3:16 Lure Company - Sidewinder Swimbait
Author: Rob Belloni
The Sidewinder debuted in November 2002. The Sidewinder is definitely unique in the swimbait market because it simply has no bill. The action of the lure comes from the shape of the head, and the rest of the jointed body just follows along behind the head. The faster you reel it, the harder it kicks back and forth, generating a spastic action at high speeds. At slow speeds, the bait has a lazy side to side kick, and tends to angle downward if you go slow enough.
In my opinion, this bait is going to work best when the fish are very active and want a fast, wild retrieve. Make a long cast, let the sidewinder sink out and then speed it back to the boat with quick rips and pauses. It looks good when you fish it like that, and when you work it hard like a rip bait, it will dart off side to side or you can cut the ripping shorter to make it keep going in the same direction. The bait has the standard 316 hook setup where the line goes through a block in the head and comes out the belly. So when you hook up, you should do well getting the fish in because the line will slide through the head, and the bait shouldn't tear up too easily. I'd imagine you could get a dozen or so fish per bait. The bait sports a 1/0 or 2/0 Owner hook or a 1/0 VMC (on the 7.5") so you don't have to replace the hooks.
I have a half dozen or so Sidewinders in various sizes in my tackle box. I've thrown each size and tried them out on various lakes from time to time. There have been times when I felt like the bait looked really good in the water and I thought I'd catch some fish on it, but for whatever reason, I just haven't done very well on the Sidewinder. I waited a long time to write this review, and talked to friends and acquaintances about their experiences. A few guys reported some fish to 6lbs on them, and usually using retrieves like I described above, but I have heard of only a few really big fish on this bait. The main limitations of the sidewinder as a trophy bass bait is that you have to fish it very fast to get it moving. It's a rare situation where a super high speed retrieve will catch a 10+ fish. They just don't usually go for that unless they are really fired up. I think your best bet with the sidewinder is to go with the smaller 7.5" version and use it more as a twitch/rip bait. If you get a big dog on it, you're doing good. 6lbers are the most likely outcome with this one though.