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Customizing your gear can result in more and bigger catches. In this video tutorial, Mike Long walks us through how he helps himself by adding gills to a swimbait for a more realistic presentation to a bass.

All you need to add gills to a swimbait are a pair of wire cutters (dykes), some red pipe cleaner, a razor blade (exacto knife), and some Mend It Swimbait Glue.

1. Take your swimbait and cut a slit along the gill plate of your swimbait with your blade or exacto. (depth varies on your swimbait, but deep enough that you can insert something in the pocket you make). Make sure to cut at a slight angle with the tip of the blade towards the head. Your goal is to cut your gill plate as it would look on a live Rainbow Trout.

2. Take a red pipe cleaner and cut it to a length that will fit along the slit you have just created (varies in length, but you want it to reach from the top to the bottom of your cut lengthwise). Pull at the cut ends to make sure they fluff out a bit.

3. In the slit you have created, liberally dab some Mend It Swimbait Glue into the slit (take care to not allow the slit to close after applying the glue as it will glue shut).

4. Quickly take your pipe cleaner you have cut previously and insert it into the cut you have made.

5. Once the pipe cleaner is inserted into the cut and seated firmly into the space, take a little more Mend It Swimbait Glue and dab over the top of the pipe cleaner and the cut. This gives it a wet appearance and seals the pipe cleaner (the gill filaments) into place.

Make sure you visit Mike Long Outdoors regularly for more tips to help increase your chances of catching a big bass!

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

4 comments on “How to Add Gills to a Swimbait

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Patrick on February 8, 2013 9:29 pm

Dear Mike,

Love the website, and really appreciate what you’re doing. I was just wondering where you can get the Mend It super glue, and what kind of swimbait that was.

Thank You,

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Mike Long on February 9, 2013 5:16 am

Patrick, you can buy Mend-it glue at as for the swimbait it was an old Stanley swimbait.

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Eros on February 11, 2013 8:27 am

Dear Mike, thank you for all the job you put in this website. it’s all so interesting! well, abut gills, do you think this customization is ok also on huddleston swimbait? i mean, can it cause the thin layer skin can jump away cutting it? althought it could be a benefit, seeming like an injuried and sick trout ;)

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Robert Causey on February 11, 2013 4:15 pm

Awesome video/article. Do you think that bass and shad imitatiing line through baits would benefit from this modification too??

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