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Lure Review

MattLures Revisits Their Design and Brings To Market, The Ultimate Bluegill

Date: 4/15/07
Tackle type: Lures
Manufacturer: Mattlures
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 8.83


Introduction: Mattlures broke into the popular swimbait scene a few short years ago with their now widely known bluegill imitator baits. But a good, aggressive bait company never rests on their laurels. Just a small tweak here and there, a little more attention to colors there and voila: Introducing Mattlures Ultimate Bluegill.

Mattlures Ultimate Bluegill Specifications

Type Swimbait
Depth Any
Class Sinking
Size 5 inches (1.7 ounces)
Colors/Patterns 7 different color patterns
MSRP $23

Introducing the Mattlures Ultimate Bluegill


Impressions: Though our first exposure to Mattlures products was their Baby Bass series reviewed back in October of 2005, we were more than aware of their pre-existing Bluegill lineup. In fact, I've had it on my list of baits to try ever since, but never managed to pull the trigger on the purchase as keeping up with the latest and greatest is always a higher priority in our camp. So, when word leaked out about Mattlure's Ultimate Bluegill, well, it did not take me long to place the order!


The Ultimate Bluegill features the same, head down, bottom resting position of their Original Bluegill series

Perhaps due to the more colorful nature of a bluegill imitator, the finish on these lures is even more impressive than their Baby Bass siblings. I was particularly enamored with the very impressive Pumpkin Seed pattern, but first things first. What makes this new generation bluegill bait from Mattlures, the "ultimate" sunfish bait, are the realistic pectoral fins that flare out when the bait is at rest on the bottom. This feature gives the bait an incredible degree of realism.

The difference with the Ultimate Bluegill (left) is in the pectoral fins that flare out when the bait is at rest. The Original Bluegill (right) simply had these fins molded into the body of the lure.

In order to take full advantage of this feature, some pre-rigging work is necessary. When the baits arrive, you'll likely discover, as we did, that the pectoral fins are pressed to the side of the bait - a bi-product of their packaging condition. This is easily corrected with the recommendation from Mattlures being to soak the baits in hot water for about thirty seconds to get the plastic nice and soft. Then, take the bait out of the water, hold the pectoral fins folded out over the eyes, and soak the bait again, in a tub of cold water for another thirty seconds. This will set the plastic, and the fins will now flare out naturally. We followed this procedure with each of our baits and it worked out fine.

Checkout the Pumpkin Seed pattern of the Ultimate Bluegill series!

The only question remaining was how to get these baits out onto the water, without having the issue of the fins sticking to the side of the baits during storage. This can be handled one of several ways. If you hang your baits in a box specifically designed for swimbaits, this should be a non-issue. I don't have one of these boxes, so the method I devised to get around this potential issue was to use a rubberband to hold the fins out over the eyes as the bait is stored flat in a baitbox. This seemed to work fine with no reaction between the bait's plastic and the rubber band, but proceed with caution there. What I also found, though, was that baits stored flat in a box without a rubber band to hold the fins forward were still fine up to two months after setting. You may find results will vary depending on the outside temperature the baits are exposed to during storage.


Triton Mike Bucca with a monster spotted bass caught on a Mattlures Bluegill. When he caught wind I had bought some of these baits, he shot me over this photo almost immediately. I don't think he realized we'd share the picture, otherwise, he might have smiled - then again, maybe he is?

The Field Tests:
In his write up of the Powell SB711H, Zander mentioned one of our many trips to Clear Lake, California this past year. Naturally, while he was tossing around the Spro BBZ-1 and Rago Raptor on his SB811H, I had the Ultimate Bluegill tied to my Custom G.Loomis BB964 GL2 matched with an Antares DC7. Of course, I also fished this bait on the California Delta on both a G.Loomis BCR893 GLX rod, and the recently reviewed Daiwa Steez STZ711HFBA. The great thing about this bait is, weighing in at only 1.7 ounces, you don't necessarily need dedicated swimbait gear to throw it.


Complete test rigs for Mattlures Ultimate Bluegill Field Tests

Rig One Rig Two Rig Three
Rod Custom G.Loomis BB964 GL2 Daiwa STZ711HFBA G.Loomis BCR893 GLX
Reel Shimano Antares DC7 Daiwa I'ZE Light Conquest 101DC
Line 20lb Sunline Shooter FC 20lb Sunline Shooter FC 12lb Yozuri Hybrid


Rigged and ready to go on a custom built G.Loomis BB8964 GL2 by George Roth

Note how well concealed the line tie is on these baits


Casting: Using anything from a 7' heavy action rod to a 7'6" backbounce blank, the Mattlures Ultimate Bluegill is as easy to cast as they come. What's more, given it's rather compact size and weight, it's almost just as easy to pitch the bait in and around visible structure, but perhaps the most deadly delivery option, given the bait's flat sides, is skipping this bait under docks then letting it sink and settle before picking up the slack on your retrieve.


Lure wraps, like this one from Put A Sock On It, are great ways to keep your pre-rigged baits safe and ready to go.

To help keep the pectoral fins separated from the body, early on, we used rubberbands to hold the fins forward. Note how this one was tightened too much and is starting to deform the bait.

Rate of Descent: The Ultimate Bluegill sinks at an approximate rate of one foot per second. It descends relatively straight down with no spiraling or other action and consistently comes to rest on the bottom with the advertised head down angle. It's pretty easy to get this bait down to whatever depth you want to fish.

The fit and finish of this bait, from the realistic scales, to the familiar swimbait tail is outstanding.

The external fins on this bait are real attention grabbers.


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