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Lure Review

Year of the Crank Bait Review : Rapala's DT Flat 9 (continued)

Coming through the water, the DTF09 is outfitted with a coffin billed lip which is sort of a hybrid of a square bill and round bill. Advocates of this style bill say the angled sides give the crank a more erratic action as it bounces off the rocks and because the front edge of the bill is more narrow than a traditional square bill, there’s less chance of it getting caught. I’m not sure I buy into the reasoning as I was able to get the DTF09 stuck just as easily as any other crank.

...and very narrow back section.

Fortunately, when this bait does get stuck, feeding in some slack line is usually all it takes to get it to back out so you can continue with your retrieve. It is very good about diving down and backing back up and inspires confidence in and around rocky terrain.

The DT Flat is available in a wide array of patterns that hold true to the traditional to the Rapala detailing.

Things get a bit trickier in and around brush – especially around the dragon bushes at El Novillo Lake in Mexico. I lost plenty of baits in that stuff including a DTF09 or two, but the brush in that lake is a little uncommon and despite the limited number of breakoffs, I was able to get the DTF09 out of those snarls most of the time. I imagine the success rate in submerged brush that does NOT have thorns would be even higher.

Coffin billed lips are supposed to offer more structure deflection performance than standard square billed lips because there's less of a forward, leading edge to get caught. That certainly didn't stop me from losing a few baits at El Novillo Lake in Mexico.

During the retrieve, the DTF09 dives competently but not necessarily instantaneously as one might expect from the marketing literature. Viewed in clear water with a small diameter ten pound fluorocarbon, the diving angle of this bait was pretty average. On the other hand, the action of this lure was as expected, tight and somewhat reminiscent of the Shad Rap with the difference here being not only the DTF09’s larger profile, but also the fact that the DTF09 has some very subtle rattles inside the bait – the original Shad Rap is silent.

But one thing is for certain, this bait catches fish!

Durability wise, the finish and bill on the DTF09 held up very well and even the thin wire hooks that came with the bait posed on problems though long term, I think I’d prefer to switch out to something just a tad more stout.

Ratings: (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide):

Rapala DTF09 Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Typical Rapala Quality 8
Performance Swims and dives well, although it did not seem to dive any faster than other cranks we've fished 7.5
Price Nothing to break the wallet 7.5
Features Coffin billed lip, balsa construction 8
Design (Ergonomics) Not the most natural looking bait, but effective 7.5
Application Good in and around cover and of course in situations where you can make it deflect off the bottom 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:


J There's something about the appeal of wood cranks L While not outrageous, for some, the $8 price point for a "non-exotic" brand might be a bit much to overcome.
J Casts well  
J Ran true out of the box  

It's nice to see that Rapala hasn't lost their touch. Though this bait in particular is a bit of a departure from their more natural looking baits like the Shad Rap I find it refreshing that they're still using wood. Certainly there is more consistency bait to bait with the more modern plastic baits, but wooden baits have that old school appeal and when you find one that works and is somewhat affordable at the same time, all the better. Thank you Rapala for another fine bait product and for this opportunity to get reacquainted.












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