While Gulp! ® and Gulp! ® Alive! have become overnight sensations, the development of the two products was anything but fast. For more than 20 years, Gulp! technology has existed in the Berkley ® Spirit Lake, Iowa, testing labs. Berkley chemist John Prochnow and I have devoted two decades to perfecting the baits, waiting until the baits performed up to our rigorous standards before releasing them.
Long known as a company that is steeped in technology and constant product innovation, Berkley previously revolutionized the soft bait market with the development of PowerBait ®. But now, as the inshore saltwater, cold water and bass markets are embracing Gulp!, many are asking what is Gulp!, what makes it so effective and what makes it different from PowerBait.
Standard soft plastic baits (worms, lizards, craws, etc.) are made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), the same material used to make pipes and other items. To make a soft plastic bait out of PVC, the material must be heated up and combined with an oil-based resin. The more oil-based resin added to the PVC, the softer the bait will be. This is how Berkley PowerBait is made.
Gulp! is made using water-based resins, thus the major difference in the two baits. This allows for much more scent distribution than with oil-based resins. Because oil and water do not mix, when scent is added to a bait created from PVC and an oil-based resin, the oil literally traps the scent inside the bait. While some of the scent does get out, the oil is actually functioning as a barrier. However, anglers know that when fish bite PowerBait, they hang on much longer than they do with others. By biting the bait, the fish is releasing that scent which makes them think it is actually food. This results in more positive hook sets.
We always tell people to throw a PowerBait worm until it falls off the hook. Once that bait gets chewed and mangled, that's when the scent is going to be escaping the most.
Gulp!, on the other hand, disperses scent as soon as it hits the water because there is no oil barrier keeping the water out. This allows the bait to disperse an abundance of scent, expanding the strike zone by attracting fish that do not see the bait. When fishing with Gulp!, it is important to fish the bait slowly and allow the bait to do what it is intended to do: disperse scent.
Truthfully, you can use a single Gulp! bait all day and it's still going to be putting out more scent at the end of the day than anything else. That's why Gulp! Alive! is so effective. If you use a bait for an hour or so you can just drop it back in the juice, and after 15 minutes that bait is like new. It's the equivalent of taking a dead minnow and bringing it back to life.