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Swimbait Review


Let's Get Real! - Sly Guy Lures Replica Gill Swimbaits


Date: 1/21/21
Tackle type: Swimbaits
Manufacturer: Sly Guy Lures
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: Replica Gill 5.9" 8.58 - GREAT

Total Score: Replica Gill 7.5" 8.83 - GREAT

Introduction: With a name like "Replica" the Sly Guy Gills better be realistic looking, but it doesn't stop with a genuine looking paint finish. This year we are going to dive deep into swimbaits, including a closer look at many custom handmade offerings, and the Sly Guy Lures Replica Gills are a perfect example of what makes custom baits so desirable to anglers, and especially swimbait fans.


Sly Guy 7.5" Replica Gill Swimbait Specifications

Type Swimbait - Wakebait
Length 7.5" including tail
Weight 4.2 ounces
Material Resin Body, Semi-Rigid Rubber Tail
Sections Two (one joint)
Hooks 3/0 Mustad Triple Grip Trebles
Patterns Custom - Highly Realistic paint finishes
MSRP $134.99


Impressions: There are a lot of bluegill swimbaits on the market but when it comes to custom handmade baits Sly Guy lures arguably makes some of the most realistic looking swimbaits available. The paint finishes on these baits are absolutely insane. They are the work of one man, Clayton Sly, an angler and custom bait maker located in the Bay Area, Northern California. Like us, Clayton calls the California Delta his home water, and his personal experiences targeting everything from largemouth to striped bass have shaped the way that he approaches bait design, and both the design of his swimbaits, and his unique painting style, developed simultaneously alongside his love for fishing.


The Sly Guy Lures Replica Gill 5.9" swimbait


I've been wanting to learn more about Clayton's handmade baits for years, and like many custom bait makers, the demand for his baits far outstrips the supply. I've tried to catch a number of Clayton's drops over the years but always seem to miss them by a few hours. Often times Sly Guy Lures sell out in hours, so anglers need to be on their to game to secure one.


The Replica Gill 5.9" is a two piece swimbait made from resin and hand painted by Clayton Sly


I finally was able to buy one secondhand via Swimbait Underground, a 5.9" Replica Gill, and was eager to see how the lure was built, and how fish reacted to it. When the bait arrived I was immediately impressed by just how realistic the paint finish on the bait was and after posting some initial pictures was contacted by Clayton who recognized the bait as one of his older lures, and offered his support if I experienced any issues with the way it swam.


The paint finishes on these baits are excellent and really come to life under the sun, and in the water


Real World Tests: Suffice to say I couldn't wait to get this bait wet and have been fishing it this entire season. In addition to this one bait which I own Cal also owns 5.9" and 7.5" Replica Gills that I have been able borrow and fish to see how the newer, and larger baits, compare. Over the course of the last season I fished these Replica Gills in the California Delta and other Northern California lakes. I used a variety of rods and tested the bait both with a direct tie on braided line, straight mono, and a fluorocarbon leader.


A closer look at the 7.5" Replica Gill. This particular bait belongs to our Managing Editor Cal, who also purchased it secondhand

Next Section: The Real-est? Real profile, action, and finish









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