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Megabait LA Slider Swimbait

Author: Rob Belloni

Overview/History:  The Megabait LA Slider swimbait debuted in mid 2004.  The first baits were 5 and 6 inch models however since then a slew of additional sizes and weights have released.  At the time of this review there are five sizes available with seven different jighead weights.  There are 15 available colors covering everything from rainbow trout to sardine and all of the baits are painted.  The hooks used in the leadheads appear to be Mustad Ultrapoints and range in size from 2/0 to 8/0.  There are a myriad of packaging options on this bait with all sizes available in kits containing a leadhead and one or more tails and some sizes also available in 6 packs for slightly discounted pricing per body.  Leadheads can also be purchased a-la-carte, typically in a 2 pack. 

LA Slider Sizes and Leadhead Options
* Note that leadheads are interchangeable among sizes

Leadhead Weight
3/4oz 1oz 1.5oz
3/4oz 1oz 1.5oz
 7.5"  8/0  3oz

Pros: The real innovation with the LA Slider is the leadhead design.  There is a slit in the back of the bait by the dorsal fin that you slide the leadhead through.  There is a corresponding slit in the center of the top of the head where the line tie comes out.  This makes inserting or removing the leadhead very easy and doing so never damages the bait in any way.  If you want to switch from a 3/4oz to a 1.5oz head, you can do so in a matter of seconds.  The other advantage is that there is no leadhead showing on the bait so the body is consistent in color from head to tail.  The design is clever and it won Megabait the best in show award at the 2004 ICAST show.  

Aside from the clever leadhead design, my second favorite aspect of the LA Slider is the paint jobs.  There are a lot of small inexpensive swimbaits on the market these days and frankly a lot of them have bizarre un-natural paint jobs.  Megabait snuck in a few oddballs like purple with a chartreuse tail and red with a white tail but there is also a nice crop of your staple colors like trout, dark trout, shad, and brown shiner that actually look like real fish.  The trout patterns are a little heavy on the red colors and a little light on the spots but they really are not bad. 

Action wise the LA Slider probably fishes how you’d expect if you’ve ever thrown a boot tail swimbait.  The tails are fairly thin and small and this gives the bait what I would call a quick action.  Even on a slow retrieve, the tail kicks along briskly.  This is not the type of tail that throbs or wags or gives the body some wobble, this tail is like a small bluegill scooting along.  All of the LA Sliders I’ve thrown ran true out of the package and were consistently poured. I don’t think you’ll see many duds with this bait, it’s pretty much a bulletproof deal.  

From a longevity standpoint, I’d expect to get 6-15 fish per bait.  The tail sections being as thin as they are you might get a fish that snaps the tail off on a short strike but most of the time you’ll get your money’s worth out of the LA Slider.  The hooks are premium and require no sharpening, and with a small profile you’re likely to hook most of your bites on the LA Slider.  Landing them will be an issue like it is with any single hook bass lure that has a large chunk of lead attached to it.  My advice as always with these types of baits is to fight the fish fast and do whatever you can to keep the fish’s head down.  This is especially important if you’re tossing one of the models with an ounce and a half or more of lead in them. 

The last thing to mention about the LA Slider is the price.  These baits are very reasonably priced for what you get.  For example, you can get two 5” baits with a leadhead for $4.  Considering the high price of many painted swimbaits these days, an LA Slider is quite a bargain.  They’re cheap enough that using them in saltwater isn’t out of the question either so if you live by the coast you might get some dual purpose use out of these guys. 

Cons: There are two small issues with the LA Slider that I don’t like.  The first is that on some baits the tails have gotten bent or kinked up in the packaging and the plastic has set to an odd position.  The tails are so thin that even if your tail is messed up like this it will probably swim regardless (mine did) but things like this are the price you often pay on injected mass produced baits.  

The other thing I had a gripe with is the eyes on the bait.  There seems to be a trend with the cheaper swimbaits to paint the eyeballs instead of putting a real eye in.  This saves a few cents per bait in production costs but they really could have improved the appearance of the lures by putting a real metallic backed eyeball in them, or perhaps doing something like on the Huddleston Deluxe where there’s a clear eye backed by gold or silver paint. 

Other than those small issues, the LA Slider is a solid performer in the small swimbait category with a nice range of colors, sizes and weighting options.  For a couple bucks you can check one out for yourself and see what you think, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Note that these baits are no longer available in U.S.  Checking eBay is probably your best bet to find them. 

Average Rating out of 2 voters
GGR( CEN, CA) Mar 27, 2008
Megabait "Bass Grande"
I recently purchased some of these baits for my kids and girl-friend to throw. I was told these baits were re-released under a new name, "Bass Grande." The baits I purchased were 6 inches in the Rainbow Trout pattern. I thought that this would be a great bait for them to throw all day and not wear themselves out.

Upon demonstrating on how they should work the bait WHAM!, a four pounder jumps on the bait. We continued to catch fish all day, mostly in the 2-4 lb. range. The fish were really hitting the bait hard.

We were throwimg the baits on 25 lb. test line with Shimano XH Crucial swimbait rods. I would consider this overkill for these baits but these were the only swimbait rods I had in the boat at the time. It seemed to work just fine though and the fish did not seem to mind the heavy line.

We worked the baits on a slow steady retrieve with great success. Also worked the bait like a jig in deep water and caught some fish, they hit the bait hard.

The bait has great tail action and it is my belief that this is what attracts the fish to the bait. The tail kicks at the slightest movement. The bait also seemed to hold up pretty well after catching several fish.

Like I said ,I don't normally throw swimbaits this small but I have thrown it on several other occasions. After working over a spot I know holds big fish with my usuall "BIG" baits and no hits, I throw the little 6" bait in and on the first cast a 5 lber eats it.

I would highly recommend this bait. they are verry reasonably priced, picked mine up for $7.99 (compare that to an ABT) and they seem to be pretty durable.
Sacto John( Sacramento, CA) Apr 05, 2006
Spots Love Them
I have been fishing the 6" LA Slider for a few months on lakes filled with spotted bass and it gets bit. While I have not caught any monsters the Slider, it seems to have no problem attracting strikes from spots in the 2-4 pound range.
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