Rapala Shadow Rap First Impressions

Shadow Rap and Dobyns Rod

In all my years of fishing, no bait has done more damage to my wallet than the jerkbait. Over the years, I have amassed a vast collection of jerkbaits. Fortunately for the angler, there are hundreds of models to choose from. Shallow to deep, floating to slow sinkers, there is a jerkbait for almost every situation. If there is a place and time where a jerkbait cannot be used, a jig is always an option!

February of this year brought us one of the most recent offerings from Rapala, the Shadow Rap and the Shadow Rap Deep. At the 2015 Bass Master Classic this jerkbait received some pretty high praises. Three months later, this bait is still hot and getting high praises all around. I decided to hop on the bandwagon and see for myself what this bait had to offer.

One of the first things I inspect on all jerkbaits is the hardware. In my opinion, hardware is just as important as the bait itself. Even with the top line, reel, rod and bait on the market, but if there is a bad split ring or hook it’s just wasting time. I usually find myself changing both out before I hit the water. The Shadow Rap uses #6 VMC nickel round bend hooks. As luck would have it, I use VMC #5 and #6 round bends or outbarbs on all my jerkbaits! Split rings look solid as well. I did some strength testing on all 4 split rings and found that the hooks will bend out long before the split rings do. This gave me the reassurance this bait will hold up.

Shadow Rap

The Shadow Rap also comes in a Deep model. Both baits come in 14 different colors to suit the angler’s needs. I chose Carbon, Ghost Blue, Moss Back Shiner and Green Olive in both the Rap and the Deep Rap. The first thing I noticed after unboxing was the flat side on the bait as seen on the left. This will be my first time with a flat-sided jerkbait. With a minnow body style, flat sides, and metallic finish, Rapala markets this as a dying minnow bait. On the pause, the Shadow Rap goes nose down and slowly sinks. This mixed with a few light jerks is deadly for me in the summer months. In the past, I have had to add weight to the front of the bait to get this action. Rapala has designed this bait to do this out of the box.

The Shadow Rap is designed to run in the 2-3 feet range and the Shadow Rap Deep model is designed to run in the 4-8 feet range. After some hands-on fishing I will be able to see if this claim is true. My kitchen sink tests show that the Shadow Rap Deep actually sits more nose-down than the Shadow Rap. This has me very excited to get both on the water.

I have spent hours on end reading every article and watching every video I can to learn about this new bait. My conclusion is there is no wrong way to fish this. No water too dark or too clear. I’m going to let the fish decide. Time to hit the water and put the Shadow Rap to the test.

Rock Chalk Hawg Hunting
Richard W. Gulloto

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