Berkley Powerbait Gilly Review

Spread the love


The Berkley Powerbait Gilly in Jason's hand being shown full bodied with an EWG hook rigged through the side.

There are a ton of bluegill imitation lures out there. Some have awesome, realistic action, and others dive well onto beds like the Live Target Bluegill Swim Bait. Each one has its own advantages. But, recently, I began using the Powerbait Gilly Swim Bait for bedding fish (I’m a little late to the game!). It seems to have a mix of all the best qualities. It’s a perfect bait to use when you really need to tap into that primal instinct and give that bass a reason to kill.

Berkley Powerbait Gilly: Rigging Styles

The first thing I notice right out of the package is how soft it is. The head is hollow and makes it pretty easy to rig. Along those lines, you can nose hook it, Texas rig it from the side and even drop-shot it. One downside to the action is that it requires a nail weight to be inserted into the nose of the bait. Otherwise, it won’t swim straight. Some guys may find it to be a pain, but it’s a pretty effective lure overall, and worth the extra step. Plus, you’ll notice a difference in the way the bait nose dives onto beds. Rigging it weedless is pretty straightforward ( well, actually sidewise!). But, it takes getting used to.

Berkley Powerbait Gilly: Detail

This is the most realistic bluegill imitation on the market. Seriously. When I first swam this thing through a small pond, I even fooled myself as I was retrieving it through a small school of bluegill. The injection coloring includes every shade found in panfish species from dark brown to pumpkin green, all the way to pumpkinseed, and it blends right in with other small forage fish, yet its versatility allows it to stand out. The stamped body construction creates a realistic scaled appearance.

A hand holding The Berkley Powerbait Gilly showing off the Die cut body with stamped design.


The Berkley Powerbait Gilly’s action at times can be a little difficult to get going. As I said, you HAVE to insert a nail weight to allow it to swim straight. Regardless, the fall rate isn’t very fast, which is perfect for bed-locked bass. In fact, the falling action is what really sets Gilly aside. I like to swim it straight and give it a few twitches, let it stall on its own as it makes a fast cut left or right, and then fall. It almost has a shimmy action as it slowly points its nose down, which is perfect for aggressive bed fish and fry guarders. Having the nail weight in the nose allows the bait to hop along a bass bed on its face imitating a realistic threat. There is a ton of versatility to this lure.

The Berkley Powerbait Gilly hooked in the mouth of a large mouth bass.

Final Thoughts

I would highly recommend throwing this lure all spring and especially around bass beds. The versatility, detail, and action, provide anglers with an amazing lure option as nothing seems to compare to it. As mentioned, the one downside perhaps is the odd side rigging style and the necessary nail weight. But apart from that, this bait is a deadly adaptation and should have its place in your swim bait box.


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: