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Lure Review

Simple yet Deadly Effective, the Savage Gear Sandeel


Date: 3/31/13
Tackle type: Lure
Manufacturer: Savage Gear
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 8.41 - EDITORS CHOICE!

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.


Savage Gear Sandeel 6" Specifications

Type Swimbait
Material Alloy head + Plastic swimbait
Depth 0 ft
Size 6" (5", 7" 4.5" and 8" also available)
Weight 1.5 oz. (6" model)
Colors/Patterns 5
MSRP $7.99 and up ($4.99 for 5")


The Savage Gear Sandeel comes two tails to a pack

Impressions: 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.

The 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.

The lure angles downwards in the water due to the metal jighead

Real World Tests: 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

From that 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 bait

Casting: 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









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