The 3:16 Bluegill went public in the Spring of 2003. This little guy is 5" long and comes with the standard 3:16 block and tube setup which allows the bait to slide up the line when a fish is hooked. The 3:16 Bluegill weighs 1.85oz making it a very approachable bait that can be fished on standard bass gear.
One of the big dilemmas for lure makers is trying to imitate the shape of a bluegill while still getting their lures to swim straight. Getting something that is shaped precisely like a bluegill to swim is very difficult because something that is shaped like a flat oval naturally wants to lay on it's side when it hits the water. This bait overcomes that dilemma with a V shaped taper from the belly to the lateral line and by weighting the lure at a low point on the front of the head. All 5 of the 316 Bluegills that I have tracked true out of the package with no modifications needed, and that's a definite plus on any bluegill imitating lure.
When you combine the fact that the lure runs true with the narrow taper in the tail which allows the tail to kick slowly, you get a lure that is very fishable at multiple speeds. This fishability factor makes the bait very approachable for the average guy who just wants to go out and throw the bait around on a flipping stick with 15-20lb test. And since the bait is only 5" long, a decent sized bass, say 5lbs + should have no trouble getting it inside it's mouth. If you hook up you'll probably land the fish to boot because the bait will slide up the line.
There are two colors you'll see out there on the market, the bluegill and the sunfish. True to their names, the bluegill is a darker colored bait with some red in it and an orange highlight under the nose. The sunfish (pictured above) has a more green color overall with yellow highlights. I like the color selections and think that they represent the forage well.
If I was investigating the various bluegill lures, this would definitely be one to put in the box especially considering you can usually get them for $8.00 which is completely bargain basement pricing. None of the other bluegill imitators on the market are close to that price.
You might be wondering how this bait performs as a bed fishing bait and I have to tell you, this bait was not designed as a bed fishing bait. When you're bed fishing in more than about 3 or 4 feet of water you're going to have to wait for the lure to sink before retrieving it. The 3:16 Bluegill doesn't sink well on slack line and tends to fall off to the side or sort of wobble down. When you try to work a bed with this bait you'll find that it does swim well at slow speeds, but the action when jigging it up and down just isn't quite right because it doesn't have enough weight to make the tail kick like it needs to on the fall.
When you leave the bait stationary, it tends to fall on it's side, and the hook positioning isn't really ideal for beds. You could definitely add a second hook behind the first hook, but overall if the fish is hitting this lure from the top, it's just going to be difficult to hook up. In my opinion the 3:16 Bluegill is a much better cast and retrieve lure than it is a bed fish bait. Working it like a spinnerbait is the natural retrieve for this bait.
The only other thing I would say about the bait is that it's more of an 'artist's rendition' of a bluegill vs a realistic bluegill. If that's the tradeoff for the solid swimming action, I can hang with that - just don't expect to deadstick it on the bottom and have fish come over and eat it.