Optimum Debuts Double Diamond Swimmer
(Optimum’s new Double Diamond Swimmer made its industry debut at ICAST, the tackle trade world’s annual industry convention in Las Vegas on July 16-18, 2008. Look for the Optimum Double Diamond swimbait at leading tackle shops now.)
Established in 1996, Optimum Baits, located in Temecula, California, is one of the originals in the swimbait business. They’re still one of the best today for both fresh and saltwater swimbaits. Optimum swimbaits are known and used worldwide for trophy fish of every species.
You can look at many other swimbait brands and you’ll spot familiar design features whereby you may say that the swimbait body style as defined by Optimum is the forerunner or granddaddy of many other models on the market today. It’s nice to have a place in swimbait history, a lasting legacy like that, and still continue to be an industry leader for so many years.
But Optimum’s not resting on their laurels.
Au contraire! Optimum’s done it again, leapfrogging over the others into the forefront of swimbait technology once again.
They’ve gotten even better, far more advanced and genuinely original with the release of their new computer-designed Double Diamond Swimmer. There’s no other swimbait like it for fresh or saltwater.
There’s something to be said for being the pilgrim, the pioneer, for hammering out the color patterns, wrestling with every small detail of each body shape, fretting over the ideal tail actions and other facets of what a swimbait needs to be productive. Optimum’s gained all those insights since the early days, as only an innovating swimbait company can. All Optimum’s hard-earned originality, expertise and experience has been poured into (pun intended) the new Optimum Double Diamond Swimmer.
The Optimum Double Diamond Swimmer comes in 2 ideal sizes. Both are offered in 25 original hand-poured baitfish color patterns.
- 3-inch model #3DD
- 5-inch model #5DD
The Carrying Case
The first key feature why you should choose the Double Diamond is not the swimbait itself, but its carrying case. Both sizes are packaged in a form-fitted, durable tray that preserves their original shape perfectly straight out of the mold. When they get to you, they haven’t been laid on their sides or on top of each other. They’ve had no chance to take on a bend or fold as so often happens with other swimbaits. As anyone who’s used a swimbait that’s been bent or creased knows, it dramatically reduces your chances that the swimbait will perform properly.
Optimum’s 5-inch Double Diamond model #5DD comes two per package.
The Optimum Double Diamond’s plastic case ensures the product stays every bit as perfect as when it was first plucked out of the mold. And as long as an angler keeps it stored in its tray, there’s little chance it will ever get bent out of shape. So every Optimum Double Diamond is in ideal shape to perform properly. There’s nothing like a brand new Double Diamond fresh out of its case, absolutely perfect in every way.
Optimum’s 3-inch Double Diamond model #3DD comes three per tray.
The custom-designed, form-fitted case is your first key to success with the Double Diamond Swimmer. The advantage an angler gains from the Double Diamond’s special carrying case is significant: the more perfectly straight a swimbait is to begin with, the more fish it will attract.
A swimbait that’s bent, creased or out of original shape in any way will dramatically reduces your chances for success before you even start. An Optimum Double Diamond Swimmer will never be like that!
Keep Double Diamonds in their carrying case until you are ready to use one.
Don’t take a Double Diamond Swimmer out of it’s carrying case until you are going to use it. Then once you start to use one, try to keep actively using it on the same hook, jig head or whatever way you’ve rigged it. The best period to use a Double Diamond Swimmer is while it is still fresh straight out of the package. To discontinue use (for a day or two) or to switch from one hook, jig or rig to another is possible, but tends to compromise its useful life and perfect shape. So once you rig a Double Diamond, your best bet is to use it at that time, and use it well!
Once out of its case, in perfect shape, the action and appearance of the Double Diamond takes priority.
First, let’s discuss appearance. For some time now, swimbait manufacturers have focused on appearance of their products. There are some remarkably lifelike, realistic-looking swimbaits on the market. The Optimum Double Diamond isn’t one of them (at least not at first glance).
Being a hand-poured bait, the colors of the Double Diamond certainly follow complex baitfish patterns, often with multiple color layers, highlight blush, pearlescence and diverse flakes poured into every bait, plus the diamond-scales etched on each side. The beauty of hand-pouring is no two baits turn out exactly the same. Hand-pour color patterns on the Double Diamonds are intended to fuse and swirl a bit, intentionally producing a color-fused, mottled, non-descript and slightly imprecise work of art every time. Come to think of it, no two baitfish (or bass for that matter) are precisely the same color either. Yes, all fish follow the distinguishing colors of their species, but are also individually-colored. Likewise, many Double Diamond patterns follow the distinguishing colors of baitfish species – rainbow trout, sunfish, shad, gold shiners, sardines, anchovies and so on – but are also individually-colored, just like the real thing. So the Double Diamond’s appearance fits right in with the true realism found in nature just as much (maybe more) than the super-realistic, glamour-doll swimbaits.
Indeed, many of the most productive color patterns on Double Diamonds don’t imitate anything in particular, yet everything in general. What could be better? You see, the Double Diamond has the imprecise and non-descript color and appearance of most every living thing a fish prefers to eat!
Therein lies the true beauty of the Double Diamond’s appearance. It often imitates nothing in particular yet every baitfish in general.
Optimum’s key focus on creating the Double Diamond was the action of the bait. That’s why Optimum turned to a computer-aided design and a simulation program that would virtually ‘swim’ the computer model of the Double Diamond through all possible water flow simulations representing the fresh and saltwater scenarios where the Double Diamond would be used, thereby enabling Optimum to fine-tune the hydrodynamic swimming actions of the Double Diamond shape until perfect.
The computer swimming simulations helped Optimum achieve four distinct performance goals, or actions you’ll find in every Double Diamond:
- Body roll, with its entire body quivering erratically.
- Simultaneously, it tracks in a tight zig-zag pattern with some irregularity or dalliance designed in (just like the real thing).
- The oversized tail churns the water behind it with a monstrous tail kick.
- Absolutely incredible stability. Properly rigged, it just doesn’t roll over or flip on its side on a normal retrieve. It has the upright appearance and action of a swimming baitfish at all times.
The Hook Slot
The hook slot on the belly ensures the Double Diamond will be rigged perfectly straight every time, even by inexperienced anglers.
If you’ve ever tried to rig a swimbait without a belly slot, then you know how hard it can be to get it right on dead-center. If you miss hitting the belly seam exactly, or if the hook exits the top back of the bait off-center, your chances that a swimbait will swim straight or attract strikes are reduced dramatically.
Without a hook slot, rigging the hook through a swimbait (either a solid plastic or hollow belly one), can lead to crooked rigging and misaligned hook position. When the hook is rigged incorrectly in a swimbait, your chances to attract fish plummet dramatically. Believe it or not, fish can be extremely fussy about whether a swimbait is rigged straight or crooked. Fish will not bite crooked or incorrectly rigged swimbaits nearly as much as they will strike properly-rigged ones.
So the first advantage of the Double Diamond hook slot is it serves as a self-centering rigging guide that lets you hit exactly dead-center every time you rig the swimbait on a hook. The hook will go in and the point will come out the top perfect every time.
The hook slot in the Double Diamond makes it fool-proof to rig it straight every time. The slot is just wide enough so the two side walls of the slot press against and keep the hook seated correctly at all times. The hook is mostly centered between the supportive side walls, and this helps the hook to self-align itself at all times. The more perfectly straight a swimbait is rigged, the more strikes it will attract. The Double Diamond does just that.
The Ease of Hookset
The second big advantage the hook slot gives you is on the hookset. The hook does not have to be driven through a solid wad of thick plastic body on the hookset. The flexible side walls of the hook slot will collapse when fish bite it, resulting in easier and more solid hooksets. When a fish bites, there is only a thin section of plastic that the hook is embedded within. So there is very little of the otherwise bulky swimbait body that the hook has to push through on a hookset. The Double Diamond hook slot ensures effortless, solid hooksets.
The Wedge Shape
The shape of the Double Diamond’s body is like a wedge that can part open weeds as it passes through them. The wide wedge-shaped body will deflect the hook point away from snags. The hook point does not need to be buried deep in the plastic. The point can be exposed out on top of the wedge-shaped body, or just tucked back in barely beneath the plastic, as if a splinter under its skin. Because the body is so wide, it serves as ample snag protection for the hook point. The Double Diamond has one of the widest bodies of all soft baits and swimbaits. That width alone, with the hook being centered on a wide, flat plane, provides as good snag protection as any other snagless method or weedguard device known to anglers.
Due to it’s incredible swimming stability, meaning that it rarely rolls over on its side, the Double Diamond can be rigged weightless, with just a hook. Try that with most other swimbaits! A heavy wire hook adds more weight for balance, and you may want to insert nail weights (where you want them is up to you) just to make it hunker down and hustle a little more. Weightless rigging, optionally with nail weights, may be just the ticket for thick matted grass or for a topwater surface swimming presentation.
For weightless rigging, think heavy wire hooks and optionally, insert nail weights.
But why bother with nail weights when there are so many exceptional shank weighted hooks on the market today? Shank weighted hooks began to evolve and improve in design a few years ago, as a new means to rig soft plastic toads to make them weedless – plus a little extra weight below the belly to keep them from twirling or torquing to one side as the toads were dragged and gurgled across the water’s surface. The weight, to add stability during the retrieve, plus the extra wide gap hooks to accommodate big, bullfrog-shaped toads have proven to be the ideal hook styles today for swimbaits. How convenient!
Corkscrew Keeper Hooks
The major breakthrough, one that really only occurred recently in early 2008, is the corkscrew wire clipped onto the weighted hook eye. The clip-on wire corkscrew, along with the latest improvements in shank weight designs, is revolutionary. These corkscrew weighted hooks are some of the best and most modern means to rig swimbaits, toads, and any soft bait. Many anglers still have not tried nor realized the advantages of the latest corkscrew clip-on weighted hooks for swimbaits like the Double Diamond. Do give it a try!
Is the rigging method shown above one of the best ways to fish an Optimum Double Diamond Swimmer? Some anglers think so. Once the Double Diamond gets its tail going, it paddles hard enough to rock the weight to and fro beneath it. That sets up a tremendous vibration through the water, which feels as if you have a spinnerbait tied on, the way the rod tip throbs. Fish it just that way, like a spinnerbait and bass will smash it.
Clip-on corkscrew hooks are the most modern and advantageous way to rig.
Corkscrew Jig Heads
Shown at bottom in the next photo, corkscrew jig heads are poised to come onto the market in force soon too, beginning to appear in late 2008. In the Optimum Double Diamond’s case, it’s almost as if the swimbait is being cradled in a free-swinging hammock when rigged on a corkscrew clip-on jig head. Since it is not fixed to the jig, except where impaled by the hook bend, and since the clip can swing freely, a wider wobbling action and freedom of body movement may be achieved with the Double Diamond Swimmer rigged this way than with conventional jig heads.
Clip-on corkscrew jig heads are the way of the future.
Conventional Jig Heads
Different jig heads when paired with the Double Diamond will cause different swimming actions. No two jig heads will cause the same swimming movement in the body. Some jigs cause the swimbait to look good as it swims. Some not as good. They all swim different.
Some jig heads cause a tighter movement with less body roll and more tail wiggle. Other jig heads may cause a very wide rolling body movement. Some cause a more staccato flutter. Some heads cause a more sinuous S-shaped action. Some jig heads cause a careening roll. Some heads cause both body and tail action, or one or the other. No two jig heads impart the same action, and some may look good or not so good to you or to the fish. Keep in mind to let the fish decide what jig heads work good or not. A jig head that may not look that tough to you, may be a favorite of the fish. So don’t let your likes or dislikes cloud the water. Let the fish decide.
With jigs, it’s good to prepare beforehand. On some jigs, there is not enough grip from the collar to keep the swimbait from sliding off when a fish bites, when you set the hook and miss, or even a powerful cast will pull a bait down off some jig heads, ruining any chance a fish will be attracted to it. To remedy this, some anglers carefully glue swimbaits onto the jig collars, but this can be messy and those of the ‘super glue’ variety are not always the easiest or safest thing to work with out on the water. Always be careful and follow every safety precaution with any glue products. An alternative to glue, but hard to find, are good triple cone cut collars on jigs like shown below. Each cone has 360 degrees of gripping power, or 1,080 degrees of grip. No glue is required to keep swimbaits in proper position with such jig collars. They are getting popular on saltwater jigs, but the triple cone cut collars are still new and hard to find for freshwater. Nevertheless, if you are looking for jigs to hold soft baits without using glue, they are the way to go.
Triple cone cut jig collars have 1,080 degrees of bait-holding grip.
Since Double Diamonds are genuine hand-made, hand-poured swimbaits, they are softer than machine-made, injection molded swimbaits. If you try to jam a Double Diamond onto a jig collar in a hurry, the plastic may tear or split. This may not even happen right away, but the damage will be done. You may find the bait has split on the jig collar by the next time you go to use it. In order to avoid this, there are two things you can do.
First, the Double Diamond as shown below, is molded with a line around the nose. That line is where you need to pinch off the nose first in order to use a jig. By pinching the nose off at this line, you are paring it back to a wider section of the swimbait that will better accept a jig collar. Don’t worry about shortening the bait. It is designed for this to be done.
To fish with a jig, a line is molded on the bait where you need to nip its nose off first.
Second, it’s a good idea to use a thin diameter of aluminum tubing as shown next, in order to core a channel in the swimbait for as far back as the hook shank will extend. By doing so, you have pre-cut a channel for the hook and jig to slip into so that the plastic is not being torn or ripped by the jig collar itself. This only takes a second to do, and it prevents tearing by the jig collar which could ruin your lure prematurely. In this way, you can let some lucky fish have the privilege to tear it up, not your jig collar. What could be better?
With a pre-cut channel for the jig collar, it won’t tear up or cause the bait to split prematurely.
Texas and Carolina Rigs
We’ve saved two of the most snagless and productive methods for last. The Texas and Carolina rig are well-known methods to lure largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass. But even for bass, it is practically unheard of to rig a swimbait Texas or Carolina style. Reason is, most all existing swimbaits will spin or torque up on one side unnaturally when rigged this way. The Double Diamond is unique in that its hydrodynamic diamond shape will remain stable and swim perfectly just like a live baitfish on a Texas or Carolina rig. The oversized paddle tail creates the perfect, natural swimbait action that imitates the swimming movement and vibration of real baitfish.
This opens up a whole new world of where and how swimbaits may be fished, not only for bass, but for any gamefish species in fresh or saltwater.
A Texas rig is weedless and snagless. It let’s you fish a swimbait in the thickest snags and heavy cover that would eat other swimbaits alive. Most other swimbaits are of two types:
- Those that come already pre-rigged. These tend to have exposed hooks molded into the bodies – and are not weedless. They cannot be fished in snaggy areas where the biggest fish hang out.
- Those swimbaits that come unrigged (just the soft bodies). Many of these will twirl or roll over on their sides unnaturally if you try to Texas or Carolina rig them. It just isn’t done – until now.
As simple as it seems, it’s revolutionary and previously not possible to fish most swimbaits on a Texas or Carolina rig – until now. We’ve saved the Texas and Carolina rig for the last two methods to show you today. In closing, these may be the best two methods of all.
Texas rig with 5-inch model #5DD Double Diamond Swimmer.
Carolina rig with 5-inch model #5DD Double Diamond Swimmer.
That’s All for Now, Folks
We hope we’ve enthused you and given you the confidence and motivation to try Optimum’s new Double Diamond Swimmer rigged several productive ways for any gamefish in fresh or saltwater.
The Double Diamond Swimmer is the culmination of many years of industry-leading expertise and experience that Optimum’s been building into every swimbait they make, so anglers worldwide may land the trophy fish of their dreams.
(Optimum’s new Double Diamond Swimmer will make it’s industry debut at ICAST, the tackle trade world’s annual industry convention in Las Vegas on July 16-18, 2008. Look for the Optimum Double Diamond swimbait at leading tackle shops shortly thereafter.)