Savage Value, the Pulse Tail RTF
Bluegill Swimbaits (continued)
of Actuation: Though small in size the RTF bluegills are able to impart
quivering action at the tail section thanks to the compact wedge shaped boot
tail design. There are small cuts in the center of the tail, what Savage calls
their "Split rear fin" design, that allows water to channel through the
center of the tail creating a tighter, more vibrating, versus strong side to
side, wagging pattern. Like many other soft plastic swimbaits the action on the
bait is pretty subtle, and designed to be more genuine in appearance, than a
hard bodied glidebait for example that has a more erratic action designed to
call attention to itself.
Notice of the tail section prior to the wedge is
thinned out to allow for more vibration and tail kicking action. This is one of
the baits that actually can be swam effectively at lower speeds
The RTF comes through the
water cleanly and the tail wags in a convincing side to side cadence at just
about any speed. Burn the lure and the tail really gets going and really does
look like a bluegill trying to flee from prey. The best part of this tail design
is that even at low speeds the tail still vibrates realistically.
When it came to hookup ratio I experienced about a
80% overall success rate when it came to strike versus hookup. This was roughly
20% higher than I experienced with the Pulse Tail LB Bluegills that requires
bass to pull hard or collapse the loose body to deploy the hidden hook. Of
course the advantage of the LB design is that it can be fished in much more
Most fish will try and engulf the RTF much like
they would when trying to swallow a live bluegill whole. Most of our fish were
hooked in the top of the mouth but when fish hot the bait from the side the
hookup ratio drops
Design and Ergonomics: The Pulse Tail RTF
Bluegill is pretty much as easy as it gets when it comes to fishing soft-bodied
swimbaits, and just like the name implies all you really need to do is tie it on
and start casting. This is one of those easy to fish swimbaits that can be
considered a "gateway" to much larger swimbaits.
Once anglers start
catching a few fish on the RTF their confidence grows, and before you know it
they are searching for larger baits in the hope of landing a giant.
It is for those reasons that it would be great to
see Savage introduce a larger version of the RTF Bluegill. The company does
offer the larger 5" 3D Bluegill but they do not feature the same pulse tail
design, or what I feel is the more realistic looking bluegill profile.
A largemouth falling fro the White Gill. I found
this pattern especially good when the water was stained
Price and Applications: The swimbait
category is a very unique segment of the bait market. There are those anglers
that favor hard bodies, others that only fish soft bodies, then the
sub-categories of custom baits versus mass produced ones.
Though the mass produced
baits often look more refined, are more consistent, and even more realistic
looking, they rarely are met with the same hype and fanfare that a garage-bait
drop can generate. There is even a segment of the market that buys swimbaits
simply to collect them, something that I personally partake in with some of my
favorite hard-bodied swimbaits.
Some of it boils down to supply and demand and
this is why I appreciate baits like the RTF Bluegill, which are readily
available, and can be fished day in and out without fear of losing a lure that
you simply cannot replace.
In situations where there is a lot more weedy
structure Savage Gear also offers the Pulse Tail LB (Loose Body), which features
a weedless design
Retailing for only $12.99
each the RTF Bluegill is a great value. The five patterns that are available do
a nice job covering the spectrum of bluegill that inhabit most lakes, and the
white gill is an especially interesting pattern that is different than most
available gills. The only additional pattern we would love to see is a juvenile
crappie which would be killer for many lakes across the country.
It is also important to note that Savage Gear is
just getting started when it comes to their Bluegill Line and following up on
the RTF and LB gills the company is also introducing a 3D RTF with a four
segment body and the more traditional tail to generate a more exaggerated
swimming action. This bait will also be 4" in length and weigh 3/4oz. and retail
for only $9.99. In addition, the company also announced a line-through version
of the Pulse Tail which I am very excited about as it should deliver the same
type of action with an even better strike to land ratio. The line-through baits
are also going to be larger in size, at 5 1/2" each, and weigh 3oz. for the slow
sink and 3 1/2oz. for the moderate sink models. These will retail for $14.99 and
be available at the very end of the year.
ratings standard for
2008 and have
included a key at
the bottom of the
following matrix as
one to a
: 2 =
poor : 3
: 4 =
: 5 =
: 6 =
fair : 7
= good :
: 10 =
Pluses and Minuses:
- Only one
+ Easy to
out of the
add an extra
Savage Gear has a history of delivering realistic baits that are also reasonably
priced, and the new Pulse Tail RTF continues that tradition. The RTF ups the
level of realism in both profile and finish and it is good to see that the brand
will soon be introducing even more additions to the lineup, especially the
upcoming larger line-through version.
The Savage Gear RTF may not have the same allure
as some custom swimbaits but it does catch fish and represents a great overall
The Savage Gear Bluegill is a great starter
swimbait, and a great workhorse bluegill for when the bite is tough and the fish
want what they may perceive as an easy meal. The ability to fish this bait
throughout the water column, and at
multiple speeds from a burn to a crawl, make this one of the more flexible
little ultra-realistic bluegills on the market, especially at this price point.
It is also one of the baits that can be effective all four seasons as long as
you adjust your retrieve, and are adept at finding where the fish are holding.
Overall this is yet another savage value from the company, a Best Value Award
winner to be exact.
Looking for the Savage Gear Pulse Tail RTF