Reels | Rods | Lures | SwimbaitsBFS Lines | Terminal Tackle | Tools | Storage | Apparel | Enthusiast | Watercraft | Interviews | Events | Autopsy




ICAST 2019 Coverage


FishLab Enters the Market with a Wide Range of Baits, Including the Exciting Bio Gill Swimbaits


Date: 7/9/19
Location: Orlando, FL
Admission: Buyers & Press Only
Manufacturer: FishLab Tackle
Reviewer: Zander

Introduction: Sure to be one of the biggest launches this ICAST was not just a new bait but rather an entire bait brand, meet FishLab Tackle, a new lure brand with the resources of Okuma behind the company and focused on what they call the "Science of the Strike."


Bluegill swimbaits are among the most popular, and easy to fish, swimbaits on the market. FishLab Tackle, a new brand, will soon introduce a complete range of new Gill swimbaits that re both hard and soft


The Bio-Gill swimbaits feature some impressive finishes


New Beginnings: At the heart of FishLab's Product Development is Mike Bennett, a passionate angler and product designer that I know well, both working with him during his tenure with the Savage Gear team and Okuma, as well as pursuing giant Stripers with him at Lake Ouachita. The man knows a lot about lures, especially swimbaits, and what it takes to design baits that are not only effective, but affordable. FishLab's goal is to bring a complete line of new baits to market that are designed with scientific examination and testing of what really gets fish to commit to baits. These baits are designed with what the company calls "accurate swim actions, the highest degree of build quality, and a wide selection of colors."

“We created FishLab Tackle with both the serious hardcore angler, as well as the big bait throwing, weekend warrior in mind,” states Mike Bennett, Product Development Manager. “Our initial product introduction will cover a variety of water types and species from the outset.”

Davey Brown gives us a look at the first prototypes of the Bio-Gill

The FishLab launch products are focused on key families of baits including the mega sized Rattle Toad topwater frog bait and Bio-Gill Bluegill swimbait lines, to the Hard Mack Attack saltwater swimbait and Mad Eel baits, there will be a selection of lures to cover a variety of needs.

The Bio-Gill Swimbait is a three piece double jointed bait

Bio-Gill: I got my first look at the Bio-Gill two months ago when I fished with the Okuma team in the Florida Keys. Even though the baits were prototypes I was already impressed with how detailed they were. The Bio-Gill lineup consists of five individual families with swimbaits, wake baits and glide baits as well as two families of soft swimbaits. Each family of baits has its own unique styling and lifelike looks and swimming actions. 

The Bio-Gill Hard Bait lineup will consist of three individual families. The Bio-Gill Swimbait, Bio-Gill Glide Bait and the Bio-Gill Wake Bait. These baits will retail from $9.99 to $16.99 depending on size and configuration. 


The Bio-Gill Swimbait is a three-piece, double-jointed bait with a lifelike swimming action designed as a search bait to cover water on a steady retrieve as well as rod twitch and pauses.  Available in both 4” and 5” sizes, these baits feature a slow sink action and are available in five forage matching colors.


A two piece single joint version of the Bio-Gill is designed to be a glidebait


The Bio-Gill Glide Bait is a two-piece, single-jointed bait designed to swim with a wide glide and to be fished with rod twitches and pauses to induce big, erratic side to side darting action.  Available in 4” and 5” sizes, these baits come in a slow sink action and the 5” is also available in a suspending action. All are available in five forage matching colors.


There will also be a three piece wake version that has a lip to create a big wake at slow to medium retrieves


The Bio-Gill Wake Bait is a three-piece, double-jointed bait that features a high floating action that produces a big wake at slow or medium retrieve.  It also excels on slow steady retrieve or fast stop and go retrieves.  The low clacking action calls big feeding fish to the surface to investigate an easy meal.  This bait is available in 4” and 5” sizes and is available in five forage matching colors.


To complete the bluegill lineup FishLab will also introduce softbait versions which will consist of two individual families. The Soft Bio-Gill Weedless Swimbait and the Soft Bio-Gill Bluegill Swimbait.


Prefer fishing soft swimbaits? FishLab has you covered with both pre-rigged and weedless options


The Soft Bio-Gill Weedless Swimbait is designed with a deep belly cavity for better hook clearance out of the top of the bait for an easy bite down and more hook ups.  The T-Tail design starts kicking the instant that the bait comes through cover and kicks on slow or fast retrieves.  Available in 3 5/8” and 4 5/8” these baits are great for skipping under over hanging trees or docks and you can fish the heaviest of cover.  The 3 5/8” is designed to fish on a 6/0 corkscrew weighted hook and the 4 5/8” is designed to fish on a 10/0 corkscrew weighted hook.


The Soft Bio-Gill comes pre-rigged and has a sinking action


The Soft Bio-Gill Bluegill Swimbait is a pre-rigged soft bodied swimbait that comes in 4” and 5” sizing and five forage matching colors.  The T-Tail design has the same great kicking action on slow or fast retrieve.  A specially designed jig hook decreases downward angle of the hook. The sinking action of this bait is designed to fish from three to twelve feet deep.



There are a lot of great color options to select from to match the forage

Mad Eel: Throwing some shade? You know these guys like to have fun with a name like the Mad Eel! From the Cape Cod Canal, Florida Offshore or the kelp beds of Southern California, the Mad Eel was designed to be an effective jigging and search bait.

“The Mad Eel family of swimbaits was designed for most coastal and intercoastal markets with an impressive swimming action to cover a great amount of water.” states Mike Bennett, Product Development Manager.  “These baits hold a special place for me, and I wanted to create the best swimming and most lifelike bait out there.”


The Mad Eel features a familiar profile and jighead and paddletail design


The Mad Eel lineup consists of three lengths featuring 7”, 7 ½” and 8” models, these baits have a heavy side to side rolling action for increased water displacement in low light, running water and stained water conditions. The ribbed belly design also moves more water that prey fish can feel. The specially designed jig hook keeps fish pinned to the hook even through violent head shakes that would dislodge the standard J-style hook designs.  Each package will contain one head and two bodies and will retail from $9.99 to $13.99 depending on size.


There are many patterns to pick from and three length options


Rattle Toad: Is there such a thing as too many frog options for topwater enthusiasts? FishLab doesn't think so and is entering the fray with the mega sized Rattle Toad. The Rattle Toad lineup consists of three sizes.  2 Ό”, 2 Ύ” and the giant 3 ½” toad. The key feature of the Rattle Toad is the oversized rattle chamber that is mounted in the head of the toad and keeps the bait lying flat on the water making it easier for fish to track the bait over thick mats of grass or through heavy scum lines. 


Designed for explosive topwater action, the Rattle Toad, has a big profile and oversized rattle chamber


Available in both lifelike and classic frog colors, the Rattle Toad is designed to have an easy walking action with light use of the rod.  The double frog hook on the toad sits high up on the side of the body so that it takes less body compression to expose the hook points and to get an easier hook set. 


The Rattle Toad features a realistic profile, textured skin, and multiple pattern options


The highly detailed and textured back of the toad mimics the reel texture of a frog and the floating PVC legs keep the frog up on the surface. The new Rattle Toads will retail from $7.99 to $9.99 and like all of the other FishLab baits will come backed by a 1-year warranty, something quite unprecedented in the lure industry.


A look at the three sizes of the new Rattle Toad and an example of the various matte and shiny finishes


Part Art and Part Science: The team at FishLab has the lure design and manufacturing expertise, as well as the strength of team Okuma, to not just design but distribute their new baits. In addition to the Bio-Gill, Mad Eel, and Rattle Toad the brand will also be rolling out inshore and saltwater lures. I personally know a lot of the anglers that are involved with making FishLab a reality, and can attest to how passionate they are about not just tackle, but fishing. They really study what drives different species to strike, and are applying decades of experience, bold creativity, and a lot of time on the water to design baits that are realistic, scientifically accurate, well built, and will catch fish. I personally am extremely excited for the Bio-Gill and cannot wait to see how fish react to it. 









Copyright © 2000-2022 TackleTour LLC All rights reserved.
Privacy Policy information