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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Erik asked a question about X-Rap fishing, so rather then clutter up the other thread I'll post my thoughts here.

I normally use the XR8 or XR10 sizes. The ghost is actually my least favorite color. For some reason, even when the bite is hot, I can't get anything going on it. I have multiples of just about every color. To start with my two favorite are perch and clown. Normally what I do though is make 10-20 casts with one color and then switch. Often when I know fish are holding in an area I get a few fish on one color, they shut off, then I am able to get a few more when I switch colors. When the slashbait bite is hot, I will repeat this all day long. I will also mix it up with LuckyCraft Pointers, Rogues, and Husky Jerks. All those have a little different action, and sometimes work better then others on given days. Probably the toughest thing to learn is the slash action of the bait. X-Raps have so much more to offer then traditional stick baits. Creating slack and having a good snap action is the biggest key. You should be hearing a loud audible snap on each jerk. I will reel down on the snap to make the bait action as violent as possible. Most fish will hit it on the pause as I raise the rod tip back up. Braid is important because of no stretch factor. I would not try this technique with mono. Its even better then a walking the dog motion because the action created is so erratic and unpredictable. It is hell on the wrist though.

Here are some pics from the Spring of 2006 when I really fished these baits hard. All the fish have various colored Raps (except one LuckyCraft fish) sticking out of their mouths so you can see that color variety really is important. Its an expensive investment, especially when pike like to steal them. As you can see it is a good walleye bait too on the occasion that they are feeding shallow.















 

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Well you have increased my confidence in them already. Like Erik, I have tried them a bunch, but just cant get into it. I actually first bought them just because they look so cool, especially the perch ones. :oops:

Dicks has 25% off Rapala right now. I just picked up a bunch of J11's and J13's last night.
 

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You have inspired me to try them more this season as well. I have a bunch of them but never really had much confidence in them. It looks like I need to give them a try again this spring. Thanks Matt.
 

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Great post Matt, a loud snap? hmmm I have never worked them that hard. Will give a go this season. The olive drab color is great for fishing the Fox.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
billyk said:
In the first photo I noticed alot of slimy, weedy junk. How did you get through that? billyk
Good question :wink:

That was a very random fish caught in a slop pocket. The cruising fish back in those weeds were ignoring plastic so I started casting the Raps at fish, keeping the rod tip at 12oclock and twitching just under the surface. That one got ticked and and turned and nipped at the bait right on the pause. I remember it well because I was suprised as heck that I made the cast, got to the fish without fouling up, and the fish actually hit it :p Normally I would pick a different bait in that situation but at the time I was still learning what the bait could and could not do.
 

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Great info Matt.

I've had great success with the X-Raps since tying my first one on a couple years back. They quickly replaced my arsenal of Husky Jerk's (which were a great confidence bait for me). An expensive investment for sure, and damn depressing when you snag one, but worth it in my opinion. Have you tried the largest model (#14 I think)? I've experienced decent success for pike on the DP and even a couple small muskie on the Fox last year.

Couple other questions for ya:

I noticed in at least one pic a snap swivel attached (or leader). How has that affected the bait's action/suspending ability? I've always had problems, so I will tie a barrel swivel and an 18" 20-25# flouro leader w/ spinning gear or tie it directly to my main line if using heavier braid on a baitcasting set-up.

Also, what is your opinion of the Lucky Craft Pointer? I've heard they are the best out of the box in terms of suspendabilty, which can be key in early Spring, but not sure if they are worth the even heftier price tag.

Thanks for the info, and good fishing.

Alex
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Al,

I have used the bigger models a few times but not enough to really form a solid opinion on them. I have also tried the deep divers but seem to have a problem getting the same action out of them as I do with the regular models. How has your luck been with the bigger models?
I go with small Berkley snap swivels so I can change baits quickly. I have not really had problems with a swivel impeding the action. Every once inawhile I will get the trebles snagged up on the main line but the same thing happens when I tie directly too. Normally I throw the baits on 6lb Fireline. I'd would prefer to throw it on 10, but the action of the bait is sacrificied too much.
I really like the LuckyCraft Pointers. The weight transfer makes for easy casting and the hooks are out of this world. Your right about the price. Usually I only buy one of two a year and almost always lose them to pike. This year I bought a live pointer which is around $25 but the action is truly amazing on these lures. They are a big step up from the Raps but I can't afford to stock up them though. Those baits too seem to really come alive on lighter line. It really sucks though. I've tried throwing 10 with no action. As soon as I change to 6 I start getting action, and usually the eventual biteoff :p It kind of feels like I am throwing a $20 bill in the water when that happens. With the X-Rap at least it is only about $5.
 

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I get a lot of hits fishing the DPR for pike using X-Raps, but my hookup percentage is a lot lower than I want it to be. I have no problems whatsoever with hookups on bass, so I was kinda wondering if its the hook or the angler with the pike. I know there are other factors, including the murkiness of the river and the fact the the action is so erratic that the fish may not be swallowing the lure. I've tried going with bigger hooks, which deadens the action, so I don't get as many hits, but I am hooking up 90 percent of the time. Overall, I think it's a killer lure and I think I'm going to buy different sizes to target different species.
 

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Rob,

I was having the same problems in Canada with the 14s I was using in our pike spots. What we found that helped was changing out the front treble with that strange treble with one longer hook. I think they are called the sure set hooks, but I could be wrong. It seemed like the pike would grab from the side, and not get the hooks into their mouth, so adding that one longer hook-point further back, we had (what seemed like) more hook-ups.

Matt,

it looks like those x-raps get a lot of water time on Delavan....... :wink: Nice fish bro!
 

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Awwww Crap! now im gunna drop my whole wallet into my tackle box for this technique if it starts workin for me :cry: . gret tips, i have only used mono on my x-raps, and never got as in depth as you have, now i know what it will take to get into this style. I think ill buy two more colors, throw em around in 09, and if nothin happens for me, ill leave this tactic to u. :)
 

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I just got a few- in ghost color :shock: maybe i can custom paint them. The rapala website has instructions on the x rap retrieve, its like Matt says. Its like a walk the dog but underwater and jerking it. I still havent got fish on them but x raps love getting snagged. Btw does rapala warranty lures if you bust them up casting into a rock?
 

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Wow, I gotta give those things a try. I'v never done well with jerkbaits, except the soft plastic kind :wink: I seem to do well with using flat cranks as jerkbaits in the spring. Time to add a wrinkle to my spring tactics...

I will say that I am disappointed in some of the pics Matt. An open can of Beer on the boat? Very disappointing indeed. How can you condone such behavior? ......drinking a Miller Lite, and not a Leiney's, or Sam Adams, or a plethora of other beers with actual flavor! :p
 

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I got a ticket in the forest preserve when they created the bottle rules. At court the judge asked what kind of beer and I told him lienies and he commented how at least I had a better beer for my 25 than the 10 people before me who had bud light etc... LOL
 

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Matt, I like X-raps, but am not a Die-hard for them 8) But God damn Dude!!! You have me Stoked!!!

I might have to throw therm more often... It is tempting, but I think mostly at Delavan during the Game Fish Opener more than anything :wink:

Thanks For the pics, They have me pumped and give me more confidence in the X-Rap! :D
 

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Sorry for the delayed response on the larger models of the X-Rap Matt...

The straight model (XR-14) caught me plenty of pike on the DP, though I would have hook-up issues w/ smaller fish, as was previously mentioned in the thread. I managed a couple pig smallies on the Fox last year as well, though no teethy critters yet.

The model I really like is the large jointed model (has more of a shad-like body). Runs a little deeper than the straight model but has great action either as a slash bait or when straight cranked, especially sloooooow when the water is cold or the fish are in a negative mood, plus they suspend perfectly right out of the box. Caught & raised plenty of muskie with those models and a couple behemoth bass as well. The muskie in my avatar was actually raised twice on the perch colored model the previous day and that afternoon before he fell victim to a topwater that night.

Alex
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for the feedback Alex. I remember trying the larger jointed model for about 1 hour a few years ago. One follow, no fish later and it has been collecting dust in my big bait box ever since. I'll have to dust it off and give it some exercise this year.
 
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