When it comes to crankbaits, deflection is the key element professional anglers look for to draw strikes. Anglers deliberately pull crankbaits into objects to force a deflection from the object to generate a reaction strike from a bass. Unfortunately this contact with cover can create hang ups. Rapala developed a crankbait lip to create this erratic action without having to contact cover, the Rapala Scatter Rap Tail Dancer.
The unique Scatter Rap lip design causes baits to dart side to side mimicking the habits of fleeing bait fish. During a retrieve, the Scatter Rap lipped baits will migrate left or right and then seemingly for no reason drive quickly the other direction. The opposing direction shift gives the appearance of fleeing; something an angler normally has to use deflection to generate. This opposing direction migration can be as wide as 24 inches.
The Rapala Scatter Rap Tail Dancer, like many banana style baits, is designed to draw strikes from walleye while trolling the bait behind a boat. The tail wobble generated by banana shape baits is also effective at drawing strikes from many other game fish species. To find a unique presentation for the over pressured waters I regularly tournament fish, I looked to the Rapala Scatter Rap Tail Dancer to give me an edge.
The unique erratic action of the Rapala Scatter Rap Tail Dancer produces strikes with a basic cast and wind retrieve. Once I located bait fish and bass, casting parallel to shorelines at the proper depth and retrieve speed produced many strikes. The Scatter Rap lip makes any crank bait dummy proof, simply cast and wind. Its built in action will catch bass.
The Scatter Rap lip engages the water immediately. As the line tightens at the beginning of a retrieve, the Scatter Rap starts diving. This instant dive allows the bait to hit the strike zone faster and stay in the strike zone longer. I found while casting, the Scatter Rap Tail Dancer consistently reaches 7 to 9 feet on 12-pound line. The package labels this bait as having a swim depth of 11 to 19 feet; I have no doubt the Tail Dancer will obtain these depths while trolling. The Tail Dancer produced excellent wobbling action at all retrieve speeds. A slow crank or fast burn the bait ran as expected with excellent vibration. Designed for trolling, I did not expect the lure to have any rolling problems during high-speed retrieves, and it did not disappoint me.
After proving the Scatter Rap lip does what Rapala claims, I wanted to see how close I could get to cover before I got hung up. With the extreme wobble of the banana shape, I honestly felt like the Scatter Rap Tail Dancer might have issues when dealing with dock pylons or timber. The back end of this bait has a pronounced swing from side to side. I believed the tail hook would reach and grab cover; however, this was not the case. To my amazement, the Scatter Rap Tail Dancer is extremely snag proof when dealing with hard objects like pole timber and dock pylons. What impressed me most was the deflection capability of this bait. When the Scatter Rap Tail Dancer contacts cover, it deflects violently at a sharp ninety-degree angle from its retrieve line. While the Scatter Rap lip creates its own erratic ‘deflection type’ action, actual contact deflection is extreme.
Being a balsa wood bait and weighing just under a half ounce, the Scatter Rap Tail Dancer is light for a crank bait of its size. At first I thought this could create issues when casting, however, this bait is well balanced, and casting was not an issue. Typically with lightweight oblong shaped lures, the lure will spin during a cast allowing the line to tangle in the hooks. Using a bait casting reel with 12 and 15-pound lines I had no issues with tangling or casting distance. A surprising nuance with the balsa wood Tail Dancer is it has a rattle system. Something very uncommon with balsa baits. With the Tail Dancer, anglers get all the benefits of balsa wood action with the added bass attracting qualities of rattles.
Priced under $11, the Rapala Scatter Rap Tail Dancer has the quality we’ve come to expect from Rapala. Strong hardware, VMC hooks, and a durable coating protecting the excellent color schemes are all things anglers find on baits costing twice as much. The unique erratic action, superior deflection capabilities, and rattles are sure to allow even the novice angler to catch bass in the toughest of conditions. Available in sixteen proven colors, I expect we’ll see the Scatter Rap become a staple on the professional bass fishing tournament trails.
If you have often thought, “I need something different to present to these over pressured bass.” The Tail Dancer by Rapala might just be the answer. I have enjoyed great success with it and have only fished it through the summer months. I am very excited to see the Scatter Rap lip design on the entire Rapala lineup. While the lip generates its erratic action, the Scatter Rap lip is also snag-proof and generates tremendous deflection above and beyond the erratic action. I have found a valuable addition to my arsenal in the Scatter Rap Tail Dancer; this autumn should be amazing!
Get the Net it’s a Hawg