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Swimbait Review


Savage Value, the Pulse Tail RTF Bluegill Swimbaits


Date: 10/12/20
Tackle type: Lure - swimbait
Manufacturer: Savage Gear
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 8.35 - BEST VALUE AWARD

Introduction: Savage Gear had a strong showing this year at the virtual ICAST show with a number of introductions in their soft plastics and swimbaits for both fresh and saltwater applications. The swimbait offerings built on the momentum of the Pulse Tail RTF Bluegill, the most realistic looking bluegill swimbait that the company had introduced to date, and is designed to be easy for anglers to simply tie on and start fishing effectively right out of the package.


Savage Gear RTF Bluegill Specifications

Type Soft bodied swimbait
Material Plastic, integrated weight, rattles, and heavy EWG hook
Depth Any
Size 4"
Weight 1 oz.
Colors/Patterns 6 (Bluegill, Black Gill, Ghost Gill, Light Gill, Vivid Gill, White Gill)
MSRP $12.99


Savage Scan: Savage Gear has been putting their 3D scanners to use for years and the Pulse Tail RTF Bluegill continues the practice of creating molds from the scan of actual prey. This process is designed to more closely mimic the dimensions and characteristics of the forage. The company then goes in and integrates elements to improve swimming action, like the split kicker tail design and foam rattles, in the case of this particular swimbait.


Savage Gear's bite sized bluegill, the Pulse Tail RTF


The Pulse Tail RTF Bluegill kicks things up a notch from previous Savage Gear bluegills by improving the surface of the baits with a photo-realistic finish. The difference from previous generation bluegills like the original 3D Bluegill and 3D T-Tail is significant, and while those baits featured more abstract patterns.


The previous generation Savage Gear bluegills look painted while the new RTF baits are printed and finished with paint for added detail to create an even more lifelike looking swimbait.


The RTF stands for "Ready to Fish" and all you need to do to start fishing this bait is simply tie it on and make a cast


These bluegills represent bite sized bass snacks measuring only 4" in length. Savage Gear also offers a weedless version called the Loose Body (LB) that has a rapid interchange hook system which allows anglers to thread a hook through the slotted belly portion.


The RTF Bluegill is available in an array of realistic patterns that mimic various gills


What makes the Pulse Tails Ready to Fish (RTF) is that they are designed to be fished right out of the package. No rigging, no tuning, simply take the bait out of the package, tie it on, and cast away.


Each bait comes armed with a single heavy-duty EWG hook


Real World Tests: Playing with...er, I mean testing, swimbaits is my favorite thing to do. The pure excitement of tying on that new swimbait and seeing how the fish will react to it is enough to keep me awake all night. Admittedly my favorite swimbaits are hard-bodies but there is certainly a time and a place for soft-bodied swimbaits, especially during the Fall and Winter months where the reaction bite starts to cool down and the ability to throw a smaller, deeper diving, soft-bodied swimbait becomes key to targeting those deeper holding fish.


Time to see how fish react to this bite sized swimbait


Castability: Weighing in at exactly 1oz. the RTF Bluegills are easy to cast with any lighter swimbait rod and can just as easily be fished on most medium-heavy to heavy casting rods. It is an easy bait to sling far, and all day, and I had no problem casting it as far as I needed to with both mono and braided lines. Unlike very expensive, or hard to find, swimbaits that I traditionally fish solely with straight braid or a heavy top shot I felt comfortable fishing the RTF bluegills with straight mono most of the time, which helped maximize casting distance and aided in the presentation during retrieves.


The RTF Bluegill is easy to cast with just about any medium-heavy to heavy setup as it weighs in at only 1oz.


Rate of Fall: Unlike hard bodied swimbaits that often rely on their plastic lips to effectively dive to target depths, the advantage of soft-bodied swimbaits like the RTF bluegill are they are weighted to sink. You can use this to your advantage when targeting fish in the shallows, placing the bluegill directly in the fish's line of sight, or territory. This also makes the bait a good option when fish are holding off points and structure, and I was able to fish uphill, getting fish to follow the bait and smash it as it neared the shallower water.


The white gill is a cool pattern and as close to we get for a tiny crappie


There are other times when the weather, and water, are cooler and fish just seem more sluggish and many swimbaits that draw strikes by moving in the upper section of the water column either are too fast to get sluggish bass to chase or simply are not presenting themselves near the fish that are hunkered down near structure on the bottom. It is in these situations that the RTF Bluegill offers additional flexibility by being able to be fished deep, slow, and even bounced like a jig.


Key to the baits tight tail vibrating action is the split rear fin design


Next Section: Easy to fish and effective multiple seasons...









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