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Lure Review

It's What's on the Inside That Counts: The BX Swimmer From Rapala


Date: 4/28/14
Tackle type: Lure
Manufacturer: Rapala
Reviewer: Wolbugger

Total Score: 7.25 - GOOD

With all of the plastic baits available these days, balsa wood still remains a favorite for many anglers. This classic material offers a unique action that just can't quite be replicated with plastic. No stranger to the lure game, Rapala has easily become one of the most recognizable names in the fishing industry. Realizing the supreme fish catching qualities of balsa, they offer several products within their lineup constructed out of this special wood. While at first glance the BX Swimmer appears to be an ordinary plastic bait, it's actually far from it.  It's time to dig deeper and see how this bait differs from the competition!


Rapala BX Swimmer Specifications

Type Jointed Swimming Minnow
Weight 3/4 ounce
Depth Slow Sinking
Size 4 3/4 inches
Hooks #3 VMC Black Nickel Trebles
Colors/Patterns 10
MSRP $11.59

The BX Swimmer arrives in the standard Rapala packaging.

Impressions: The BX Swimmer comes nicely appointed and is water-ready right out of the package. As part of the “Balsa Xtreme” series of baits, it features a core made of balsa that is covered in a copolymer shell. In fact, in good lighting the balsa wood internals are easily seen through the shells of our test baits. This usage of balsa gives the baits different characteristics than if they were constructed out of solid plastic, and the shells offer some additional protection. Also, Rapala is able to achieve more realistic finishes compared to other baits with 100-percent balsa bodies.

Talk about a beautiful finish!

The finish on these baits is very good, with vibrant, accurate coloration. Large eyes compliment the molded 3-D head, gills, and scales, while the internal “X-Foil” creates some additional flash. Under the surface of the water, everything comes together quite well to realistically imitate a bait fish.

The small lip allows the bait to reach a diving depth of about six feet.

Features-wise, there is a small diving lip at the head of the bait that helps bring it down to a maximum rated depth of approximately six feet if cranked immediately upon splashdown. All three split rings are on the beefy side to withstand abuse, and the dual #3 VMC treble hooks are of an acceptable size, strength, and sharpness.

Here, the balsa wood is easily seen through the shell.

Casting: At three-quarters of an ounce, the BX Swimmer is easy to throw. What's nice about the bait is that a specialty rod is not needed to cast and fish it properly. Some people may view the BX Swimmer as a small swimbait, but whatever your take is on it, a swimbait rod is definitely not necessary. Just about any bass rod with the proper ratings works quite well, especially a longer one with some “give” in the upper portion. Having some flex in the tip section not only allows the rod to load a bit better for longer casts, but also helps prevent the dual trebles from ripping out during an intense fight.

A clear, lightly fished pond is the perfect place to toss a BX Swimmer!

Retrieve: Unlike some large plugs, the BX Swimmer actually sinks slowly. Something really cool about the bait is that it will sit on the bottom at a slight nose-down angle. During my tests both baits I tried would come to rest in this fashion every single time.

The length and profile of the bait appeals to more than just big fish.

Next Section: Fish at multiple speeds









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