1. Keel or Minnow Head
Bolton says this style of head creates resistance as it comes through the water, causing it to rise up or run closer to the surface with less effort and slower retrieves than other head styles.
Where it shines: In situations when the fish are aggressive and the angler wants to burn the bait just under the surface around grass or in clear, open water. Where it doesn’t: Fishing around treetops, bushes or brush piles. “When it hits a limb, the bait has a tendency to roll on its side, and it doesn’t correct itself very quickly,” says Bolton. “This exposes the hook and increases the chances of hanging up.” Examples: Terminator T-1, Strike King Burner
2. Bullet Head
Bolton says baits with a pointed head typically run true, right themselves quickly and come through heavy cover extremely well.
Where it shines: Fishing thick brush, bushes, treetops or grass, mainly because the head design resists wedging in limbs and causes the bait to “come back to center” quickly after contacting cover, which helps it resist hang-ups or fouling.
Where it doesn’t: As good as the head performs in brush, it’s susceptible to wedging in rocks. Examples: War Eagle, Nichols Pulsator
3. Round or Pill Head
Bolton says this head is wider than most. It’s a good all-around performer that can be used in a variety of situations and cover.
Where it shines: Slow-rolling around rock and stumps on ledges. The wider head is less prone to wedging and doesn’t cut through water as smoothly as other head styles, which allows Bolton to maintain better contact with what the bait’s doing. It doesn’t come through heavy cover as well as a bullet head, but it still gets the job done around brush and grass.
Where it doesn’t: Flooded bushes with lots of small limbs. Examples: Stanley Wedge, Accent