Paddletail Shapes: How To Choose The Right Lure For Every Situation


Not all paddletails are created equally.

Some have big, thumping tails, while others have thinner, quieter tails.

And today, we’re doing a deep dive into the specifics of tail shapes and why this matters if you want to catch more fish.

You’ll learn how paddletail shapes vary, which shape to use based on the conditions, and much more.

Let’s dive in!

Choosing Paddletail Shapes [VIDEO]

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Here’s a general rule of thumb:

If you’re fishing in calm, clear water, use a stealthy lure.

If you’re fishing in dark or choppy water, use a lure that gets a little more attention.

So going off of this rule, if you’re fishing in water that’s on the calmer and clearer side, go with a paddletail with a smaller tail.

Examples of this include:

If the water is choppy or murky, go with a paddletail that has a larger tail.

Examples of this include:

Another thing to consider when using paddletails is how thick the base of the tail is, and how fast you want to retrieve your lure.

Lures with a thin base will have more action when you retrieve them slowly.

If you’re retrieving your lure quickly, or in deeper water, the thickness of the tail doesn’t really matter, since there will be plenty of water resistance to get it wobbling.


artificial lure mistake

When the water is dark or choppy, fish rely more on feeling vibrations in the water to find food.

In this case, use a paddletail that has a big tail that makes a lot of vibration.

When the water is clear and calm, fish are more easily spooked.

In this case, use a paddletail with a smaller tail that makes less vibration.

You can get these lures from our shop here:

Smaller tails:

Larger tails:

Have any questions about which paddletail to use and when?

Let me know down in the comments!

And if you know someone who loves to get nerdy about paddletails, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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7 months ago

One of the most interesting things is that Tony is dyeing his slam shady tails chartreuse! Maybe they should make an Acevedo model with the signature tail color!

Phillip Hilgert
7 months ago

So what’s the difference between vibration and thump? or are they the same. Great video and great summary on when and where to use!

Phillip Hilgert
7 months ago
Reply to  Tony Acevedo

thx so much for clarifying.

Jerry Dexter
7 months ago

Thanks Tony

Pat Ogletree
7 months ago

Spot on as usual Tony! What’s your thoughts on the Spike it dip. I’ve used it before and just in my experience it seems to attract more fish like pins and puffers. On the flip side of that, if it attracts more trash fish then it must be more visible and therefore attract predators, maybe? What’s been your experience?

Glenn Acomb
7 months ago

Thanks Tony. This was a good and informative video.

A Rollins
7 months ago

How about times of year to throw smaller or larger paddle tails? I’ve found winter is the best time to use smaller baits, due to a fish’s metabolism. Late spring through early fall I’ll use large baits to weed out smaller fish to target the larger fish.

William Holden III
7 months ago

Absolutely! Bite the head off if you’re in a hurry! 😀

Steve Miller
7 months ago

The conclusion wraps it all up nicely and makes perfect sense. Thanks!!

7 months ago

Angle of the tail is also important. The closer the angle is to perpendicular relative to the direction of retrieve, the more resistance there is and the greater the vibration, especially at slower rates of retrieve.

Randall Phelps
7 months ago

What about notching the tail on the bomber for less heavy vibration and a higher frequency of vibration? Maybe a 1/8″ notch on each side about a third of the way down the tail will definitely change the characteristic of the vibration to be less “thumpy” and more “fluttery”.


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