yet Deadly Effective, the Savage Gear Sandeel
Total Score: 8.41 -
Introduction: Savage Gear may not be the most well known lure brand
in the United States but the company has continued to gain momentum over the
last two seasons fueled by support from Okuma. Cross the pond to Europe and the
brand is a behemoth with many fans among perch, pike and zander anglers. The
company features a wide array of lures, and product development is driven by
Mads Grosell, an innovative angler who has long studied and targeted predatory
fish and has created an assortment of lures that are designed to be effective
even when the bite is tough. One of his most popular creations is the Savage
Gear Sandeel, a swimbait that is designed for both saltwater and freshwater use.
Alloy head +
(5", 7" 4.5"
and 8" also
Savage Gear Sandeel comes two tails to a pack
The first time I saw the Savage Gear Sandeel I’ll admit I wasn’t all that
impressed. Sure the finish on the jighead was well done and the pours were clean
but overall the lure just screamed “saltwater” to me. The Sandeel looked like
something that I would have better luck catching halibut along the inshore with
versus targeting big green freshwater fish.
lures are available in a wide range of sizes
As real life
prey sandeels are commonly found off the coasts of Scotland, Spain and in the
Mediterranean region. These are not actually eels but are named as such because
of their long slender appearance, and while they are typically not sought after
by fishermen for food they are an important part of the food chain for many
predatory species of fish. While there is no doubt that this lure would be
deadly in these regional waters I remained skeptical how well the fish on our
side of the world would react to this ostensibly unpretentious looking bait.
Comparing the 8" bait with the 6"
The Sandeel is
available in a range of colors, some of which are much flashier than others as
they are loaded with reflective glitter. Each Sandeel swimbait is matched to a
color coordinated head which creates a seamless transition from the plastic
tail. The Sandeel’s all come with a single head and two tails and are available
in sizes ranging from 5” all the way up to 8” in length.
lure angles downwards in the water due to the metal jighead
I first fished the Savage gear Sandeel at El Salto Lake in Mexico where the bass
are known for both their numbers and quality. It was here that the Sandeel
proved to be absolutely money and we each caught more bass than we could count
with these seemingly simple and modest looking lures. We caught so many fish on
these baits that they got so beat up it actually became comical the lengths we
would go through to try and salvage the tails on these lures.
Catching bass on the Sandeel at Lake El Salto, Mexico
experience alone the Sandeel certainly seemed like something special but we were
still skeptical how these lures would perform in a wider variety of situations.
After all the bass at El Salto are so numerous and at times so willing to bite
that one could argue that almost any lure would be stellar here. It was time to
bring the Sandeel stateside and fish in our home water of the California Delta,
Clear Lake and Lake Sonoma to expand our sample size. Over the course of the
entire Fall to Spring season we fished these lures targeting largemouth, spotted
bass and even stripers.
Brandon holds up a Sandeel fish. On the trip the Sandeel proved to be the hot
As with most jighead topped swimbaits the Sandeel is a no brainer to cast. The
5” size looks tiny compared to the 8” version and the weights range from .80oz
up to a whopping 5.3oz. for the 8” version. Most anglers will most likely fish
the 6” and 7” versions which weigh in at 1.5 and 2.3oz. respectively. These
baits are easy to cast with traditional casting rod but a heavy powered rod or
swimbait stick is definitely a plus to set into fish and power them back to the
boat once they strike.
Casting the Sandeel back home on the Delta
Next Section: A wide range of effective retrieves