Nothing drives smallmouth bass more crazy than brightly colored Rapala® X-Rap® jerkbaits, says legendary angler Al Lindner. But if the fish are short-striking, downsize to a smaller model.
“Oftentimes, when you’re getting fish following – you know, where they’re darting and coming in behind the bait … downsizing can be a killer,” says Lindner, co-founder of In-Fisherman and host of the influential Angling Edge and Fishing Edge TV shows. “And very, very few guys do it.”
When smallmouth won’t quite commit to his X-Rap, Lindner downsizes from a No. 10 to a No. 8 model. A No. 8 is 7/8 ths of an inch shorter than a No. 10, and weighs 3/16th of an ounce less.
While X-Raps mimic in size and shape numerous species of baitfish that smallmouth feed on, what really makes them “so deadly,” Lindner says, is the color patterns in which they are available.
“They’ve got a variety of hot colors … that smallmouth love,” he says. Although “hate” might be accurate as well, as it seems sometimes that smallies attack brightly colored X-Raps in anger. The color patterns that consistently drive smallmouth crazy, Linder says, are Hot Head and Hot Pink. “No other manufacturer has the hot colors” like those, he says. “Which are so phenomenal.”
Contributing to “the magic of the X-Rap,” Lindner adds, is a Flash Feather Teaser Tail, which comprises both feathers and tinsel strands.
“That little tail, I’m convinced, when you’re smallmouth fishing with this bait, will catch you way more fish at the end of the season than if you didn’t have it on here,” Lindner says. “You’re a smallmouth fisherman? You need to know that.”
While Lindner loves throwing them for smallmouth, X-Raps elicit vicious strikes from walleye and pike as well. The versatility of an X-Rap allows an angler to impart a number of fish-catching actions in a single retrieve. It can be fished with an aggressive “slashbait” technique, or with a classic Rapala wobble.
X-Raps cast like a bullet, making for long, accurate casts. They feature prominent scales and a lateral line on the fuselage to capture and flash light like a beacon. Additional features include: textured translucent body, internal holographic foil, 3D holographic eyes, flash-foil teaser tails and premium VMC black-nickel hooks.