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Swimbait Review

 


Bull Shad Swimbaits Enters the Premium Market with their Shad Glide

 

Date: 2/6/22
Tackle Type: Lure
Manufacturer: Bull Shad Swimbaits
Reviewer: Cal






Total Score: 8.00 - GREAT

Introduction:
Mike Bucca, or Triton Mike as some of us older guys refer to him, has been in the business of making big baits for over ten years now. We were there at the beginning publishing our first review on one of his baits back in 2010. He's even gone so far as to credit me with planting the seeds for an idea that would eventually become his limited edition 2Knocker. Though he's stated as much on his website's product page, I have no recollection of planting that seed. What I do recall suggesting to him at one time was the need in his lineup for a glide bait. Swimmers are nice, but over ten years ago, in the early 2000s, a trend towards 2-piece baits was developing and glide baits were set to become the next big thing in swimbaits. Bucca, through is bait company, Bull Shad Swimbaits kinda sorta played around with this idea circa 2019 with the introduction of his 2-piece gill profile. It wasn't until 2020 that his true contender in this market debuted. Here's our look at Bull Shad Swimbaits's Shad Glide.

 

Bull Shad Swimbaits's Shad Glide Specifications

Type 2-piece Glide Bait
Length 8"
No. Pieces 2
Joint Style Pin & Screw Eye
Weight 3.5 oz
Depth 0-5'
Material Resin
Variants Collaborative colors sold as "HD" finishes also available
Hooks 2x 1/0 Mustad KVD Triple Grip
MSRP $170

 


Introducing Bull Shad Swimbait's Shad Glide

 

Impressions: Though Bull Shad Swimbaits has slowly and steadily refined their bait making process over the last decade and a half, in terms of fit and finish, the majority of their baits are still on the rough side. To me, that's always been part of their charm. In nature, a beat up looking bait fish is more likely to not survive the culling process of life than one that appears intact, so as a fisherman, I feel a bait that has a disheveled look out of the package is an advantage.


This bait represents a different level of refinement than we're accustomed to seeing from Bull Shad Swimbaits

That having been said, Bull Shad Swimbaits's Shad Glide marks a departure from the manufacturer's status quo.

 

Still made of resin, the edges, detailing, and scale pattern on the Shad Glide are at a different level from what we've seen in the past. Gone is that bristle fiber tail, and in is a new, soft plastic poured piece with a realistic shape and ridges. The gills, mouth, and pectoral fin have much better definition on this bait and the realistic, 3D eyes are recessed within the head for better durability.

 

Don't get me wrong, the Shad Glide is still on the rough side of refined, but it's definitely a level or two above what we've come to expect from the manufacturer.


But don't worry, for those of us who enjoy that disheveled look, there are still hints to the bait's origins

Real World Tests: Paint schemes are still somewhat simplistic, but Bull Shad Swimbaits has partnered with a few custom painters and offer this bait in limited quantity "HD" finishes at more premium prices. I managed to get my hands on a bait with their standard finish to sling around and check out.


The Bull Shad sports a soft plastic tail

Rod Choice: For my choice in rod, I gave my iRod Kaimana SWC794C-H a little break from the Rat Rumble to fish it with a glide. This stick has a lure rating from the factory of up to two ounces, but our RoD WRACK tests reveal it has a bit more oomph to it than that. Field tests confirm this stick is good with baits up to at least four ounces in weight. It's been a stalwart in wake bait duties helping me evaluate a series of topwater rats, and I wanted to see how well it handles some subsurface baits too. The Bull Shad Swimbaits's Shad Glide slides perfectly into this goal.


Hooks are Mustad KVD Triple Trips and are attached via a swiveling hook hangar

Reel Choice: I paired the SWC794C-H with my newly arrived 2021 Shimano Scorpion 151XG DC. It was time to retire my custom painted Core 7, the reel I had previously paired on this rod, so the new Scorpion DC arrived just in time. I chose the XG version of this reel because I like fishing glide baits on fast reels. Swimmers and wakes work better for me with slower reels, but I find to really get those glides moving, a fast reel is the key.


Plenty of ridges for distinct shadow lines

Line Choice: Most big bait anglers will choose a nylon monofilament or copolymer of some sort as their choice in line. My preference remains with the strategy of using braid for the mainline and a leader of high quality nylon monofilament or fluorocarbon. I've moved away from using standard braid because I'm just not a big fan of that connection knot. I can now tie an FG knot somewhat successfully thanks to the Daichi Knot Assist 2.0 tool, but I'm much more comfortable with the reliability and strength of the connection formed when making use of hollow braid. To that end, I spooled the Scorpion 151XG DC with 50lb Seaguar Threadlock hollow braid and installed a topshot of Sunline Saltimate Saltwater Nylon Shock Leader in 30lb test (0.430mm in diameter).


The connector pin is removable

Next Section: Cast and Glide...

 

   

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