For the ninth consecutive year, Rapala hard baits and knives are America’s favorites.
So says Southwick Associates’ influential survey, which annually determines the brands and products that anglers purchase most frequently. Southwick’s data were (was) compiled from 15,685 AnglerSurvey.com surveys. The year-long research is scientifically designed and weighted to reflect all U.S. anglers.
For the ninth year in a row, a majority of anglers surveyed chose Rapala® hard baits over all over competitors. Rapala fishing knives also comprised a category-leading percentage of purchases.
No Surprise To Top Anglers
The survey’s results will come as no surprise to the country’s top anglers, who’ve long relied on Rapala baits to put fish in the boat — from multi-species legend Al Lindner, to 2013 Forrest Wood Cup champion Randall Tharp, to saltwater aces Rick Murphy and George Poveromo, to top walleye-circuit winners Chris Gilman and Mark Martin.
When waters in smallmouth bass country transition from cold to cool, “all you need” is a hot pink X-Rap®, advises Lindner, offering a timely tip for one of his favorite baits. “I don’t know anything that can outfish that X-Rap early in the year.”
Both Gilman and Martin’s must-have Rapala hard baits are the Shad Rap®, Husky Jerk® and the Original Floating®. The Shad Rap is “still the best for casting or trolling,” Gilman says. Martin agrees, explaining how it “always runs true,” even at high speeds. And while Gilman says there’s “nothing better” than the Original Floating Rapala for three-way-rig fishing on rivers, Martin favors it for fishing over the tops of shallow weeds in the spring.
Murphy won a 2014 Redfish Series event on Rapala Twitchin’ Raps and X-Raps, while Poveromo last year memorably boated a 48-inch redfish on a Rapala Clackin’ Rap®. Murphy hosts “Sportsman’s Adventures” on Fox Sun Sports and Destination America. Poveromo hosts “George Poveromo’s World of Saltwater Fishing” on the NBC Sports Network.
All the Rapala hard baits that Tharp has long treasured — Original Floating and DT®-series crankbaits among them — are made from Rapala’s signature material, balsa. It’s what makes them so much better at catching fish than copycat baits made to look similar, he says.
“That’s one thing that separates Rapala baits from all other competitors,” Tharp says. “The buoyancy that balsa has — the things you can make a bait do when it deflects off of cover and stuff — it’s second to none.”
No. 1 Knives
From the birch-handled classics to the efficient new electric models, Rapala knives make short work of turning fish to fillets. And that’s why Rapala knives are used in more fish camps, on more charter boats and at more shore lunches than any other knife in the world.
For years before he signed on as Rapala pro-staffer, Tharp had used a Rapala knife to prepare dinners of fish caught fresh from the sea.
“Down where I live, I clean fish with a Rapala fillet knife on a Rapala cleaning table almost every day,” says Tharp, an Alabama native now living in Florida. “That’s how I prepare my dinner!”