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Lure Review


A Surprisingly Good First Offering from FishLab - The Bio Gill Swimbait and Glidebaits


Date: 2/4/20
Tackle type: Lure
Manufacturer: FishLab
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 8.66 - EDITOR'S CHOICE AWARD
(For both Bio Gill Swimbait and Glide Bait models)

Introduction: The FishLab brand, the creation of the Okuma team of designers, was recently launched this past ICAST. The company introduced a wide range of freshwater and saltwater baits at the show, including a particularly robust bass offering led by the company's Bio-Gill Series of bluegill swimbaits. These baits caught our attention at the show, and since that hard launch we have been fishing mass production versions to see just how these new baits stack up.


Fish Lab Bio Gill Glide Bait Specifications

Type Swimbait
Class Glide Bait
Length 4 and 5 inch sizes
Weight 1oz. for 4", 1 7/8oz. for 5" slow sink, 1 3/4" for suspending model
Material Plastic
Sections Two (One Joint) + fixed hard tail
Patterns 5
MSRP $14.99-$16.99


Impressions: Before we dive in let's wind it back a bit, just how did we get here? Wasn't Okuma working with Savage Gear a year ago? After a number of successful seasons the two companies/brands parted ways. Savage Gear has now gone independent in the Americas, and expanded their offerings to include rods. On the Okuma side the company decided it was time to bring their lure design, logistics, and distribution expertise in-house, and decided to launch their own brand, and thus FishLab was born.


Does the world really need another bluegill bait?


I previewed a number of the FishLab baits two months prior to the ICAST launch and was excited by what I saw back then. While many of the baits that Mike Bennett, Product Manager at FishLab, was developing were still prototypes they looked ready for prime-time based on the maturity of the molds and paint finishes. I was only further intrigued when the team told me how aggressively priced they would be. Much like what Okuma is known for, FishLab's goal was to provide anglers with quality tackle that is priced within the reach of everyday anglers.


The FishLab Bio Gill features a realistic profile and a meaty overall volume. At first I was a little worried if the bait was too big


A Trio - The Bio Gill Lineup: On the freshwater side the flagship hardbait offering that the company launched with the new brand included three Bio Gill variations which comprised of the Bio Gill Swimbaits, Bio Gill Glide Baits, and Bio-Gill Wake Baits.


The Bio-Gill swimbait is a traditional three-piece, double-jointed bait with a lifelike swimming action designed to be an effective search bait capable of covering a lot of water on a steady retrieve, as well trigger strikes with a combination of rod twitch and pauses.  Available in both 4 and 5 sizes, these baits feature a slow sink action and are available in five forage matching colors. 


The Bio Gills feature a 3D realistic head and sunk rates are marked on top of the bait for easy identification


The Bio-Gill Wake Bait is a three-piece, double-jointed bait that features a high floating action that produces a big wake at slow or medium retrieves.  It is also designed to excel on slow and steady retrieves, or fast stop and go retrieves.  The low clacking action is intended to call feeding fish to the surface to investigate what might appear to be an easy meal.  This bait is available in 4 and 5 sizes and is also available in five forage matching colors.


The joints are double and reinforced


The Bio-Gill Glide Bait is a two-piece, single-jointed bait designed to swim with a wide glide, and can be brought to life with rod twitches and pauses to induce more erratic side to side darting action.  Available in 4 and 5 sizes, these baits come in a slow sink actions while the 5 is also available in a suspending action, and like the swim and wake versions also comes in five sunfish styled patterns.


Perhaps the most exciting part of the launch was when FishLab announced the prices that all of these baits would retail for, which ranged from only $14.99-$16.99! These aggressive price points could potentially be disruptive in one of the last few segments of the market where products often still commanded a premium, especially on the custom bluegill bait offerings. 


Weighing in at only 1 7/8oz. for the heaviest 5" Slow Sink model these baits can easily be fished with heavy casting rods, or light swimbait sticks


Real World Tests: Over the course of the last six months I fished all three variants, employing various line types and reels with varying retrieves. I was lucky enough to get the baits in time for the Summer and Fall seasons when the bass were aggressively feeding on sunfish, and eager to chase lures at the upper portion of the water column.


It didn't take long for fish to take notice and I found the swimbait to be an excellent search bait and the glide bait to be good at converting followers with more erratic action

Next Section: Does the world need another blugill bait?









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