When the bottom’s almost as likely to grab your bait as a gamefish, a light, slow-falling, lipless crankbait will likely get more bites and less hang up. That’s why Tony Roach has been throwing the new Rapala® new Slab Rap® since spring.
“If I don’t want a bait to fall all the way to the bottom, the Slab Rap is perfect because of its slow-falling action,” explains Roach, an in-demand Minnesota guide and media personality. “The unique swimming action provides the bait with fishing versatility. It can be ripped in and among vegetation and also in heavy rock areas, without hitting bottom and getting hung up.”
Retrieved with quick rod snaps in a lift-drop cadence, the Slab Rap vibrates subtly on the rise, and then searches in wide, erratic directions, circling back to the center as it drops. Its centerline tie and weight-forward design enables a rocking action to further trigger bites from fish.
“The lure has been a huge success so far,” Roach says. “It works extremely well for smallmouth bass, walleyes and, in the smaller size, big crappies and jumbo yellow perch.”
The 2-inch Slab Rap weighs 1/4 ounce and the 1-1/2 inch model weighs 1/8 ounce. Each lure comes armed with two No. 12 VMC® Black Nickel Round Bend Hooks and are available in 10 color patterns: Chrome, Chrome Blue, Gold Chrome, Glow Hot Perch, Glow Tiger, Green Tiger UV, Glow Yellow Perch, Orange Tiger UV, Pink Clown, Pink Tiger UV.
Roach casts Slab Raps around shallow rock piles and around vegetation. “It works excellent when you’ve got a little bit of cover on the bottom, whether you’re casting into weeds or a little bit of grass mixed in with the rocks,” he says.
When fish are fired up and feeding actively, Roach often prefers faster sinking baits like Rapala Rippin’ Raps® or Jigging Raps®. However, due to their weight, the lures make a lot of bottom contact, which is why the Slab Rap is often a better option.
“The Slab Rap complements a Rippin’ Rap and Jigging Rap bite, because it has a different fall rate, but triggers bites with a similar action,” Roach explains. “Most of the time, the fish hit it on the fall and stay hooked.”
Roach prefers a slower fall rate in “cooler water temps, a cold front or earlier in the morning when fish are not as aggressive.”
The new Rapala Slab Rap is also great for hard water angling. “Using the Slab Rap, I started catching fish this winter almost immediately, and then it just carried over into the open water season,” Roach says.