. When I put the baits in the water I was pleasantly surprised by the action and overall fishability. The action of the Baby E really exceeded my expectations because I could go from a crawl to a high speed retrieve and maintain great action through the full spectrum of retrieves. On a slow retrieve, the tail has a sexy wiggle that gives the illusion of life. Some baits just look right in the water and this bait is one of them, it really looks like it’s struggling along trying to escape. Even more important, you can’t fish the Baby E slow enough! So many baits out there lose traction and fall off to the side on a super slow retrieve but this bait maintains its swim until you all but stop the retrieve, allowing you to keep the bait in the strike zone longer. Big fish go for slow retrieves and the Baby E gets that job done. On a fast retrieve the Baby E planes to the surface and begins to push water, creating a V shaped wake. Baits like the Baby E are often described as having a boat shape because the bottom of the lure resembles the bottom of a boat, and true to the name when the Baby E gets up on top it looks like a boat struggling to get on pad. The best part is that the Baby E tracks true on the surface and throws a good sized wake for its diminutive size. I give major props to California Swimbabes for producing a bait that can truly be fished at all speeds.There is a wide spectrum of colors available in the Baby E and they are all shown clearly on the californiaswimbabes.com website from both a side and bottom perspective. Yes, there’s a firetiger but there’s also a great range of minnow and trout imitators. Clearly real fishermen were consulted when selecting the color lineup and the result is a selection that looks like the forage fish bass might actually be eating. I also like the fact that the bait comes stock with a 2x strong Owner hook and I don’t see a compelling reason to modify the Baby E before fishing it. Two more things to mention in the pro department are construction and castability. The Baby E is very compact and even the unweighted version casts like a bullet. If you’ve thrown the Storm Suspending 5” bait, you can fire this thing just as far. The Baby E also features the same “pro-rig” type harness found in all of the baits in the California Swimbabes lineup. What’s cool about the tube used is the fact that it’s one piece and has a raised section mid way through the bait essentially locking the tube inside the plastic. It’s very unlikely that a fish could destroy the harness on the Baby E and that means more fish per bait for you. I could see catching a dozen or more fish on this lure without issue. Cons: One of the sacrifices you make when you construct a bait that will swim well at all speeds is realism. The wide body and the stubby fins on the side of the lure are there to stabilize the bait, but when you look at the Baby E from underneath, it doesn’t match up well with say a hitch minnow or a baby trout. The wide body also reduces your bite to land ratio although at 5.5” in length, this is a much smaller issue when compared with larger lures. You’ll probably miss some of those 1-3lbers but this bait will simply be engulfed by your 5lb+ class fish. Overall I dig this bait. It’s fishable, it casts well, it can slow way down in the strike zone, it comes with a premium hook, and it’s available in legit fish catching colors. For tournament anglers and guys who just want to chuck a smaller swimbait this is a great option.