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Lure Review

Rapping in the Shadows with Rapala


Date: 1/13/16
Tackle Type: Lure
Manufacturer: Rapala
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 8.01 - EDITOR'S CHOICE AWARD!

There are few baits that excite our editorial staff more than the debut of a new rip bait. This technique is one of our favorite methods of catching those green, brown, and striped fish we pursue each year. Early in 2015, Rapala debuted their new take on this classic bait with the Shadow Rap and now finally, here is our take on this promising little new bait from Rapala.


Rapala Shadow Rap Specifications

Type Rip/Jerk Bait
Length 4 1/4" : 4 3/8"
Weight 7/16oz
Depth 2-4 ft : 4-6ft
Material Plastic
Colors 14
Hooks 3x #6 VMC
MSRP $8.99


Quality/Construction: We always look forward to testing out new baits from Rapala in part because the quality of their products are almost always top notch. The Shadow Rap is no different and may even set a new bar for this well established bait manufacturer. The finishes are very well executed and the body of the bait has an intricate fish scale pattern on its upper half. Hardware is relatively light weight as this bait is no doubt intended to be fished on line in the neighborhood of 8 - 10 pound test.


Quality Ratings for Rapala Shadow Rap

Finish (1-5)
Detailing (1-5)
Hardware (1-5)
Craftsmanship (1-5)
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)

Introducing Rapala's Shadow Rap.

Performance: I fished this bait on a variety of sticks ranging from Megabass's Diablo Evoluzion, to the Double XX Swingfire, to St. Croix's new Legend Elite. For line, it varied from straight braid to mono to fluorocarbon as well both tied direct and secured with a snap.

The Shadow Rap is a very slim profile jerkbait.

Castability: In a somewhat surprising move, the Shadow Rap does not benefit from an internal weight transfer system to aid in the bait's castability yet I ran into little to no difficulty casting this bait in different situations. The shallow running version casts just a tad more true than the deep version probably due to its smaller diving bill. But overall, these baits are very easy to cast even on rods rated "medium heavy" in power. Ideally, I'd seek a medium powered rod for these baits - something along the lines of the Megabass Elseil, G.Loomis MBR842C or NRX852C.

Weighing at a hair under one half ounce, this bait is very easy to cast.

Dive Time: This bait gets right down to business on that very first snap of your rod reaching a good three to four feet easily depending on the diameter of your line. I prefer fluorocarbon lines when fishing jerkbaits and right around the ten to twelve (10 - 12) pound test range. I'll even go down to eight pounds sometimes, but never in the California Delta where you're liable to run into a rogue striper at any cast.

And this despite the fact these five internal bearings do not shift to the back of the bait during a cast.

Suspend Time: Obviously the suspend rate of this bait will vary depending on water temperature, but in general, the bait seemed to sit very still for me and in a neutral position in water temperatures of high fifties to low sixties according to my depth finder.

Here is the bill of the deep diving version. The shallow running Shad Rap's bill is one half to two thirds the length of this one.

Side to Side: More important to me at least, than the bait's suspend time and angle is its side to side action when you snap the rod tip. This is where the Shadow Rap really shines. Not only does it give you reassuring resistance in the water when you snap your rod tip, it darts off to the side very far and gives off a big flash in the process. The action of this lure is excellent and consistent whether tied direct to the line tie split ring or when using a snap to the bait's line tie.

Performance Ratings for Rapala Shadow Rap

Castability (1-5)

Dive Time(1-5)

Suspend Time (1-5)

Suspend Angle (1-5)
Side to Side (1-5)
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)

A closer look at the bait's fish scale and lateral line detailing.

Features: The Shadow Rap is available in two running depths and in up to 14 different colors all with a translucent belly. Most have a foil backing in the top half of the bait giving them a very iridescent finish. There are five bearings in the bait that are somewhat fixed in place but with enough wiggle room to give the bait a faint rattling sound.

Features Ratings for Rapala Shadow Rap

Depth Options (1-3)
Sound Options (1-2)
Misc (1-3)
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
Solid (1-2)
"Ghost" (1-2)
Foil (1-2)

The hooks can come in contact with one another, but we did not have any instances of fouling during our tests.

Design/Ergonomics: I have close to a dozen of these baits overall and each is just as clean and well put together as the next. All the ones that have made it out of their packaging and into the water have run very consistently as well. At 7/16ths of an ounce, this bait has good bulk to it for casting and the realism is very good with lifelike eyes and a fish scale pattern on the top half of its side. The hooks can touch each other when you hold the bait in your hand but I do not recall an instance where they fouled each other after a cast.

Design & Ergonomics Ratings for Rapala Shadow Rap

Bait to Bait Consistency (1-5)
Weight (1-5)
Realism (1-5)
Hook Spacing (1-3)
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)

The Shadow Rap is made to be fished all year long.

Application: I've only fished this bait three out of the four seasons, but it's labeled as being effective all year long. Judging by the bait's effectiveness for us, I've no reason to doubt this claim from Rapala. The fact you can purchase this same exact bait in two different running depths helps a great deal too.


Rapala Shadow Rap Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Consistent Rapala Quality 8.5
Performance A really good bait straight out of the box 8.8
Price There was a time I considered Rapala baits to be expensive - no more 8
Features Two running depths and a bunch of nice finishes 6.43
Design (Ergonomics) Very consistent out of the box 8.33
Application Built to be fished all year long 8

Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here


Pluses and Minuses:


+ Really well constructed bait - We'd like even more color options!
+ Finishes are outstanding - Stock hooks are a bit thin if you're not accustomed to using light line
+ Side to side action is really dynamic  

Not a huge fish by any means, but still great fun on a rip bite!

Conclusion: Baits from Rapala have been consistent performers for me throughout my angling experience. The Shadow Rap is no different and even, dare I say, takes things up a notch with its cleaner finishes, and more intricate detailing. Considering my very first jerkbait was the old balsa Countdown Minnow from Rapala and seeing how far the company has taken the finish and detailing in their product with the new Shadow Rap all while keeping the price under $10, I'm hard pressed not to give this bait my Editor's Choice Award!


Looking for Rapala Shadow Raps? Try one of these reputable sources!


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