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Lure Review


SLURPOWW!! Bull Shad Swimbait's Bull Wake


Date: 12/26/19
Tackle Type: Lure
Manufacturer: Bull Shad
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 8.00 - GREAT

If you like throwing big baits and you're a fan of that topwater bite (okay, come on, what bass angler is not a fan of that topwater bite?) then wake bait season is as exciting as it gets. Big, topwater wake baits like the MS Slammer, 3:16 Wake Jr, Rago Rat, are proven options when it's time to create some wake. Bull Shad Swimbaits on the shores of Lake Acworth, Georgia introduced their take on this bait type not too long ago and it's that product that is the subject of today's article. Let's take a closer look at Bull Shad Swimbait's Bull Wake.


Bull Shad Swimbait's Bull Wake Specifications

Type Wakebait
Length 6"
Weight 2.3oz
Depth Topwater
Material Resin
Colors Dirty Bone, Gizzard Shad, & Blue Gill
Hooks Mustad KVD Triple Grip Trebles
MSRP $59.99


Introducing Bull Shad's Bull Wake


Impressions: Bull Shad Swimbaits's Bull Wake is a three-piece, six inch bait in a generic shad profile with the company's signature, brush like tail. The bait also has the company's signature, unrefined, thrown up and dragged on shore for a mile or two, beat up look to it. Okay, it doesn't really look THAT beat up. The bait comes with a large, square shaped bill on the front typical of more than half of the wakebait products out there.

Bull Shad Swimbaits's Bull Wake is a three-piece, six inch bait

Real World Tests: I fished my Bull Wake on board a Gancraft Killers Ground Trick casting rod matched with a Shimano Bantam MGL spooled with 50lb Finatic Pro Series Braid and a Sunline 16lb FC Crank top shot. If you're wondering, the Ground Trick is a JDM rod measuring six feet, seven inches in length with a lure rating of three quarters to three full ounces. I purchased it while in Japan back in 2013 with the intention of writing it up, but it somehow got lost under a pile of other priorities and didn't resurface until about a year ago when it worked its way into being one of my do-anything, big bait sticks.

The bill is placed in optimum position to deflect the bait off limbs and other obstructions

Castability: I've yet to met a +2oz bait that doesn't cast well. Ok, sure some might tumble a little bit, but that's usually the result of casting motion that's too quick. The Bull Wake does not have a moving balancer system to aid with casting, but it does have plenty of mass making it easy to get moving provided you employ the proper, smooth casting motion. Casting distance for this bait is about average and accuracy can be affected by wind direction.

The bill itself is made from a thick, clear piece of lexan

Quality of Movement: The real treat with any wake bait, of course is that commotion it creates once you click over your reel and begin to crank it back to the boat or your position on shore. The Bull Wake swims true and creates a very nice v-wave behind it. You can swim this bait at any speed and if you point your rod tip towards the water, the bait will swim subsurface to maybe about a six inches. Greater depths can be achieved if you stick your rod tip in the water, but the Bull Wake feels more at home on top.

Each bait is outfitted with Mustad KVD Triple Grip trebles

As long as you land the bait in the water and not on top of a branch, if you're brave enough to cast it into a laydown, the Bull Wake will swim over obstructions and come out relatively unscathed. That oversized square bill on the front of the bait acts like a football player's stiff arm blocking branches or rocks, and allows the bait to kind of pivot and vault over the obstruction. I tried this once, just to see if the bait would come out of that mess and it did, but I don't quite have the nerve to continually throw a bait this size into trouble like that.

The brush tail is a signature feature of Bull Shad baits

Another trick some people like to do with their wake baits is to work it like a walking bait. I've had very good success with this in the past, but couldn't quite get the Bull Wake to behave how I wanted using the setup I did. I think this retrieve requires a more stretchy line like nylon monofilament. The zero stretch of braid coupled with my very stiff casting rod didn't allow for enough give for the bait to walk.

As are the open joints

Design/Ergonomics: Bull Shad Swimbait's Bull Wake features a swiveled hook hanger for the back hook only. Their standard shad swimbaits have swivelled hook hangars front and back, but the front hook hangar on the Bull Wake is fixed. This probably has to do with how the hook interacts with that diving bill. Having the ability to pivot, probably allows that hook to foul over the diving bill.

The Bull Wake is available in three very basic colors and retails for $59.99

Price & Application: The Bull Wake is available in three very basic colors and retails for $59.99. It is a prototypical of how a wake bait should behave and great fun to throw when the fish are in the mood to hit something big on top.


Bull Shad Swimbait's Bull Wake Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Bull Shad baits always look rough, but those looks are deceiving. Quality is always very good. 8.5
Performance Prototypical wake bait behavior 8.5
Price Hand made big baits usually command a big premium. Bull Shad products are usually priced sanely 7.5
Features Rattles, one out of two swivelled hook hangars, diving bill, Mustad KVD hooks 8
Design (Ergonomics) One size, but three colors 7.5
Application A nice, easy to throw wake bait option 8.0

Total Score


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:


+ Not too big but still attracts a big bite - Limited color selection
+ Easy to cast and work  
+ Mustad KVD hooks  
+ Swivel hook attachment on back  
+ Swims over limbs and other obstructions  


Conclusion: Imagine a nice, calm surface. You cast your bait out off into the distance over what you know to be a large weed bed. The bait splashes down and you pause a bit. Take a sip of your coffee, breathe in the fresh air. As the ripples settle from your cast, you click your reel over and begin a slow to medium rate retrieve. The bait responds by swimming back to you and that once, calm surface of the water is now interrupted with the wake of your bait. A white water vortex appears under your bait as it is simultaneously sucked down and exploded upon! SLURPOWW!!


Wake baits are addictive, and the Bull Wake by Bull Shad Swimbaits effectively feeds into that addiction.


Wake baits are addictive, and the Bull Wake by Bull Shad Swimbaits is fun to throw because it is not too big, yet it elicits ferocious strikes. Because it's not so big, it's easy to throw all day long. If you're hunting for just one bite, that one big bite, try a wake bait like Bull Shad Swimbaits's Bull Wake. But be careful though, that adrenaline rush will hook you.


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