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Complete list of all current ICAST 2014 coverage
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Glide Week : Riding the S-Wave!
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Abu Garcia Raises the Speed Bar with their Rocket!
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Daiwa’s Steez EX 100XS offers a Deadly Combination of Both Speed and Precision
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First look inside the new Curado I baitcaster
 


 


Lure Review


This isn't your daddy's Rapala crank, the new-fangled X-Rap "Slashbait" (continued)
 

My favorite way to fish the X-Rap is 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 will move side to side erratically and entice active fish to take interest almost immediately. This technique is fantastic in shallower water where fish are nearby and can’t help but notice the variable flashing. It was with this technique that we caught limits of stripers. The dressed up tail adds an appealing element to these lures when pursuing stripers. On days when anglers are hammering stripers with streamers and bucktails are the same days when the X-Rap will really deliver.

 

A bass explodes on the X-Rap as it is being retrieved right below the surface

 

When you get too tired of rapid and aggressive jerks the “sweep” retrieve is another way to effectively fish the X-Rap. Use the entire rod and move the tip in smooth sweep, sweep, pause motions. This causes the X-Rap to glide side to side in less erratic motions and the lure comes back on a much wider track. This technique can also be used in shallow water, but we found it less successful overall. If the fish are not very active or suspended in deeper water then this technique should be more effective. Whatever style you choose the X-Rap delivers a wide assortment of different actions.

 

A bass is landed on the X-Rap

 
Durability:
 
In terms of  durability the X-Rap is better than most. The coloring and finish is encased below the plastic body so that when the hooks come in contact with the body all that end up getting scratched is the transparent surface. After double digit striper attacks the lure still looked as good as new. The one area that is prone to more damage is the dressed hook which did lose feathers after using pliers to dislodge the hook from the jaws of multiple fish.

 

While the X-Rap was good in our bass tests it was downright excellent when it came time to fish for stripers

Applications: This is a entertaining bait to fish, and you can give your arms a serious workout depending how aggressively you desire your retrieve to be. I’m not sure how well this lure would really work on a Salmon or Trout, but I am positive that when it comes to Bass, Stripers, or Pike the X-Rap will trigger plenty of strikes. The erratic action of this lure can mimic fleeing baitfish or impersonate injured prey, it all depends how you work it. I also believe this lure will be very effective in pre-spawn situations when anglers can target extremely active fish. Still, if I had to pick just one application in which this lure will produce the most strikes it would have to be striper fishing. The lure's  peculiar side to side swimming action is just as deadly on "schoolie" fish as it is calling out the "big dawgs" to bite.

Since the XR10's introduction the series has grown in popularity. As a result Rapala has now introduced a smaller XR8 as well as magnum sized versions, saltwater versions, and even a jointed X-Rap. The X-Rap Magnum 30 is intended for saltwater use and doesn't have the same action as the XR-10 we tested, instead it is designed for unassisted trolling.

Schoolies or Hawgs, the X-Rap is irresistible to striped bass that followed and struck the lure without hesitation in our tests

 

Price: I find myself saying in a lot of  reviews “….all good things come to an end,” when I reach the price category. I’m happy to report that just isn’t the case with the reasonably priced X-Rap. There was a time when Rapala lures were considered expensive, and that time has long passed. The X-Rap is a great value at $6.99 retail. You can nearly buy 2 of them for the same price as some of the competing premium Japanese offerings. The X-Rap’s action isn’t better, or really worse for that matter, its just different than all the usual suspects….but when it comes to overall bang for the buck the X-Rap spanks the competition. 

  
Ratings:

Rapala (XR10) X-Rap Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality The Rapala X-Rap is a well built lure. It survived countless bass and striper strikes in our test. The only area that took damage was the teaser tail. Overall durability is very good 9
Performance This lure is great for aggressive fish, we found it exceptional for bass and stripers. The action is controlled by the angler and there are multiple ways to fish the lure effectively 9
Price Now days 6.99 for a jerkbait is considered pretty darn reasonable. Rapala is known for building quality lures and the X-Rap could have easily commanded a few extra dollars, but it is good to see that the company priced it in line with their other offerings 9
Features The lure has some nice features including a flash strip along the lateral line and a teaser tail. Overall the only weakness of the lure is that the lure's surface is not the most realistic in appearance because a lot of the design is under a thick wall of plastic 8
Design (Ergonomics) The lure is easy to cast but takes a little practice to get the right retrieve. It isn't as easy to use as a traditional jerkbait, nor will it run like one. Once you get the side to side "slash" down the lure can really produce 7
Application This bait can be used on a wide range of species. We love this lure for stripers where the erratic action drives fish into a frenzy. If you are looking for a traditional jerkbait then this isn't it, but if you are willing to spend the time to master the side to side action then the lure can be fished effectively in both shallow and deep water 8

Total Score

8.33


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J A new design from a proven brand L Not exactly a traditional jerkbait, if that's what you are looking for
J Dressed teaser tail L Not the most realistic finish
J Durability is fantastic  
J Angler defines the action  
J Reasonable price  


Conclusion: The X-Rap is probably the most exciting lure we have seen out of Rapala in recent seasons, and the company has done right by this new product. The X-Rap isn't just another "me too" lure, in fact with so much side to side action Rapala was justified in naming this lure a "slashbait" rather than a traditional jerkbait. While the lure is not the most detailed in design it does have a sophisticated beauty to it, most of which comes from the lure's clean lines and multi-layered finish in which the scales and flash come from within the lure rather than being painted on the surface. The reason this lure is popular among fish and fisherman is the many ways in which the lure can be presented in the water. Get creative with your retrieves and the lure will reward you with plenty of action. In fact we found an extremely aggressive retrieve was able to drive stripers into a frenzy. Point your rod tip down and "slash" up an aggressive bass and you just might find yet another Rapala "go-to" bait. No, this certainly isn't your daddy's Rapala crank, it's something quite different, and in many ways the X-Rap is actually better.

 

                           


 

 

 

 

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