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Lure Review

Advanced trapping with Bass pro Shop's XPS Extreme Rattle Shad

Date: 9/01/03
Tackle type: Lure
Manufacturer: BassPro
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 8.50

Bass Pro puts a new spin on the art of trapping with what they consider to be a souped up rattling shad. We take a look at the XPS Extreme Rattle Shad to see just what all the noise is about.

Bass Pro XPS Laser Eye Extreme Rattle Shad Specifications

Material Plastic, metal bearings
Weight 1/2 oz
Length 3"
Type Lipless
Colors/Patterns 16 Available
Diving Depth Sinking
MSRP $2.49ea (Clearance Price) Regularly priced at  $4.99

Traps have been around for over 50 years, and Bill Lewis’s original Rat-L-Traps are undoubtedly the most popular, but Bass Pro's XPS Rattle Shad has been gaining a devoted following. One common misconception about this style of lure is that it is only designed to target largemouth bass, but in reality lipless traps are effective for Muskie, Pike, Bass, Stripers, Reds, and even some trout. When I first took a look at the XPS Rattle Shad it did indeed look like a souped up Rat-L-Trap. The XPS design includes a unique profile, scale texture, and liberal use of holographic layering to increase the flashiness of the lure.


The XPS Rattle Shad is very detailed and features use of holographic skin and eyes in it's construction


Design: Rat-L-Traps have always focused on unique sound and shape all designed to trigger reactions from fish. Basspro believes that by adding in more realistic baitfish features the XPS can further increase the effectiveness of this type of lure. Bassp Pro enlists a 10 stage manufacturing process to build each lure. These steps include a multi-chamber build, construction of the body, holographic laser taping, attaching the raised 3D eyes, painting, finishing, and coating. The overall result is a lure that really looks like a genuine baitfish. The holographic tape does increase the flashiness of the lure, but one very nice addition to add extra stimulus is the feathertail. The lure certainly looked like a million bucks, but how well would it perform?

Field Tests:
We tested the XPS rattle shad on largemouth and striped bass in local reservoirs and the California Delta.

For the tests I used:

Complete Test Rig for testing the XPS Extreme Rattle Shad

Rod Bass Pro ETX66MHT-3 (6'6)
Reel Quantum Energy E600PT
Line 12lb Trilene XL

The XPS rattle shad is a compact lure that can be thrown endlessly without almost any effort. The lure is well weighted and the metal rattles will rest in the lowest part of the chamber, weighting the cast. It is a real pleasure to cast this lure, because it not only can be cast a long way …but quite precisely as well. This is a perfect lure to throw with a good baitcaster, as accuracy and speed can help anglers fish this lure successfully by positioning in the right strike zones.

The finish is detailed but did take some damage with constant collision with structure

Retrieving: Part of the reason that lipless crankbaits like the XPS Rattle Shad are so popular among tournament anglers is due to the ability to fish the lure at any depth, and at any speed. Unlike many other baits the method in which you choose to fish the XPS Rattle Shad can be altered with each and every cast. One of the characteristics of a good lipless crank is the amount of sound and flash that the lure can generate. Because the lure may be retrieved deep the visual and sonic elements of the lure must be amplified. The XPS Rattle Shad accomplishes this nicely with the use of the shiny holographic finish, enlarged eyes, feather tail, and multi-chambered rattle body.

The top of the lure features a rigid control fin which helps the lure run true

When I was first learning how to fish I often pondered how my more experienced angler partners fishing the same lipless crankbait, on the same boat, along the same structure, could draw more then three times the number of strikes then I could. The answer is in the technique. While you could simply toss the XPS Rattle Shad and retrieve you are much more likely to catch fish if you properly plan your presentation. During our tests I found that my formula for trapping bass worked well with the XPS Rattle Shad.

I would first chuck the XPS Rattle Shad out over the structure and make a pass with a steady fast retrieve. I would repeat this fast retrieve a number of times to see if I could get a shallow reactionary bite. If there were no takers then I would count down after the cast, then vary my retrieve to work the middle of the strike zone for suspending fish. Finally if there was still no action I would allow the XPS Rattle Shad to drop to the very bottom and pull up on the rod tip, bouncing and dropping the lure all the way back to the boat. Often times even the wariest fish will strike at this point either because they view the lure as an easy target, or are simply annoyed with the bait bouncing within their dwellings. By doing this 3 phase trapping you will effectively work all areas of the water column, tapping into multiple strike zones, and presenting to both active and leisurely fish.

Mustad hooks and a very nice feathertail are excellent additions


Durability: The XPS Rattle Shad is not as durable as flat finished Rat-L-Traps, because the textured surface is more prone to damage. But overall the lure is very long-lasting and did a good job holding up to collisions with structure. I was most impressed by how well the feather trailer held up to the attacks of Stripers. After 40+ fish the lure only had one noticeable area where some of the finish had flaked off. The performance of the lure still remained as good as new.

The perfect lure to toss into schooling Stripers at any depth

Price: A very good price for such a detailed and feature rich lure. One of the reasons the price is so low is because Bass Pro is considering to discontinue this lure now that the new Tri-Vibe lipless crank has been introduced. But the XPS Rattle Shad remains my choice due to it's proven fish catching ability and the fact that the Ti-Vibe does not come with a feather tail. For less then $2.50 this lure is a great deal!



Bass Pro XPS Laser Eye Extreme Rattle Shad Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Great construction, Bass Pro did a great job with this entry into the lipless crank market. The holographic finish and detailed scaling is top notch 9
Performance Works great at varying depths. Worked well for both largemouth and stripers. The feather tail definitely steps up performance 9
Price A fantastic clearance price! originally $4.99, Basspro recently put this lure on clearance for 2.49 9.5
Features The XPS Rattle Shad has all the features found in other traps with the addition of a more detailed finish and a feather tail 8.5
Design (Ergonomics) Good design but not as many color choices as the competition 7
Application Good for multiple applications due to diving depth and action, but limited color choices may limit use on varying species 8

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Great detail in design L Limited Colors available
J Feather Tail adds effect L May be discontinued soon
J Flashy holographic finish  
J Great Clearance Price!  

Conclusion: The XPS Rattle Shad is among the most flexible lures an angler can have in their arsenal. This is one hardbait that you can fish at almost any depth, with retrieves varying from burn to crawl. Not only does this lure work, but it's priced below the competition! This lure may not be around much longer as BassPro has put the remaining inventory on clearance for $2.49. I highly recommend that anglers pick up one of these proven performers before they are discontinued. Once you own one be sure to vary your retrieves and consciously plan your attack, as the XPS Rattle Shad is a great choice for searching fish out at all depths. 

Until next time....Tight Lines!

Link directly to Bass Pro XPS Rattle Shad Clearance Sale Page









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