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MS Snake

Author: Rob Belloni

Overview/History:  The MS Snake debuted in the early Spring of 2006.  This floating wooden hardbait measures 13” total length and weighs about 3.5oz.  The MS Snake comes stock with 3/0 VMC trebles, heavy duty screw eyes and heavy duty split rings.  The bait is available in all of the standard MS Slammer colors (15 colors total) and retails for around $50.   

Pros:  When Mike Shaw first showed me a picture of the MS Snake, my eyebrows went up a few clicks.  I wasn’t surprised at the concept of a snake lure, but I was surprised at the size.  This lure is no joke and it’s BIG.  Everything about lure to me says trophy hunting on it so be ready when you get yours in the mail.  I’ve seen quite a few 6 pounders caught on the MS Snake since it came out but that’s probably on the low end of what’s going to hit this lure.  If keeping the dinks off your line is on your agenda, you’ll like this lure. 

In the water the MS Snake delivers what you’re expecting, and that’s snake like action.  I’ve shown the MS Snake to a few friends and they were all immediately impressed by how it fished.  The rear half of the body is made up of ¼” segments that allow the tail to flex with a fluid motion much like a real snake moves across the water.  There is so much motion and wake coming off the bait that a fish sliding up under it is absolutely going to get the illusion of a snake in trouble trying to get back to shore. 

The head section of the bait generates the tail movement and although it doesn’t move side to side like a real snake, the tail section of the bait that the fish will see first as it approaches the lure does look just right.  Keep in mind also that this is strictly a surface lure.  If you really crank on it you can get the Snake to go down but its natural action is on top and it will stay on top even at high speed.   

Construction wise the MS Snake is like everything else in the Slammer lineup; built to last.  I could see getting 50+ fish per bait without issue.  I do feel like there’s some risk to damaging the tail if you cast it off a rock and it landed funny but I have not heard a single report of one breaking yet.  With my regular MS Slammers I regularly bounce them off the shore and off rocks without issue but I’m a little more careful with the snake. 

The intangible thing about the MS Snake is the fact that there’s simply nothing like it.  From a lure sales standpoint it can be tough for manufacturers to make a bait that makes a real paradigm shift from anything else out there, but from a fisherman’s standpoint that’s exactly the type of lure I look for.  If you take the MS Snake to the lake, odds are the bass have never seen anything like it before and situations like that can equal stupid easy bites that you might not have gotten with standard fare. 

I believe that forward thinking fishermen in the east and south especially have an opportunity here to get big fish on this bait before the public in general accepts that big snake lures are a viable option.  The whole reason this bait was made was because Mike Shaw kept getting calls from guys on the east coast and in the south telling stories about catching bass that had snakes curled up in their mouths or coming out of their throats.  Clearly bass eat snakes and we all know there are big bass in lakes like Toho, Santee Cooper, Amistad, etc, but sometimes it takes fishermen a while to accept new lure categories.  For the guys who don’t mind taking a risk on a new lure, the MS Snake could be a big advantage. 

Cons:  Well I feel like a broken record, but I still don’t like the VMC hooks and it’s disappointing to see hooks like this on a $50 lure.  When you get your MS Snake, replace the hooks with some 2/0 models, or even some 4/0 4x models if you’re anticipating big fish around heavy cover. 

I mentioned at the beginning of the review that the MS Snake is definitely built with trophy fish in mind.  Continue to keep that in mind when you look at the hook setup.  I can’t say I’ve ever watched a bass eat a snake in real life but I suspect they eat them head first.  In theory you should hook a lot of fish on the bait but with 13” of real estate for the bass to dine on, you will probably miss the fish if it strikes near the tail of the lure.  In other words, don’t go throw this bait on 3 pounders in a tournament and get bent out of shape if you miss them. 

One other minor drawback with the MS Snake is the paint job.  Your paint will get nicked up around the hooks and may chip in small patches if you bang the bait off a rock, etc.  Normally I recommend putting some aristocrat or devcon2 epoxy over the paint to protect it but with the jointed section of the MS Snake tail it’s probably not a good idea to risk gluing the sections together.  As such, you may expect some war wounds with the MS Snake over time. 

Overall the MS Snake is a legit bait that I believe will catch on slowly over time and eventually become an established trophy bass lure.  It may take a while for fishermen to fully grasp the potential and it’s the kind of lure that you won’t go out and catch a bunch of fish on right off the bat, but it is the kind of lure that I expect to see a lot of tanks caught on as time passes.

Average Rating out of 2 voters
Matt Peters( Roswell, GA) Feb 15, 2007
MS Snake: Sly and sneaky
Mike Shaw pretty much one upped the market in my opinion here. Talk about forward thinking and innnovation. There have been plastic/rubber snakes made, but no one I'm aware of has attempted a swimbait in the snake category. For sheer innovation and novelty, this bait is a must have. I know, what the heck does innovation and novelty have to do with catching fish? Well, I live in a part of the country right now where I don't have to compete a lot for swimbait water. For the folks out West, on the Delta, ClearLake, the Colorado River chain, the LA/SD lakes, Central Coast etc....just like the rat baits...snakes are everywhere, and there is a very good chance you will be the only guy throwing a snake on a lake at any given time.

Pros/Strengths: The MS Snake swims like no other. The damn thing is spooky coming thru the water. My bait swims incredible. I have a baby bass paint job, and the it really looks like a water mocassin coming at my boat. Just flat realism, and swim got my attention immediately....and oh yeah, about 20 minutes later I put a 7 pounder in the boat on it. The bait is solid and fishes well and won't foul on you.

Cons/Weaknesses: You could break the bait if you aren't careful, I think. Mike has done some magic in the tail, with a metal stringer of some sort for added strength, but still, I think I could break the bait by hitting something in mid-air...the thing is LONG. It flies thru the air pretty well, but does take some getting used tends to sail a little bit. And the hooks/hardware. I swapped out the stock split rings and hooks for the Owner kind.

If you look at bigbait fishing as competing with the fish and competing with your fellow anglers (especially out West), I would get you a snake or three for the arsenal. I have seen snakes in the water all over the country...just like the rat baits, this bait applies everywhere. You not matching a stocked trout here. You are going to love the swim and realism, and for sure the thing gets bit.
lightninrod/dan greene( macon, GA) Nov 10, 2006
MS Snake
I have a black with yellow stripes Snake. I've only thrown it a few times.

To my way of thinking, it's mis-named. It's size, shape, and most importantly, it's movement mimics a baby alligator more than a snake. We have both down here and I've seen baby alligators nearby and the Snake is more like them than the more slender, 13" snakes.

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