Gera completed his first 90 minutes of the season and set up winger Jerome Thomas for the first goal and linked up well with fit-again striker Shane Long, who netted the winner.
Hodgson said: "If there is one player I brought to the club that everyone I meet pats me on the back for bringing back and saying 'what a wonderful thing you've done for us', then it is Zoltan.
"I've not meant anyone who has hinted it might not be the right thing and the largest cheers and greatest reception against Bolton were for Zoltan.
"I never doubted him. He did a great job for me at Fulham and he was a free transfer. It was a no-brainer for me persuading him to come back to West Brom.
"My only fear was there might be other clubs competing with us who might offer him more or persuade him his future was better there.
"I never had doubts that, if we could persuade him to come back, we would have a good player on our hands.
"He has great versatility. He played in that second striker role against Bolton, which he did quite often for me at Fulham, but he also did a fantastic job for me in the wide areas."