Founded in 1936 by Lauri Rapala, Rapala is synonymous with top of the line fishing gear, accessories, and lures. Their balsa wood minnow known as the “Original Floater” remains one of the favorite lures of fishermen and was the main culprit in many anglers’ favorite stories of the one that got away that was often recited by their grandfather.
Almost 80 years later, Rapala is still going strong with 20 million sales a year in over 140 different countries. Their baits are rugged, sturdy, can survive saltwater, and are equipped with some heavy duty hooks for those monster fish. Their unique balsa wood lures are something fish simply cannot resist.
We have made a survey among the most avid anglers, trying to figure out which Rapala lures are considered to be the most popular as well as the most effective from the point of view of experts. And here is the list of leaders:
Original Floating Minnow
The bait that started it all, the Original Floating Minnow is still one of the best Rapala lures. This timeless classic is useful in stop-and-go, steady retrieve as a shallow runner, or as a twitch bait. The Original Floating Minnow has proved its versatility in numerous situations over the years and has proven its power as the fish can’t stop biting. This legendary bait attracts a variety of fish and if someone wants to be considered a “serious” angler, then this bait has to be in their tackle box.
The Flat Rap (especially silver color) is also considered a highly effective bait offered by Rapala. This lure features flat sides with a triangle base crafted out of balsa wood and mimics a wounded minnow. The Flat Rap has a slow rising response time if used as a steady retrieve. This lure is perfect when fishing for bluefish, bass, and sea robins.
Down Deep Husky Jerk
Another one of the most popular Rapala fishing lures is the Down Deep Husky Jerk 10 in firetiger color. Due to its oversized diving lip, this lure can reach a depth of 20 feet when trolling or 10 feet when used in a cast and retrieve situation. Its internal rattle chamber sends an enticing tune to that lunkers ear and they just have to come and say hello. Each Down Deep Husky Jerk is hand-tuned and tank-tested to ensure that it has that perfect swimming action straight out of the box.
X-Rap Magnum 30
A favorite among contending fisherman, the X-Rap Magnum 30 (silver blue mackerel color is considered to be one of the most popular) are set to swim right out of the box and there is no need for fine tuning. The enormous diving lip sends this bad boy deep without any form of assistance. The X-Rap Magnum 30 is versatile given its 4X VMC Perma Steel hooks yet it is sturdy enough to withstand saltwater at 13 knots to contest the biggest of game fish, worldwide.
Backed by IGFA records, the Countdown Magnum by Rapala is the world’s number one saltwater hard bodied lure. This bait enjoys the beating it takes by the likes of blues, tarpon, tuna, and other big competitors. Fish seem to enjoy the redhead color the best (I guess the old saying is true, redheads do have more fun!) and they love sinking their teeth into that African Abachi wood. The Countdown Magnum swim true at any speed whether you use them when casting or trolling. In fact, the Countdown Magnum has the honor of catching more world record fish than any other Rapala bait. That precedent alone sends many anglers into a panic to find and stock this mythological bait.
Rapala Jointed 13, 5 1/4″
Featuring a slight embellishment, the Rapala Jointed 13, 5 1/4″ blue colored bait turns those finicky eating fish into hungry devourers of all things Rapala. This “broken back” bait grabs the undivided attention of those monster fish who are feeling sluggish. Due to its slow swimming action, this bait is best used after a cold front when fish tend to avoid even their favorite food. Constructed from balsa wood and featuring VMC black nickel hooks, each lure is hand-tuned and tank-tested for perfect operation from the package to the water.
X-Rap Shad 06
Fish seem to love the X-Rap Shad 06 (olive green color is considered to be the favorite among anglers) and the unique action and vibration that it displays. With its unique slow and steady retrieve, it bribes that big fish with an easy catch until this shallow runner revs up to insane mode and offers all of the crazy eruptions that X-Rap baits are known for. This sends the fish into a feeding frenzy as bass and gar seem to be on a search and destroy mission for this tantalizing lure.
Ike’s Custom Ink DT
Ike’s Custom Ink DT (which stands for Dives-To) Crankbait series lure designed by artisan bass angler Mike Iaconelli summons fish like no other. Famous for customizing and “tweaking” his baits to fit his own personal tastes, Mike “Ike” splashes this bait with unique colors and sparkling customizations. Fish seem to go “old school” with this one as that color seems to hook more fish than any other pigment. This bait works best at a target depth and is a great tool for catching bass, muskie, and crappie right off the dock.
Glass Shad Rap 04, 1.5”
Another iconic bait associated with Rapala is the Glass Shad Rap 04, 1.5” (glass purple shad). This bait is molded with high-impact plastic and holographic foil and it picks up the color of its surrounding and bounces it back in an ominous glow. The Glass Shad Rap features a unique wobble, holographic eye, and suspends when at rest making it perfect for rivers and lakes. Anglers have reported catching sabaletas, truchas, tilapias, and more with this bait.
Rapala X-Rap Pop 07, 2 3/4″
Finally, one of the best Rapala lures is the Rapala X-Rap Pop 07, 2 3/4″ (yellow perch color) and it features a deep cupped lip and loud pop and splash action grabbing the attention of that lunker waiting to pounce. The Rapala X-Rap Pop has realistic scales, a feathered tail hook, and works well for those long casts. This bait is useful in both fresh and saltwater and is perfect for picking up bass hiding by a group of trees.
Considering Rapala has such an arsenal in their lineup, it’s no question as to why they’ve remained one of the top fishing lure companies for decades. The company always strives to improve their already perfect lineup of Rapala lures and anglers are anxious to see what the company has in store all fishing enthusiasts.