The Elusive Gizzard Glide by High Powered Swimbaits
||High Power Swimbaits
Total Score: 8.08 -
Staying on top of hot trends in bass fishing is a never ending battle in sanity. Right when you feel comfortable you've learned a new technique or bait, another three present themselves. The sub-culture within bass fishing, swimbaits, is a microcosm of this example with seemingly harder hitting implications. Catching up to the hottest baits can be a very costly endeavor either in time lost, expenses paid, or more commonly, both. Most of the time, when you've discovered a hot bait worth trying, you just can't get your hands on one, or if you do, the marked up resale prices will bury you. Wait times with the builder, if lists are even taken, can be a few months to years driving the costs of available, used baits even higher. It's pure madness. Yet the satisfaction of landing one of these grail baits, as Zander refers to them, can be almost as satisfying as actually catching a fish. One such bait I landed earlier this year debuted in 2013 as one of the very first shad style glide baits. Here's our look at
the elusive High Powered Swimbait's Gizzard Glide.
High Power Swimbaits Gizzard Glide
||2-piece Glide Bait
||Flat w/ Pin and Screw Eye Hinge
||3.4 oz : 96 grams
||Float, XXS/Suspending (tested), Fast Sink
A very belated
introduction to High Powered Swimbaits's Gizzard Glide.
The Gizzard Glide, by High Powered Swimbaits is more commonly referred to as the "HPH". HPH stands for High Powered Herring referring to owner Randall Kirkpatrick's first swimbait product, a four piece herring profiled swimmer that has since been discontinued. Despite the incorrect and mistaken terminology applied to both the Gizzard Glide and Kirkpatrick's company name, HPH has persisted, and in Kirkpatrick's own words, he's basically given up trying to correct everyone.
Most photographs of these baits are not very flattering, but
up close and in person reveals a bait that is very refined
His Gizzard Glide came known to me through discussions and topics found while surfing swimbait forums and social media groups. Drifting back and forth between conventional tackle and swimbaits is not the best way to stay up to speed in either category, but it's a necessary evil that comes with
trying to keep up with all the latest tackle trends. Baits like the Gizzard Glide easily slip through the cracks but once I caught on to the reverence this bait commands, I had to find a way to get one to try.
While tall and long in profile, this bait is very thin -
especially at the back
The used market for these baits is tough. Reasonably priced baits get snatched up in a hurry and unreasonably priced baits take only a count or two longer to disappear. You have to possess a grail bait to trade for another grail, so that option is even more difficult. The best way I found to have a chance at this bait was to reach out to Kirkpatrick through is Facebook Page (Fish Atlanta Guide Service), and get on the waiting list. Word of caution, the wait is long. My order took about eight months to be fulfilled. This is not a bait for those who seek immediate gratification.
Details of the gill folds lead me to believe this bait was
molded from an actual gizzard shad
Photos that are available online, to put it mildly, are not the best. In most of these photos, the baits look a little rough with finishes that could best be described as mediocre. When the bait finally arrived and I opened the package, I was shocked. Apparently, this bait must be like a stealth bomber where it's difficult to see just what it looks like and to capture images that accurately represent the craftsmanship. Though obviously cast in a mold with resin, the Gizzard Glide, to channel John Legend, has artistically derived curves and edges with perfect imperfections.
The paint schemes are relatively simple, but also very
The paint scheme that looks unrefined and undefined in photographs is actually quite realistic, and that bristly brush fiber tail, so common now in practice, is actually among the softest I've held on a swimbait. Hardware is stout with what looks to be hooks and split rings by Owner. This is quite an impressive little bait.
Ready for action on board my Dead Sword Magnum casting rod by
Real World Tests: By little, I'm talking about eight inches (8") in length and just under three and a half ounces (3.5oz) in weight. If you're used to fishing big baits, the Gizzard Glide is actually just right in size. If not, this bait will feel huge. Whichever the case, you will need a combo built for the task of chucking a legitimate big bait. For me, this task befell my Gan Craft DeadSword Magnum paired with my 2016 Shimano Antares DC. For line, I was working with 50lb Seaguar Threadlock hollow braid and a topshot of 30lb Gold Label Fluorocarbon leader material.
Every bait I've seen built with this tail design features a very
coarse fiber for the tail. Kirkpatrick uses a super soft bristle
I know most big bait anglers will scoff, protesting you need to throw big baits on straight mono. Fortunately, you may or may not have noticed, I've never really identified with the "most" crowd. Braid gives me the sensitivity I crave while working my big baits, and a leader gives me the confidence of line concealment while at the same time providing a degree of shock absorption on those big hits. On top of all that, hollow braid is just fun to work with offering me no loss in strength at that dreaded connection knot.
Hooks and other hardware are very stout
Castability: Matched with the proper rod, reel, and line, casting the Gizzard Glide is relatively simple. Its flat sides will catch a wayward crosswind from time to time which may lead to a trajectory landing the bait off target, but then again, a lot of that is probably just be me. There are times I make a cast with no real clue or direction of where I want the bait to land. For the most part, accuracy and distance with this bait is pretty standard with nothing unexpected occurring during the cast.
There's actually very little room for wiggle at the joint
Next Section: Bringing the Gizzard Glide to life...