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Lure Review

 

BullShad Swimbaits Extends Their Lineup : The BullGill (continued)

Dive Time: All BullGill baits are designed as slow sinkers but the five inch seems to sink a little more slowly than the six inch. It could just be the baits I had, but I had an easier time fishing the five inch over submerged weedbeds. All in all, the descend time is roughly one foot per second to second and a half with these baits.


Dirty bone actually looks pretty clean to us.

Once you click your reel into engage mode and begin your retrieve, the BullGill swims in that typical four-piece bait snake like pattern. The head of the bait, however, stays almost perfectly still so most of the swimming action is coming from the last three pieces.


You can see the head and fin detail a little better in this finish.

When you pause your retrieve, the BullShad will intermittently dash off to a side, suspend, then slowly descend. On a fast retrieve and pause, the bait can be made to turn around and look at any chasers - a strategy that can often result in a strike as the bass feel challenged by the tiny gill.


And the scale pattern really pops here too.

Design/Ergonomics: We covered most of the bait's features and design earlier, but one feature we did not discuss and is typical of BullShad's products is the swiveling hook ties. Each of the two hook ties on the bottom of the bait spin around reducing the leverage a fish might otherwise gain on the bait and the hooks as you battle them making it less likely for them to throw the bait before you have a chance to land them. It's a nice feature to have on bigger baits.


After witnessing my success with the bait, Zander plunked down some cash for a few of his own.

Speaking of hooks, this is the first big bait I can recall coming stock with Mustad KVD short shank, wide bend treble hooks. Most big baits come with heavy wire Owner hooks or VMC if there's a stock issue with Owner. These Mustad KVDs are growing more popular on crankbaits and similar plugs but make a great choice in a big bait too as the hook up ratio is very good with these hooks.


He was handsomely rewarded.

Price & Application: The BullGill retails for just under $60 at $57.99. It is available in three sizes, 5, 6, and 7 inch but only two colors - bluegill and bone. Not a lot of decision making when it comes time to purchase one of these baits, and sometimes that's a good thing. We've had good success with this bait from post spawn through the summer months but imagine it could make a good bed fishing bait as well. It will sit upright off the bottom if you let it get down that far.

Ratings:

BullShad Swimbait's BullGill Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality For all of its rough look, it's a solidly built bait 8.5
Performance Casts well, swims true, and hook up ratio is very high 9
Price Actually on the low end in price for US hand made/poured big baits 8
Features Good quality hooks and the swivel make a difference 8
Design (Ergonomics) The five inch size is really easy to throw on just a standard heavy powered rod and there are larger sizes for those who prefer bigger big baits 7.5
Application An effective bait anytime you want to piss of a bass by swimming a gill through its territory 8

Total Score

8.17
Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here

 

Pluses and Minuses:

Plus

Minus
+ Semi-Distressed look right out of the package - Only two colors to choose from
+ Three sizes from which to choose  
+ Predictable swimming motion  
+ Mustad KVD Hooks  

 

Conclusion: If you're already throwing the original BullShad, the BullGill is an easy bait to take for granted. Heck, I did just that for about a year before the light bulb went off and I came to the realization this was a different product. Sure most of the bait's characteristics are similar but really, that taller panfish profile is probably a more universal bait profile for bass than a big shad and bluegill baits just illicit a much different strike from an angry bass than do shad profile baits.

 


There's something about that strike on a bluegill bait that's just a bit more ferocious - the BullGill is no exception.

 

The only real downside to this bait is color selection. We'd like to see other panfish colors incorporated into the finishes but at the same time, the gill pattern has proven its worth already so do we really need to be tempted to plunk down another $60 or so for other patterns? Do we really need to ask that question here on TackleTour? This bait, just like its shad sibling, is very rough around the edges, but one thing it does is trigger a strikes from bass, and ultimately, that's what we want out of a bait like this. Keep up the good work Triton Mike!

 

Looking for BullShad Swimbait's BullGills?

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