3 min to read
A New Predator On Top Of The Food Chain
Category : TACKLE BOX
Hiding away in a rod locker in the middle of the Mojave Desert, along the shores of Lake Havasu, Arizona lies what many are calling the best kept secret in the swim bait market. Shaun Bailey and Billy Skinner, co-producers of the Big Bait Posse DVD and two of the most dominating anglers on the western side of the country, have just dropped the gauntlet and served notice to the fishing industry, you better come strong or stay home! If you aren’t sure what I’m talking about yet, don’t worry, very soon, on weigh in stages from Okeechobee to Clear Lake, you will hear the name Predator Swimbaits being used like empty plates when I’m at the buffet!
“We designed the Predator at first for our personal tournament use only,” replied Shaun when I asked him about the design of the bait, “but it didn’t take long to realize we had to put the bait on the market. We combined the concept of a number of swimbaits we use regularly in tournaments to create the perfect line through swimbait.” Even as a young company, Predator Swimbaits has already seen exceptional success, “The feedback has been awesome. Anglers have been ordering this bait for not only large and smallmouth bass, but ocean guys have been buying them for calico’s and sea bass as well. It amazes me what guys are catching on these baits.”
Given the saturation of baits on the market, finding a quality, which will set you apart from everyone else, is the hardest goal for any bait company. For the team at Predator, it all about reality, “The Predator has a great profile the fish see when looking at the bait as it swims by and the 4 fins not only keep the bait keeled perfectly, it gives the bait that real fish look from the bottom view. Plus, the ribbed sides move a ton of water giving off more vibrations than other baits like it.” For most, the innovations would stop at the outward design, but Shaun and Billy took it a step farther, “the bait is also equipped with a custom-made swimbait insert. This insert was designed with a large ring and 2 smaller rings on to secure the insert inside the bait, but with a big enough hole for your knot to sit inside of the insert which will eliminate wear on your knot.”
With any company, there are going to be those growing pains to deal with. When focused on creating that perfect first line of baits, which will blow the doors off the competition, especially a bait such as the Predator, the intricacies can be staggering. I asked Shaun what the challenges have been getting the company moving, the answer may be a bit surprising, “The toughest part of getting this swimbait off the ground was actually cutting the mold on the CNC machine. The intricate cuts and odd sized milling bites proved a tough challenge.” As far as marketing the Predator Swimbait and convincing their customers to use their products seems to be one avenue they have not been concerned with, “the bait flat-out works, we haven’t had any challenges selling it at all,” and apparently for good reason, “The Predator catches fish, period.”
When you have essentially nailed it on the first bait your company released, the wheels begin to move a thousand miles an hour. New designs, baits and innovations seem to come in waves. For the Predator team, there is no sign of slowing down, “We have new colors coming out almost daily, as well as custom orders. Predator Swimbait Co has MANY new baits on the way including a 9 “ model of the Predator as well as a new A-rig style bait for lead heads. These A-rig baits will be hand poured like the rest and will give anglers the ability to buy a bait that the tail kicks even on a very, very slow retrieve, as well as a supreme color selection.”
When you have the pedigree the likes of Shaun and Billy, people tend to listen when you talk. Taking your secret weapon and unleashing it on the public, some would consider it crazy. But when you have designed a product, which could change the entire swimbait market, sometimes you just have to take your chances. Go ahead and buy some, beat them at their own game… they dare ya!