Yes yes, I know, the packaging on soft plastic like Gulp, Exude, and TriggerX says they are not for human (nor pet) consumption. But when Gulp was first introduced with so much fanfare, I just couldn't resist taking a chaw on one to see what it tasted like. A short article comparing the tastes of different soft plastics resulted. But that was a long, long time ago, a recent blog (Do Scented Fishing Lures Like GULP Really Work Better?) brought the subject to mind, and I’m feeling hungry right now - so it seems like the perfect time for a more modern follow-up.
GULP is still the king of stink. It has a stronger smell and more oily goo oozing out of it than any of the other three soft plastic baits on my plate. The taste is almost biting, sort of a cross between rancid squid and lemon juice, and it triggers a combination of salivation and nausea. Unfortunately, swigging water does not remove the taste of this stuff from your mouth.
Moving on to the Mister Twister Exude, I notice that the lure does't seem particularly slimy at first. But that’s because the blend of baked-in proteins, amino acids, and minerals isn't activated until the lure comes into contact with water. And as soon as I start chewing, things change… The Exude has a bitter taste, for which I have absolutely no good comparison. Mild but fishy horseradish, maybe?
Next comes the newest bait, TriggerX, which is made by Rapala. These are also more or less dry, which can be considered a huge advantage. (Have you ever spilled Gulp juice in your car? Then you know what I’m talking about). But when I put it in my mouth, it tastes like I’m chewing gum with a 50-50 mix of cough syrup and ground nutmeg.
My final recommendation? Leave the plastic bait taste-testing to the fish.