The Imakatsu Gillroid is a single piece jointed bluegill swimbait featuring an ultra-realistic appearance captured by 3D printing technology that provides an exact replica of the real thing. One of Japan's most renowned lure companies, Imakatsu is known for producing new designs that push the limits of engineering to create new actions and presentations that bass have yet to see. The Gillroid is a great example of their dedication to innovation, even in a swimbait market that is often run by cheap copies or duplicated styles. The Imakatsu Gillroid measures 6.2" in length and weighs roughly 2.6oz - the bait's size is key to mimicking panfish of all types including bluegill, sunfish and tule perch.
The Imakatsu Gillroid is labeled a "slow floating" bait, but realistically it's a floater right out of the package. Most of the time, and as you will see in the video below, anglers are adding strips of lead weight in order to give it a slightly subsurface positioning that allows anglers to fish the bait visually. Additional weight can be added as desired to fish the Gillroid as deep as you wish. We've already been kicking around ideas on how we could imagine this bait being used - think about submerged grass beds just working this bait over the top and watching big bass come up and engulf it. Or, during the bluegill spawn, as an alternative to the now highly saturated prop baits, work this gill over the beds and twitch it along. If you do choose to add additional weight, the
Storm SuspenStrips offer the perfect solution as you can cut them up and space them as you wish to create the desired effect.
How to use the Gillroid
Fishing the Gillroid is somewhat unique when trying to compare it to other big baits out there. It's not your typical glide bait, but it can certainly be retrieved as such if you add the necessary weight and get it to sink a few feet. The suggested method of fishing the Imakatsu Gillroid is adding a few lead strips to the nose to get the bait to sit right under the surface with a slightly nose down positioning. After making a cast, let the bait sit for a moment to settle itself and allow any nearby bass to get acclimated to its presence. Start by imparting short, yet direct, twitches of the rod's tip to get the bait darting and diving side to side. The bait fishes much like a soft plastic jerkbait such as a Zoom Fluke - you're gonna want to pop it on slack line and watch as the bait darts to one side or the other in a very "darty" manner. In the video below you can see the angler just kind of letting it pause and get itself back to even keel before imparting any additional action. When fishing the lure, mix it up. Use one pop or twitch, then try three quick ones and a fast reel turn. The key to the Imakatsu Gillroid is replicating the unpredictable nature of real life creatures. The lure will produce best when fished around cover, as the design of the bait allows anglers to kill it and twitch it around trees, grass and other obstructions.
The Imakatsu Gillroid includes two different styles of tails: a "bootstail" kicker style and a flat tail. The boot tail model is best attached to the bait when you wish to use a steady retrieval through the water. This tail will provide the most "swimming" action as opposed to the flat tail which is essentially an extension of the bait and follows the glide movements. In the video excerpt below, you can see the action the boot tail produces.
Many of the Gillroids feature hiviz chartreuse or orange sections atop the bait. The chartreuse line breaks up the bait a bit for low light conditions, but really, the color addition benefits the angler. Now you can visually see where your lure is at when retrieving it around cover. Maybe you only need to twitch it a bit to keep it around a key piece of structure. The color allows you more control of how you work the bait. Pretty neat concept.
The Imakatsu Gillroid measures 6.2" in length and weighs 2.6oz. The lure includes 3 total soft plastic tails: (1) boot tail and (2) flat tails and comes stock with a welded snap swivel to offer the best action.