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Berkley Powerbait Cullshad Swimbait Review

One of the hottest trends in fishing over the last several years is throwing big baits. This style of fishing has taken the bass fishing community by storm, and it’s quickly proven to be a productive way to catch some giant bass. One of the most productive big baits an angler can throw is a harness style swimbait. One of the most talked about harness style swimbaits to hit the market is the Berkley Powerbait Cullshad. This bait draws inspiration from other baits in its category while adding Berkley’s own unique twist to this popular style of lure.

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cull shad caught a nice bass


The Berkley Powerbait CullShad Swimbait features a big bait profile with a lifelike action. The Cullshad features Berkley’s proprietary Honeycomb Technology that increases durability while maintaining a superb action. This bait comes standard with a pre-rigged harness and a screw lock hook keeper that keeps everything in place without hassle. This bait runs true at a variety of speeds whether you’re slow rolling it near the bottom or burning it on the surface. 

Additionally, the Berkley Powerbait Cullshad allows anglers to adjust the sink rate by inserting nail weights into into the pre-made slots located on the underside of this bait. This gives anglers the ability to fish a harness style swimbait at deeper depths than ever before. This bait comes in both 6 and 8-inch sizes and features a variety of color patterns sure to match the natural forage in your local body of water. 


I’ve been throwing big swimbaits for the last several years. This has quickly become one of my favorite ways to catch both spawning and post spawn bass. I really enjoy the pre-rigged harness style as it allows for easy operation and a consistent hookup ratio. One of my favorite features on the Berkley Cullshad is its screw lock hook keeper and ability to skip this bait with ease. The durable plastic this bait is made from allows you to skip it under docks, overhangs and other types of shallow cover with minimal effort. The screw lock hook keeper does a great job at keeping your hook secure during the cast, however it pops right out once a fish bites. Some of my favorite locations to throw this bait is around docks, shallow bushes and other types of shallow cover bass may be hiding in.

The Berkley Cullshad isn’t just great for heavy cover scenarios, it works great for coving water as well. Throwing this bait across shallow points, sea walls and bluffs are all high percentage locations to get bit. Chasing the wind is a great way to successfully fish this bait. Wind will often push baitfish up against this type of structure. This will cause bass to group up in these areas often allowing you to trick one into biting. The wind also causes lots of disturbance on the water which helps with getting fish to commit to the bait as opposed to following it to the boat. 


Another great thing about the Berkley Cullshad is that you don’t need a special rod and real to throw it. I typically use my normal jig setup whenever throwing this bait. For line, I usually stick with either 15 or 17-pound fluorocarbon paired with a 7:1 gear ratio reel. One of my go to fluorocarbons for this application is the Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon Line. This line has the perfect amount of stretch and durability to winch big bass out of heavy cover. 

For a reel, I like a larger spool with a moderate gear ratio. This gives you enough torque to horse big bass to the boat without loosing too much reel speed. One of my favorite reels for this application is the Abu Garcia Zenon X in the 7:1 gear ratio. For a rod, I like a heavy action with a solid backbone. I like the length to be somewhere in the 7 to 7-foot 4-inch range as it allows for accurate casting without losing leverage over the fish. I typically use the same rod that I throw jigs and Texas rigs on as this bait doesn’t require a super heavy setup. One of my favorite rods for this application is the Abu Garcia Fantasista X Casting Rod. 

Throwing a big swimbait is a great way to catch giant bass all over the country. I’ve had the pleasure of testing out dozens of big swimbaits over the last several years and the Berkley Cullshad is without a doubt one of my favorites. This bait has the perfect blend of durability and lifelike action that sure to trick some of the biggest bass in your local fishery. If you’re looking for your next big swimbait, I recommend giving the Berkley Powerbait Cullshad a try. 

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