Berkley Gulp! Soft Plastic Review


Berkley Gulp is not your typical soft plastic lure. It is well known for its marketing hype, but it often lives up to these legendary claims. This product is developed from years of research and ingenuity of their product engineers.

Unlike other soft plastics that are made from PVC, Berkley’s soft plastic is made from a water based resin. This makes it mostly bio degradable so you don’t need to worry (as much) if your line is cut on a rock.

I am a big fan of Berkley’s products for one reason – they work. They give plenty of variety so that I have been able to match the hatch and pick a soft plastic that closely mimics the bait species I am looking for. I have had success fishing many different species with the Gulp lure range.

There is a lot to this simple lure, so let’s get stuck into the review.

What is Berkley Gulp?

The Berkley Gulp is a series of water based resin soft plastics available in dozens of different shapes and sizes to mimic your local bait.

Because the lure is water based this means the instant it hits the water it begins to release its scent.

The scents have been specifically targeted and tested to attract particular diets of fish. This means that a shrimp Gulp will have traces of shrimp scent in them. I have noticed personally that the smell coming off one of these lures is significantly more than alternate competitors – just dip it in water and see for yourself.

Berkley have spent 20 years of continuous research and development to create the Gulp. This includes over 50,000 taste tests and 1,000 scent and flavor combinations.

  • Made from a biodegradable water based resin
  • Hundreds of shapes and sizes available
  • Affordable and easy to use

Berkley have manufactured hundreds of different shapes, colors, and sizes of their lure. This means that you can identify what your target species is feeding on and perfectly match it.

You will need to use a jig head and hook to attach to your lure.

We have identified some of our favorites:


A great all around option is the mullet shape. This is available in either 3 or 4 inches in length. It is always available in 10 different colors from Pumpkinseed to Chartreuse.

The upwards facing tail produces movement and vibration in the water that when combined with the scent makes it all the more attractive.

ON SALE $4.54 OFFBestseller No. 1
Berkley GAPSM4-CH Gulp! Alive! Swimming Mullet, Chartreuse, 4 Inches, 12.5 Ounces
  • The best alternative to live fishing bait
  • Soaked in a powerful attractant to catch more fish
  • Realistic head and body design with a high-action swimming tail


If you are going to be focused on lake and estuary fishing then consider the minnow shape. This is suitable for both freshwater and saltwater species. It has a very streamlined design that doesn’t provide much resistance so you can retrieve it quickly and entice predatory species.

The minnow is available in either 3 or 4 inches in length and in 14 different colors.

ON SALE $1.13 OFFBestseller No. 1
Berkley Gulp! Minnow , Smelt , 1"
  • Replaces the real thing
  • Water-based formula has lifelike taste and texture
  • Rolling action is perfect for casting bait or trolling


The Berkley Gulp Shrimp is one of the most popular tournament bream soft baits in the world.


Because they work.

Available in 2, 3, and 4 inches in length, and 19 different color options.

You can fish these in a variety of techniques – just drop them on the bottom, suspend them midwater, and retrieve them in a darting jig style. These lures imitate a fleeing shrimp and are perfect for fishing around structure or over weedbeds.

Bestseller No. 1
Gulp!® Shrimp, 3in, 3" (6 Count)
  • Made using the highest quality materials
  • Engineered to help anglers catch more fish
  • The most trusted name in all fishing gear

Jerk Shad

The Jerk Shad design are irresistible to predatory species from Cobia to Tuna, and Trevally. If you are fishing in the open ocean then bring a few packs of the Jerk shad.

These can be used from reef fishing to pelagics by imitating a fluttering, wounded baitfish.

Available in 5, 7, and 9 inches in length and over 31 different colors.

ON SALE $2.04 OFFBestseller No. 1
Berkley PowerBait Power Minnow,Black Shad,2" (10 Count)
  • PowerBait realistix micro power minnow is great for jig trailers, spinner rigs or other bottom...
  • Split tail design provides a subtle finesse presentation
  • Lifelike detail with 3D eyes and holographic inserts


Berkley Gulp Sandworm

If your local species are hungry for sandworms then Berkley Gulp have a replica of that bait as well. So realistic you won’t know it isn’t real.

This bait gives a natural presentation in water in terms of action, scent, and taste.

The baits are soaked in powerful attractants to attract fish from further away and get more strikes.

Bestseller No. 1
Gulp! Saltwater Sandworm 2in/5cm 24 Count
  • Look and feel like natural-cut sandworms
  • Made using the highest quality materials
  • Engineered to help anglers catch more fish

Other Shapes Available

There are dozens of shapes available that might fit your needs:

  • Shaky Shad
  • Swimming Mullet
  • Ghost Shrimp
  • Shrimp
  • Squid Vicious
  • King Shrimp
  • Mantis Shrimp
  • Jigging Shrimp
  • Jigging Grub
  • Crabby
  • Pulsecraw
  • Minnow Grub
  • Crazy Legs Jerk Shad
  • Jerkshad
  • Kachi Kachi Trailer
  • Turtleback
  • Paddleshad
  • Nemesis Prawn
Berkley Gulp Swimming Mullet Chartreuse

What Anglers Say about Berkley Gulp

Its one thing reading through the marketing hype and another to actually take the lure out and catch some fish. That is why I always look for what experienced anglers have to say about new products before I recommend them. I also have tried these lures extensively over the years in a range of fishing environments.

So let’s hear what some experienced fishermen have to say about the Berkley Gulp:

“I’m sure I could have turned a fish that’s swimming up, eyeballing this lure, looking right at it and going – I don’t think I’m going to commit. To a fish that just goes, you know what, that smells really good – I’m all over it. That’s what Gulp! Gel does.”

Michael Guest – Reel Action TV Presenter

“The new Gulp! Gel has just been an absolute game changer. Being able to apply it to other lures, like metal jigs, stickbaits, poppers, even vibes, has just made a big difference.

Zane Levett – Oceanhunter Sportfishing Guide

“You didn’t even have to move the lure – you could see that thing was 100% stationary, and the fish would just come over, get a taste of that Gulp! Gel and they were just straight onto it.”

Russ Babekuhl – Veteran Berkley Tournament Angler
Berkley Gulp Soft Plastic

What is Berkley Gulp Gel?

Another product you can buy is a packet of rub on scent. This provides two advantages to your lure:

  1. Additional scent with the tried and tested Gulp formula
  2. Increased visibility with ultraviolet light reflectivity

This can be applied to any type of lure, not just a soft plastic.

Use your fingers to smear a thin layer across the surface of the lure and focus on grooves, split rings, and tow points that it will hold on to underwater.

The gel is designed to disperse scent into the water so it does need to be reapplied every few casts.

If you want every extra advantage to make your lure irresistible then try the gel.


  • Very high strike rate
  • High variety of shapes and swimming styles available
  • Biodegradable so it breaks down if you lose it


  • The gel coating can dry out over time and needs to be re-applied
  • The soft plastic doesn’t survive many bites from a hungry fish
  • Biodegradable, so it doesn’t last long over the off season

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Berkley Gulp Made From?

Berkley Gulp is made from a water based resin. This is different to most soft plastics that are made from a PVC plastic. This has two impacts:
1) The Berkley Gulp is less robust than other soft plastics. You should consider it more like a one time use than something to keep in your tackle box for years to come.
2) The scent from the water based resin disperses into the water more rapidly meaning you will attract fish more quickly.

What is the Difference between the Berkley Gulp and Gulp Alive?

Berkley Gulp is the brand name for the soft plastic and Gulp Alive is the fish scent attractant. Gulp Alive comes in a tub of scent that the lures are soaked in. This allows you to ‘recharge’ the bait into between uses. Remember the scent disperses into the water, so you need to reapply the scent to get best results.

Is the Berkley Gulp Biodegradable?

Yes, because it is made from a water based resin this makes the Berkley Gulp mostly biodegradable. This is a significant difference between it and its PVC based alternatives. Rest easy if your line gets cut and your lure is lost.

Do Berkley Gulp Baits Really Work?

Yes – for once the in field performance lives up to the marketing hype. Berkley Gulp is a favorite among tournament anglers and weekend fishermen alike. The only way to be convinced is to try it for yourself.


That brings me to the end of my review. The Berkley Gulp was a game changer when it came out in 2003, and continues to evolve into different shapes, sizes, and colors. This allows you to perfectly mimic the bait that your target species are feeding on and use the proprietary scent to attract that trophy fish.

It is always difficult to explain just how good this lure is – so I strongly recommend that you pick up a pack and give it a go. If you have had success with Berkley Gulp lures before then please leave a comment below so that we can all learn from your experience.

If you are still not convinced then have a read through SaltStrong’s brilliant review.

Happy fishing!

Last update on 2022-01-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Russ Egan

Russ is an avid fisherman. He has fished all over the world for more than two decades, primarily for saltwater game fish but also for local trophy fish. Russ writes reviews for all of his fishing gear to help others achieve their own fishing goals. His favorite reel is a Shimano Curado Baitcaster. His dream is to catch a Black Marlin.