Gear of the Week: Rapala Shadow Rap
Combining a horizontal struggle with a vertical fade, the new Rapala Shadow Rap perfectly mimics a minnow's final, quivering moments before its end of days — triggering unforgettable strikes as predator fish move in for an easy meal.
"The Shadow Rap does something I've never seen another bait do — I call it the 'death quiver,'" said three-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier and 2014 Forrest Wood Cup Champion Randall Tharp. "When you pause it on slack line, it shimmies from side to side as it's suspending there. So even when it's sitting still, it looks just barely alive."
Tharp and fellow Rapala pros Michael Iaconelli, Brandon Palaniuk, Ott DeFoe and Jacob Wheeler were all armed with Shadow Raps at the 2015 Bassmaster Classic on South Carolina's Lake Hartwell. The baits was unveiled there to the public for the first time, but the Rapala pros have had them for months. And they are impressed. Big time.
"It could win the Bassmaster Classic," said Palaniuk, the 2013 Classic runner-up. "You can bet that the Rapala Shadow Rap is going to be in my boat."
Wheeler, a FLW Forrest Wood Cup champion and runner-up, is equally enthusiastic about the Shadow Rap heading into his first Classic.
"That fading away action I think might just be the ticket to getting those fish to bite down there at Hartwell," said Wheeler. "That bait does stuff that not another bait out there in the market does."
While most jerkbaits follow a forward trajectory with each twitch of the rod tip, the Shadow Rap's action stands out. "Not only will it dart side to side, but with a certain jerk, you can make it spin around almost 180 degrees," Tharp explained. "But it also moves vertically too — it will dive down, then move up." So a Shadow Rap will trigger bites on its initial kick and its snap back to life, as well as on its slow-fading fall.
"It's perfect — it's exactly what I want," said Iaconelli, the 2003 Classic Champ. "I want that bait to have these little tiny movements — little tiny flashes and rolls. Then, on the pause, I want it to be just barely lurking out — just barely going down."
Featuring a minnow body profile, flat sides and metallic finish with textured scales, the Shadow Rap is designed to target bass and other gamefish in two-to-four feet of water. The Shadow Rap Deep targets fish in four-to-eight feet. Both models come armed with three No. 6 VMC Black Nickel Round Bend Hooks and are available in 14 color patterns: Albino Shiner, Blue Back Herring, Blue Ghost, Bone, Bud, Carbon, Clown, Ghost, Ghost Shiner, Moss Back Shiner, Olive Green, Purpledescent, Silver and Yellow Perch. Each measures 4 3/8 inches and weighs 7/16 of an ounce.
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