There’s a new bully on the block and bass better hide their lunch money. The Rapala® BX™ Brat features a balsa core encased in a brawny co-polymer shell, so this unpredictable square bill bait can take a punch.
“A lot of straight balsa baits, you know, they’ll get a little beat up,” says Rapala Pro Mike Iaconelli. “But not the Brat. It’s the perfect lure for fishing around heavy cover. It’s got all the characteristics of balsa, but with plastic on the outside to protect the bait.
“That combination of a hard outer shell and a soft balsa core makes for an unbeatable square bill,” says Rapala Pro Randall Tharp. “You can bounce it off of dock posts, you can bounce it off of rocks, but you still get all the benefits of balsa,” he says. “It will float back up out of cover without getting hung up. It’s just so versatile.”
It’s also erratic. The BX Brat’s modified square bill design creates crazy, unpredictable caroms.
“The lip comes to a very slight point in the middle, but it still has these hard corners that allow it to bounce off of cover really, really well,” says Rapala Pro Ott DeFoe.
“That modified lip acts as both a deflector and a protector,” Iaconelli explains. “It’s going to actually protect the treble hooks, and it’s what’s going to make the bait deflect and careen off objects. That’s what’s going to trigger reaction bites. There’s no better bite to get, especially when the fish are inactive.”
BX Brats will excel when power fishing around rocky shorelines, laydowns, dock posts and scattered grass. “There’s really not a bad place you can throw it,” Tharp says. “Whether it’s just being grinded through the bottom, or deflecting off a rock, a stump or a piece of grass.”
Unique flat sides and a V-cut belly create additional swimming action. “When you watch this bait in the water, the way that it swims is because of the shape,” DeFoe says. “Because of those hard edges.”
Another benefit of the BX Brat’s co-polymer shell is that it adds weight, which enables it to cast “like a dream,” DeFoe says. “You can’t ask for much else in a small crankbait. It really reminds me of the Rapala DT-6, one of the best-casting ones out there.”
The BX Brat is available in two models. One dives to 3 feet, and the other to 6 feet. “The reason that’s important is bass will move deeper and shallower with changes in light penetration” explains Rapala Pro Brandon Palaniuk. “A lot of times in the morning, fishing rip rap, those fish will get up shallow where the baitfish are. In these low-light conditions, they feel more comfortable being up there shallow. But as the day progresses — as the sun gets higher — those fish are still relating to the same cover, but they’re doing it just a little bit deeper. So that’s when I’m going reach for the 6-foot version.”
Both versions of the BX Brat measure 2 inches, weigh 3/8 ounce and come armed with two sticky sharp VMC® No. 6 Black Nickel Treble round-bend hooks. Both are available in 12 color patterns: Blue Ghost, Blaze, Bone Craw, Carbon, Delta, Haymaker, Homer’s Buddy, Mossy, Pearl Gray Shiner, Tamale, Silver and Rock Solid.
“So no matter what the water clarity is like, or whatever the forage is that you’re trying to match, Rapala’s got you covered,” Palaniuk says.
To catch fish on a BX Brat, you need not master much additional action with wrist maneuvers, rod movement or stops and starts. “You simply tie it on, you cast it out there, you wind it in,” says Rapala Pro Jacob Wheeler. “You’re going to get bites.”