How to use a nail weight with a swimbait

Sticking small, thin weights into slender worms influences fall rates and bottom orientation, but that’s not the only use for this tackle tactic.

Bassmaster Elite pro Chris Zaldain also employs nail weights to keep his swimbaits performing properly.

“I will stick nail weights in big, soft-plastic swimbaits to offset their (designed) weight,” Zaldain said. “I’ll do this with a soft-plastic swimbait like an Osprey, Top Shelf, Huddleston or any other swimbait outside of a hollow-bodied paddle-tail design.

“If that swimbait wants to roll, rise or swim sideways, I’ll counter weight it.”

As Zaldain explained, he uses this tactic a lot with line-through swimbaits — those made with an inner chamber that channels the line from the bait’s nose to the belly, where a treble hook is positioned.

Because of the natural upward angle of line pressure, these baits gain height during a retrieve, and that can take them out of the strike zone.

“These baits tend to rise, so I’ll stick the nail weight in the throat of the bait (perpendicular to the line) to help keep the bait down throughout the retrieve,” Zaldain said.

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A full-time freelance writer specializing in sport fishing, David A. Brown splits his time between journalism and marketing communications