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Joe Baggs Swarter Minnow vs. Daiwa SP Minnow by Joe

One of the first lures an angler will buy is a plastic minnow-type swimmer.   Although I totally get it... since most are quite affordable and very effective as well.   There are literally hundreds of minnow swimmers on the market, but over the last few years two stand out on the beach --  the Daiwa SP Minnow and the Joe Baggs Minnow Swarter.  



Joe Baggs Swarter Minnow and Daiwa SP Minnow



Joe Baggs Minnow Swarter


6 inches 1 oz

7 inches 1.5 oz

Tech: Weight transfer system, through –wired, VMC 9626 trebles

Action:  Rolling wobble on slow retrieve but will tighten with speed.  Will hold well in rough water.

Profile:  Integrated lip swimmer

Durability: Good

Castability: Excellent

Application: Calm to rough conditions.  


Daiwa SP Minnow


5-1/8 in. 1 oz.

6 in.   1-1/9 oz.

Tech: Weight transfer system, heavy duty hooks, floating or sinking available

Action:  Tight thumping wobble.   Will hold well in calm to moderately rough conditions

Profile:  Finnish minnow

Durability: Good

Castability: Good

Application: Calm to moderately rough conditions.   

7 in. Swarter 1.5 oz.

Key Points


The swarter is newer to the scene than the sp minnow.   Swarter action is a more pronounced thumping roll than a tight wobble---as seen in the sp minnow.   Both will hold well when conditions worsen, but the swarter seems to hold a little better.   The sp minnow does a fine job action-wise in most conditions, but will lose some thump as currents gain intensity.   From a casting standpoint, both cast extremely well, but the swarter edges it out in terms of distance.   With less effort I can cast the swarter farther distances whereas  more snap is required for the sp minnow.   The color schemes are plentiful with the sp minnow while swarter only comes is a few basic colors at this point.   

6 in. Daiwa SP Minnow 1-1/9 oz.

Overall both are very effective on Striped bass, Halibut and Bluefish, but will most definitely work well for other gamefish.    I wouldn’t choose one over the other, but rather, I would choose both, and use them each at the right times.



There are so many ways to work swimmers--- from steady, stop-n-go or super slow.   I use them all but for me I find the most success varying the speeds with while adding twitches.   The more erratic, the  more strikes I tend to get.    Imagine one retrieve including all the techniques - fast, slow, stop, go, steady, super slow, super fast.     That's what I do!   It takes tons of practice and coordination but believe me you will get results.




1.  Use an erratic retrieve.

2. Experiment with different speeds and depths.

3. Rod positioning and reel speed are key.

4. Adapt to your conditions

5. Practice every style


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