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Lure Review

Slash’em Farther Down with Rapala’s X-Rap Deep

Date: 2/6/08
Tackle type: Lures
Manufacturer: Rapala
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 7.13 - GOOD

Rapala expands on their popular X-Rap series with the new X-Rap Deep series which is designed to target deeper holding fish near the 10 foot depth with the same slashing action of the original. We test the lure to see just how effective the bait is at deeper depths and how it compares to the well received original.

Rapala (XRD10) X-Rap Deep Specifications

Type Modified Jerk Bait
Class Deep Diving "Slashbait"
Material Plastic
Colors/Patterns 13+
Weight 7/16oz
Size 4"
Diving Depth 5'-10'
Hook size No. 4 & 5
MSRP $7.29

The original Rapala X-Rap was an exciting lure for many anglers who found the “slashing” side by side action of the hard snap retrieve a welcome change from the traditional tight wobble of many jerkbaits. The X-Rap is as Rapala calls it "all about the action" and is designed to trigger strikes with its erratic range of motions. Unlike many Japanese lures that make use of highly detailed exterior finishes, Rapala uses a more abstract design underneath a layer of plastic which showcases scales and a lateral line on the fuselage which captures light and flashes with each snap.


The X-Rap Deep features everything anglers love about the original with the addition of a deep diving lip


This is a lure that is designed for aggressive fishing, and anglers find themselves working the rod a variety of ways to move the bait, or can simply retrieve for a tight wobble return. The choice is up to the angler who defines the cadence, and we have found in most situations the more aggressive the retrieve the more effective the bait has been, especially when ripping for stripers.


The large lifelike eye reminds us of shiner baitfish


Since the original X-Rap’s introduction many anglers have yearned for a deeper version to have the flexibility to fish the same bait while targeting fish holding over deeper structure. The original is capable of reaching a 5 foot depth, but most anglers on a normal retrieve will find that the bait runs between 3-4 feet on average. Last season Rapala answered the call with the new X-Rap Deep which is available in 13 color patterns, and designed to exhibit the same type of action and performance, just at a lower running depth.


The lip on this lure isn't all that thick, but is shaped to easily deflect off subsurface structure


Real World Test: To test the X-Rap Deep we head to Clear Lake armed with both the new deep diving models as well as the originals to compare the differences in action and performance. The ultra clear water’s of the lake were ideal for witnessing just how deep we could get the lures, and how the depth affected the slashing action.


The lure features a slender rounded profile


Casting: The X-Rap Deep weighs in at 1/4oz for the 3 1/8” size and 7/16oz for the 4” size this is almost identical to the original X-Rap, as the main difference between the two lures is the enlarged lip design. The lures do have some weighting internally which not only helps with the action but the casting as well. All in all the X-Rap Deep like the original is a reasonably good caster. You won’t have difficulty getting the lure out to your intended targets when paired with a light enough line.


Compare the new diving lip to the original


Retrieving: Let’s look back and explore why Rapala originally called the X-Rap a “slashbait” rather than a jerkbait. The main reason being that there are various ways to fish the bait that incite an aggressive side to side track rather than just a tight lurch forward like most jerkbaits. There are really three ways to retrieve this lure: constant, hard snap, or sweep retrieve. A “constant” retrieve is a continual draw of line and no movement of the rod. When retrieving this style the lure imparts very little action, and we had little success with this technique getting fish to even follow, let alone strike. The key to fishing the X-Rap successfully is a creative and aggressive retrieve. In most cases this requires plenty of movement with your rod.


The X-Rap Deep weighs just about the same as the original and is as easy to cast accurately and over reasonable distances


As with the original I found the most effective way to fish the deeper lure was with a “snap” retrieve. With the rod tip pointed towards the water use a short pull, pull, pull, then a pause. This creates an aggressive forward snap movement that causes the lure to come back to you via a very narrow track. The X-Rap deep will move side to side erratically and entice active fish to take interest almost immediately. This technique is certainly harder to employ on the deeper diver as the lure’s lip is designed more for depth, and your angler on the lure in shallower water is more advantageous to the technique, but with the right rod it can be done.


The tail hook on the X-Rap Deep lures are dressed like the originals


When you get too tired of rapid and aggressive jerks the “sweep” retrieve is another way to effectively fish the X-Rap Deep. Use the entire rod and move the tip in smooth sweep, sweep, and pause motions. This causes the X-Rap Deep to glide side to side in less erratic motions and the lure comes back on a much wider track. If the fish are not very active or suspended in deeper water then this technique should be more effective.


The lures are armed with quality hooks


Next Section: The retrieve continues









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