Reels | Rods | Lures | SwimbaitsBFS Lines | Term. Tackle | Tools | Storage | Apparel | Enthusiast | Watercraft | Interviews | Events | Autopsy




Swimbait Review


Sometimes All You Need is a Pistol. The Illude Pistol Gill Glidebait


Date: 2/3/21
Tackle type: Lure
Manufacturer: Illude
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 8.91 - GREAT

Introduction: For many enthusiast swimbait anglers there is just something special, almost magic, about a handmade wooden swimbait. When it comes to precision and refinement few brands do this as well as Roman Made, but American custom baitmaker Illude certainly brings the heat. The Pistol is a compact two-piece swimbait that showcases just how good a mid-sized wooden bluegill glide can be.


Illude Pistol Gill Swimbait Specifications

Type Swimbait - Glidebait 
Length 5.8" overall length to the tail (measured). Body sections 4.7" (Spec'd as a 5.5 inch bait)
Weight 3.2 ounces - measured
Material Cedar wood body, soft plastic tail
Sections Two (one joint)
Patterns Multiple original gill or natural grain patterns
MSRP $157.00


The Illude Pistol Gill is a hand carved wooden glidebait


Impressions: Last year I wrote about my favorite topwater rodent bait, the Rad Rat, a handmade custom bait constructed from wood by custom baitmaker Illude. After fishing this bait with so much success over the last few seasons I decided it was time to delver further into the Illude portfolio. Easier said than done, as other baits from the manufacturer are also in very high demand, and equally short supply. This is the nature of many custom bait manufacturers, and especially the really good ones, that often are smaller family run operations.


As we learned from the experience with the Rad Rat these baits are the creation of Lendl Ha, whom I consider to be a true master Luresmith. Lendl's baits are coveted by swimbait anglers, and are known for their artistry, collectability, and effectiveness. The baits have become instantly recognizable for their whimsical styling and airbrushed paint finishes.


The Pistol is only available in one size (5.5")


The Pistol Gill is one of the signature hand carved baits from Illude, and is a two piece bait that is constructed from cedar, and finished with a soft hand poured tail. There are two versions of the Pistol Gill, the standard glidebait version and a lipped version called the Pistol Gill Crank. The Pistol Gill comes in a variety of float rates, including a standard float model, low float, and slow sink.


Even though it is not very long the Pistol Gill has a stout profile thanks to the wooden construction. There are also pads in between the joints to quiet, and soften, joint impact during retrieves


After seeing the Pistol Gill images online I started my hunt for one of these baits, all the while continuing to enjoy each fish I caught on the Rad Rat. If the Pistol Gill was even close to as fun to fish as the Rad the hunt would be well worth it. But after months of trying to purchase, or trade for one, I still hadn't successfully added a Pistol to my arsenal. That all changed in early 2020.


After a long search I literally walked into this Pistol Gill thanks to Mickey and Alex at Coyote Bait and Tackle in San Jose, CA


Real World Tests: Similarly to how I encountered my original Rad Rat I  purchased my first Pistol Gill from Coyote Bait and Tackle. After being on the hunt for this bait for nearly a year I walked into the shop to find a single bait behind the glass counter. I couldn't believe my luck, and within an hour of purchase was at the local lake making casts. I've been fishing the Pistol Gill for a complete season now, and have worked the bait on a variety of rod and reel setups, using both straight braid and a fluorocarbon leader.


Slinging the Pistol on the California Delta

Next Section: Whip that Pistol Gill...









Copyright 2000-2024 TackleTour LLC All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy information