Soft-plastic swimbaits, particularly hollow-belly models, entice monster bass with their realistic movement and thumping vibration. The problem is their soft, pliable bodies have a bad habit of slipping down the shank of a jighead. This can happen as a result of short-striking fish or simply water resistance from multiple retrieves. To prevent this frustration, anglers lean on superglue to bond the swimbait’s nose to the back side of a leadhead jig. This hack works, but it becomes a real hassle when you want to change baits and have to deal with removing the last one you cemented in place. That’s why Arkansas-based bass pro Mark Davis forgoes the sticky stuff in favor of a homemade swimbait keeper arm that requires only wire, needle-nose pliers, and patient precision to craft. Starting with a 6-inch piece of 20/1000 wire, Davis forms a tight loop that he attaches to the eye of a swimbait head. This keeper arm will end up being short, though starting with 6 inches makes bending much easier. With the wire secured, Davis measures about halfway back between the base of the leadhead and the bend of the hook. At this point, he’ll grip the wire with his pliers and bend the end diagonally downward at a 45-​­degree angle. Holding the keeper arm parallel to the hook shank and envisioning the approximate mass of a swimbait, Davis pinches that 45-degree leg against the hook shank and then bends the terminal end into a U around the shank. Clipping this U at about 1⁄4 inch provides a secure latch that won’t interfere with the bait’s action.



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