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Autopsy Article

TackleTour Autopsy: A Brat to the Balsa Core, the new Rapala BX Squarebill (continued)


Crack that Brat: The first thing we notice about the BX Brat is that it doesn’t look or feel like a balsa bait as the entire outer shell is constructed out of a copolymer blend. This enables the bait be stronger from both a shock and abrasion perspective as well as improves the level of cosmetic detail.


Cutting through the belly of the Brat


Rapala uses a combination of molded texture, paint, and foil to create a bait with greater flash and realism. Abrasion resistance on this bait is also quite good as multiple elements, like the foil, are layered in under the outer copolymer shell while other areas like the top are painted, giving the lure a more 3D appearance. 


Cracked open we get our first look at the balsa wood core

Cutting through the outer shell was a little tricky as the shell is designed to protect the Brat’s balsa heart. When we finally extracted the balsa core we found it to be both light and soft, and without the protection of epoxy or a plastic shell wouldn’t stand up very long to impact with structure, let alone viscous strikes from fish.


The reason why the lure balances out so well is an embedded weight in the belly


Once we cracked open the bait it became immediately obvious why the weight balances out so well in the water, inserted in the lower belly and center of the balsa wood core is a fixed lead weight. No moving weights or rattles on this bait, it is all about the wiggle and deflection.


The balsa wood core and lead weight make up half of the bait's total weight

The copolymer shell is really the key to this bait, and while BX brat is available in two versions, both of which are 2” in length, they rely on the angled copolymer lip design to achieve their diving depths of 3 or 6 feet.


All the components that make up this unique squarebill


The metal hardware is also anchored within the copolymer shell so that the use of a soft and lightweight material like balsa doesn’t compromise the amount of pressure that the wire hook hangers can endure. When it comes to hooks the BX Brat comes armed with VMC black-nickel round bend trebles that have also proven to hold up well to abuse.


The Rapala BX Brat effectively blends plastic and wood together to create a durable balsa squarebill crank with a consistently aggressive action

The combination of the balsa and copolymer layers works in the BX Brat, creating a balanced bait that exhibits that aggressive wiggling balsa action we love, while still possessing a realistic finish complete with flash foil elements, and all with the durability of a plastic crankbait.


Though small in size this hybrid crank has all the makings of a real angler pleaser, and the only ones that the Brat is likely to aggravate are the fish that dare challenge it.


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