Keitech Swing Impact Fat 4.8 Review: More Than Just A Typical Swimbait!
I was considering combining this review with my review of the Keitech Model III Swim Jig, considering that I used the Swing Impact Fat 4.8 as the trailer for the majority of the time I fished the Model III. But that would be a terrible disservice to this bait, which can proudly stand separate as a great fish catching tool in it’s own right.
Paddletail swimbaits are as popular as they’ve ever been since Basstrix introduced it’s super successful hollow body swimbait, with hard-jointed, soft body, and hollow body swimbaits present in most bass anglers’ tackle boxes, and responsible for some great catches. I too, have had multiple (too many probably) swimbaits in my tackle box, experiencing varying degrees of success with the different types. When I began to focus on fishing the BNF zone, one bait really started to stand out above the rest, and became one of my go-to confidence baits when I fish the slop and salad.
As I discussed in my review of the Model III, as part of the Keitech Swim Jig system, the 4.8 is the perfect partner to the Model III when power fishing in cover. However, with the 4.8, I can honestly say that you are limited only by your imagination in the ways that you can fish this bait effectively in the BNF zone.
The 4.8 comes 5 to a clam shell package and is infused with a subtle scent that seems to be a mix of crawfish and squid. Quite different and quite effective.
Before I go into some of the rigging techniques I used with the 4.8, a discussion of the technical details and the action is needed. The Swing Impact Fat 4.8 is a solid body soft plastic paddletail swimbait that weighs 12 grams (0.4 oz), is 4.977 inches from nose to the tip of the tail when held vertically, 0.703 inches at it’s deepest point in the body and 0.697 inches at it’s widest. The main body to the paddle tail is covered in 0.057 inch ribs spaced 0.095 inches apart. The paddle tail is 0.986 inches tall and 0.941 inches wide. The hook slot on the top is 0.0.38 inches wide, 1.560 inches long and 0.170 inches deep. The bottom hook slot is 0.038 inches wide, 0.740 inches long, and 0.170 at it’s deepest. Also on the bottom of the body just ahead of the hook slot are two tiny holes. More on those two holes later.
One of the issues that I’ve had when rigging soft or hollow body swimbaits is getting the hook perfectly centered. The 4.8 solves this problem with a small ridge on the centerline of the bottom of the nose that guides you when you rig the 4.8 on a swimbait hook or EWG work hook.
The action of the Swing Impact Fat 4.8 is a complex mixture of subtle body roll, a side to side full body shimmy that causes the nose of the bait to hunt slightly and is finished off with a healthy paddle tail kick to finish it off. See the video below for a visual display of it’s action:
The Swing Impact 4.8 has a great action that just begs to be attacked by bass. Using this awesome tool in my approach heavy cover, I used it in quite a few different ways which just goes to show the variety of applications it has.
For the purposes of this review we are focusing on it’s performance in the BNF zone, however its open water performance is just as you’d expect for a swimbait of this action, and fished as you normally would on a jighead or weighted swimbait hook, it shines. I could only imagine what an Alabama Rig with 5 4.8′s would do. Can you say MORE AWESOME?
Remember those two holes on the bottom of the 4.8 that I mentioned earlier? Well, they’re there for a cool rigging style popular in Japan called the Chikubi Rig. Two short tungsten nail weights are pushed into the two holes and give a slightly different action to the bait than a traditional keel weighted swimbait hook due to the higher center of gravity of the weights pushed up into the body, and also to run a little deeper than a non weighted 4.8. I used the Chikubi Rig successfully, and the tungsten nail weights did not impede any compression of the bait on hookset. Two tungsten nails are needed to keep the balance correct.
Here’s a video of the Chibuki Rig in action.
The Chibuki Rig is great for fishing the edges of weed beds and large gaps with no slop or salad. However the heavy cover weakness of this particular rig is the tungsten nail weights as they protrude just a hair beneath the belly of the 4.8. When fished in slop or algae, the nails do not bend like the soft plastic ribs and tend to collect tendrils of algae and weeds instead of sliding cleanly through.
Texas rigging the 4.8 is a great way to penetrate heavy cover. The 4.8 provides a totally different look that the typical bait thrown to cover, or into heavy cover. The bait moves large amounts of water with it’s action, and attracts fish even in the murkiest conditions. The T-rigged 4.8 in action:
But wait, take that great thumping water moving bait a step further. My rigging modification: An unpegged Texas rigged 4.8 using a punch skirt, tungsten bullet weight, and EWG worm hook.
In the above picture, I’ve used a Keitech Swing Impact Fat in Green Pumpkin (101), 5/0 Gamakatsu Super Line EWG, 65 lb Sufix 832 Lo-Vis Green braid, a Paycheck Baits Punch Skirt in Lights Out, and an unpegged tungsten weight .
Now for the heaviest of cover, I take this modification to it’s logical conclusion, on a punch rig:
Above: A Keitech Swing Impact Fat in Green Pumpkin (101) rigged on a Gamakatsu 5/0 Heavy Cover Flipping Hook, snelled to 65 Sufix 832 Lo-Vis Green braid, a Paycheck Baits Punch Skirt in Lights Out, a 1.5 oz tungsten punch weight, and a Paycheck Baits Punch Stop.
The 4.8 on a punch rig ran neck and neck with my favorite creature/craw soft plastic punch rigs in numbers of fish, and I can attest to tossing a punch rig rigged with a craw getting no bites, and pitching the 4.8 punch rig and getting hammered multiple times.
Powershotting is one of the ways I use to target suspended bass in heavy cover. It’s a beefed up dropshot rig that can make it though heavy cover be fished slowly or quickly depending on the aggressiveness of the fish. When the fish are in strike mode, I’ll rig up a 4.8 and fish it almost like a slow rolling spinnerbait with the occasional twitch and pause with great success.
The powershot rig in the above picture; 65lb Lo-Vis Green Sufix 832 braid, with a Palomar knot to a 5/0 Gamakatsu Superline EWG, and a Voss 1/4 oz dropshot weight. The bait shown is a Swing Impact Fat 4.8 in Black (001) with a Paycheck Baits Punch Skirt in Gas Money. I dress all my powershot rigs with punch skirts. I like the extra bulk and action they provide in heavy cover, plus they seem to slide though weeds and slop easier. To rig the punch skirt on a drop shot is really easy. Slide the punch skirt up the mainline, then tie your hook with the usual Palomar knot and slip the tag end through the hook eye as you normally would. Feed the tag end through the punch skirt bead, snug the skirt up tight to the hook, and attach your weight to the tag end and you are ready to fish. I use the Paycheck Baits Punch Skirt exclusively for this technique as other types of skirts are usually tied onto metal punch hubs and the edges are too sharp and cut into the braid when fish are on. The plastic bead/hub on the Paycheck Baits Punch Skirt doesn’t seem to do this, but I recommend check the line regularly for signs of fraying at the bead.
Topwater frogging is a really effective way to target bass in the upper water column and just beneath the slop. Who doesn’t love a massive topwater smash and grab? If you fish pressured lakes like I do those bass have seen countless frogs, toads and rats pass overhead while they hunker down under the slop. Toss a 4.8 on an 5/0 EWG hook with a punch skirt and show those bass something they’ve never seen before. When fishing the 4.8 like a frog on top of the salad, remember to wait at least 1 full second, preferably 2 for the bass to fully engulf the bait as the 4.8 is typically bulkier than a topwater frog.
As you can see from the above picture, I really like to use punch skirts to add body and action to any techniques that I use for fishing the slop. This topwater rig uses a Cajun Tackle House DonkeyPunch skirt in Black/Blue/Purple with rattles for a little extra sound while on the pause or twitch. This Keitech Swing Impact 4.8 in Black (001) is rigged on a 5/0 Owner Wide Gap Plus hook on 40lb Berkley Fireline in Moss Green with a Paycheck Baits Punch Stop.
Rigging the 4.8 on a jighead for heavy cover fishing is another effective way to fish the lower water column when punching or t-rigs are not attracting bites. Hopping or stroking the 4.8 on a jighead requires a few adjustments for heavy cover use. For these techniques I use a grass jig or a weedless jighead.
Presented above are two different solutions to fishing the 4.8 on a jighead. The bottom BlueGill Flash (418) Fat Swing Impact 4.8 is rigged naked on a skirtless 1 oz All Terrain Grassmaster Jig. I trimmed the weedguard for a tough more stiffness for the heavy cover. Sitting above the BlueGill Flash 4.8 is a Green Pumpkin (101) 4.8 on a Fin-Tech Title Shot Magnum 1/2 oz 5/0 EWG jighead led by a Paycheck Baits Lights Out Punch Skirt and Punch Stop on 65 lb Sufix Lo-Vis Green Braid.
An alternative for fishing the 4.8 on the Keitech Model III Swim Jig is to use it as a trailer on a chatterbait, or a spinnerbait. I use these in scattered weedbeds or sparse to medium cover. I find the 4.8 on a big bladed spinnerbait in the low light hours or at night is particularly effective. The massive thump of the big blade combined with the additional thump and action of the 4.8 is effective at calling bass for dinnertime from far away. Below is a Black (001) 4.8 rigged on a Black/Red Leverage Lures single Colorado blade spinnerbait:
There’s about as many ways to fish the 4.8 in the BNF zone as you can think of. It’s versatility is limited by your imagination. That is one of the strong points to this bait. Another is the durability. The longevity of the 4.8 is excellent, for this review I purposely stretched the 4.8 as far as I could and from my measured base length of 4.977 inches I reached 8.75 inches before the the bait ripped just before the paddletail, at it’s thinnest point. I did have one paddletail rip off during a hookset by a fish that must have short struck the bait, but that was the only occurrence. The body and head were fairly durable during heavy cover fishing, lasting a little longer than a creature bait when punching. I’d say that in my experience this was not the dreaded “one bait per fish” type of bait even though it is fairly soft (see the end of the review for a comparison and mini reviews of other Swing Impact Fat and regular Swing Impact sizes), and lasted for multiple fish before becoming unusable due to the head ripping. (I am currently out of Mend-it, but will append this review once I am able to assess the 4.8′s ability to be repaired.) The colors were consistent and did not fade or run over the season, in fact they have stayed remarkably bright despite extended sun exposure, and they did not bleed when colors were mixed.
There are few improvements to the 4.8 that I could recommend to Kei Hiyashi, the mastermind behind Keitech, as he seems to have fine tuned everything about the 4.8. The size is perfect for rigging the 4.8 in a wide variety of techniques without having hookup issues due to excessive bulk that is common to other swimbaits that share it’s non-hollow soft body construction or suffering the durability issues of smaller Keitech swimbaits due to less material in vital places like the head, body or paddletail. The action has the perfect blend of shimmy, roll, yaw, thump and hunt when retrieved at all speeds, and doesn’t have a tendency to roll at higher retrieve speeds due to it’s inherent balance. The bait is soft enough to translate angler rod English into enticing movements when paused. The durability of a bait this size is great, and for a retail price of around $7.49 and up, it represents nice value. There can always be more color selection but the 12 colors available cover the large majority of fishing situations.
The one and only improvement that I can suggest is adjusting the depth of the bottom hook slot from 0.170 inches to 0.270 to enable better bait compression when using hooks that don’t have a extra wide gap to accommodate the thickness of the 4.8′s body. In true BNF style, I mod the bottom hook slot on every 4.8 I fish, using a heated knife blade to melt the slot deeper. I’ve experimented with cutting the slot through the body from bottom to top, but in that scenario, the hook point tends to ride up out of the top slot, hence losing the weedless benefits of the top hook slot.
What I’ve covered in this review of the Keitech Swing Impact 4.8 was observed and experienced while fishing the BNF zone. I’m sure if you experiment with this bait, you’ll place this bait as I have, easily on hand in your tackle box as one of your go-to baits for all sorts of conditions and for all sorts of techniques.
Keitech Swing Impact Fat 4.8 Ratings
A finely tuned soft bodied swimbait that can proudly stand alone as the best of it’s genre.
In typical JDM fashion, the 4.8 is poured precisely, the colors are consistent and each bait runs the same out of the package. The impregnated scent is long lasting.
Typical for soft plastics when fishing in heavy cover, the place the 4.8 usually breaks down first is the head and nose area. This bait seems to hold up a bit better than other soft plastics, and is definitely not a “one bait one fish” lure.
The Swing Impact 4.8 has excellent action, just watch any of the videos posted and see for yourself. They are well balanced and run well at most any retrieve speeds.
The 4.8 comes in 18 colors to cover all conditions. I’d like to see some of the Japanese only colors make it the the US market, namely Moroko Gold (425), Ebi Gori Cinnamon (405), Hasu (431), Castaic Choice (406), Wakasagi (412), Purple Thunder (418), and especially Black Blue Flash (430) which would be punch rig perfection on my home lake.
At prices starting from $7.49 per 5 pack, the bait is a pretty good deal considering it’s durability. At $1.50 per bait it is right in the range of other’s in it’s class such as the Optimum Double Diamond Swimmer 5.25″ that costs about $2.00 per bait but is much less durable, or the Jackall Ammonite Shad 5.5″ that costs $1.00 each but cannot compare when it comes to the action.
Heavy Slop: yes
Fish it on a punch rig or heavy grass jig, it is a heavy slop workhorse.
Grass Mats: yes
The 4.8 can be fished on a punch rig or heavy grass jig, fished like a frog across the tops of the mats.
It can be fished Texas rigged, frogged weightless, punched, and in any way you typically would use a soft plastic trailer.
Swims well through the weeds, and is especially weedless with the use of a punch skirt. Again, any technique requiring use of a buzz frog or soft plastics, the 4.8 will excel at.
Reeds: kind of
I find that the bulk of the body and the paddletail seem to get hung up more than I ‘d like in comparison to craw type trailers, but it is fishable in widely spaced reeds
Knock this bait around wood like you would square bill crankbait or a flipping jig.
The Keitech Swing Impact Fat 4.8 is available in 18 colors and retails for around $7.49 and up. The cheapest price I could find online was $7.49 at Bass Tackle Depot , but you have to search around for the harder to find and more popular colors. Precision Tackle has 13 colors in stock including a Japanese only color called Hasu (close to Silver Shiner in color) plus other hard to find colors for $7.59. Precision Tackle also has a walk-in store located just outside of Philadelphia and 5 minutes from New Jersey that carries all of the baits that the online store has. Check the Precision Tackle Website for the address.
The 18 US available colors: Black (001), Green Pumpkin (101), Watermelon Pepper (102), Ayu (400), Silver Flash Minnow (416), Gold Flash Minnow(417), Blue Flash (418), Pro Blue Red Pearl (420), Sight Flash (422), Sexy Shad (426), Tennessee Shad (429), Silver Shiner (431), Male Perch (432), Pro Staff Special (433), Black Shad (436), Green Pumpkin Fire (438), Rainbow Shad (439), Green Pumpkin Shiner (443).
The Keitech Swing Impact Fat was tested on the following setups:
Rod: Powell/Tackle Warehouse Swim Jig Special 723 MH Ex-Fast, Powell/Tackle Warehouse Paddletail Special 714 CEF-PT, Powell/Tackle Warehouse Punch Rod 806 CF, Powell Endurance 764 Mag Med Flip, Powell Endurance 725C Mag Heavy Fast, Otterods Custom CTS Tournament Edition 7′ Med Ex Fast Spinning.
Reel: Quantum Smoke 100HPT 7.0:1, Quantum Smoke 150HPT 7.0:1, Deps Zillion ZDF 100H 6.3:1, Daiwa Steez 103HA 6.3:1, Daiwa Certate 2500R Custom
Line: Daiwa Samurai Braid 40lb, Berkley Fireline 40lb, Sufix 832 50lb, Sufix 832 65lb, Sunline FX2 Frog and Flip 80lb, Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon 20lb
With the amount of Keitech Swing Impact Fat and regular Swing Impact sizes available, I thought I’d try to explain the differences between the types and sizes.
Keitech Swing Impact Fat 2.8:
A great little bait for crappie, river smallies and trout. The 2.8 has a much faster frenetic tail action compared to the 4.8.
Keitech Swing Impact Fat 3.8
The 3.8 has a less pronounced body shimmy than the 4.8 due to it’s shorter body and smaller paddletail. A nice bait for a smaller presentation on regular ‘Coosa’ style swim jigs and chatterbaits where the 4.8′s bigger body would be too bulky.
Keitech Swing Impact Fat 5.8
2 words: Striper Killer! A big bait for big fish, it will still draw in smaller fish, but with it’s body bulk, the BNF hook slot mod is a line of duty must. If this bait came in Pro Staff Special (433) it’d be an awesome Musky lure, just like the Lime Chartreuse (424).
Keitech Swing Impact 3″
This bait is small, thin, has a crazy tail action and works great in finesse situations. Unfortunately due to it’s thin body at the paddletail, and small diameter, it is not very durable.
Keitech Swing Impact 4″
The big brother to the 3″, the 4″ Swing Impact has a longer body with the same crazy tail action, and so the body’s shimmy action is really enhanced. It catches tons of fish, however the 4″ has the same durability issues that the 3″ suffers due to it’s small diameter and thin body at the paddletail. Fish this on a moving bait like a spinnerbait or a chatterbait as a trailer and watch your strike numbers go up. Just make sure to have plenty on hand for replacements.
(I’ll be testing the effectiveness of Mend-it on repairing all of the Keitech Swing Impact series and will post an addendum as soon as I have the results.)