Just over a month ago, I decided to jump on the Shadow Rap bandwagon and wrote an ariticle about my first impressions. Respected Pro’s, such as Mike Iaconelli and Brandon Palaniuk, gave this bait very high praises. Rapala put a lot of time, money and effort into promoting this bait. All of this had me intrigued.
I’m a self-proclaimed jerkbait junkie. I have baits from all manufacturers with a few favorites I turn to when the bite is tough. I’m always up to trying something new in the jerkbait world. It’s a very crowded market, and a manufacturer needs to have something “different” to get in on the action.
My first impressions of the Shadow Rap were very high. Rapala developed some great looking colors, and the overall look of the bait is great. Life-like scale pattern and the super thin profile had me hooked. There are times when a thin jerkbait is the only thing bass will bite.
My first few casts had me amazed at how little effort it took to work this bait. Rapala claims the bait, with little effort, will kick out 180 degrees with little forward movement. Rapala nailed this! The action is perfect for those of us who fish jerkbaits year round. Sometimes a dead pause isn’t what the bass want, rather an erratic side to side action and being able to do this while in the strike zone longer will trigger more strikes. I’m a bank fisherman most of the time, so this helps me even more.
The Shadow Rap is a slow falling jerkbait with a nose down attitude as it sinks. I normally add split rings to my jerkbaits in the warmer months to get them to nose down, so this is a welcome feature. As stated by several professional anglers, the Shadow Rap Deep has a more pronounced nose-down attitude as it sinks compared to the standard Shadow Rap. I couldn’t tell why or how, but the deep model gets down to the rated 8-foot diving depth quick, noticeably faster than my Staysee 90’s.
I would like to see more color variations above the fourteen they offer. However, the colors Rapala selected will cover most angler’s needs and all fishing conditions. Frosted white and a gold Ayu are my two favorite jerkbait colors. Rapala closely matches both. Inside the Rapala lineup, the Carbon and Moss Back Shiner are by far my favorite.
Even with the most fish enticing colors and the best life-like actions without quality hardware to back it up, it’s just wasted time. Quality split rings and hooks are a must. Rapala uses very strong split rings. I have yet to pull one apart under normal fishing conditions. Rapala also uses a quality hook, #6 VMC treble hooks. These just happen to be among the replacement hooks I use on several of my other jerkbaits.
As I said before, a manufacturer has to have something “different” to make a product successful. I honestly believe Rapala has nailed a three-pointer with the Shadow Rap. It’s very hard to pack all these features into a single jerkbait and come in under ten dollars! Rapala has done this!
This time of the year is where my jerkbait fishing slows and jigs take over. Seasonal patterns and the twenty inches of rain we received in May 2015 have slowed my jerkbait bite down. I did catch several largemouths even with the less than optimal jerkbait fishing conditions. Rest assured, when it cools back down, I will be out there hammering bass with the Shadow Rap!
Hit the local tackle shop and give the Shadow Rap a run. I give it my stamp of approval. I wouldn’t call the Shadow Rap the jerkbait to end all jerkbaits, but there is defiantly room in my tackle box for years to come!
Rock Chalk Hawg Hunting
Richard W. Gulloto
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