There’s a saying that some lures are made to catch fishermen, not fish.
While there is certainly some truth to that statement, not all flashy baits are inherently money traps.
But I must admit, when I first saw the Robotic Swimming Lure, my excitement probably kept me from thinking as clearly as I should have.
My brother-in-law posted a video of the lure on my Facebook wall. The battery-powered bait was shaped and colored like a shad. A small propellor fixed to the nose moved the bait about in a swimming motion. I was immediately taken by the lifelike action.
I had never seen anything like it. So, naturally, I quickly bought one. At a hair under $26 it is, to this day, the most expensive lure I have ever purchased. But I couldn’t wait for it to arrive at my doorstep.
This lure is offered in a variety of sizes and patterns. I chose the 5.12-inch common shad because it had the closest resemblance to the live minnows I use.
Once I had the lure in my possession, I didn’t waste any time taking it for a spin. I brought it to a couple of spots that I knew for certain were home to a host of hungry bass and northern pike.
I decided the best course of action was to fix the lure to one of the included steel leaders and place a bobber above it.
Here is what I learned:
I’ve already mentioned this, but it’s worth calling out again: the action on this lure is awesome. It swims around in an incredibly realistic and sporadic motion. When it comes to authentic presentation, this bait gets high marks.
One of the benefits of the realism is that, in theory, this lure could take the place of live minnows. This saves both money and hassle. A live minnow will catch you one fish, if you’re lucky. This lure could and should produce many fish without the need for replacement. Plus, you don’t have to deal with keeping your minnows alive.
The charge on the battery lasts a respectable amount of time in normal water conditions, though cold water shortens the lifespan of the powerpack. The lure is easily charged with the included wall adapter and cord.
Some critics have mentioned the risk of polluting your favorite waters with electronics if the bait would break. While I abhor littering as much as anyone, I must say that if I had a fish hammer my lure so hard that it broke apart, I wouldn’t waste any time going online and buying two more. I’ve caught thousands of fish in my life and I have never encountered one that was so enthusiastic about a lure that it destroyed it in the process of striking.
Cost is the most obvious drawback here. This type of price tag should come with noticeable results. While even the best baits have slow days, there shouldn’t be many of those when dropping nearly $30 on a single lure. Generally speaking, this one requires a bit too much patience for my liking.
One of the other issues I encountered was the weight of the bait. All those electronics packed in the body mean you’ll need a sizable bobber in order to know when you have a bite.
While I am a big fan of the motion the lure provides, sometimes it’s a bit too enthusiastic for my liking. With its aggressive darting about, it won’t take long for your bobber to be a few yards from where you left it. Keeping the presentation realistic often requires a fair deal of slack in your line. If you’re fishing in a location with substantial current, you’ll need even more. This can delay the hookset, which can lead to missing fish or, worse, letting the fish become hooked deeper than it would have been otherwise.
Overall, this bait is fun and will catch fish on occasion. I like it. I want to love it, but I can’t. The fact is: I have lures that cost a fraction of what this one does that produce much better results on a more frequent basis.
If you’re looking to try something different and you have a few bucks to spend, give this bait a shot. But if you’re looking for a game-changer, this isn’t it.