Rapala Shadow Rap

Rapala Shadow Rap

Rapala Shadow Rap

by February 17, 2016

The Rapala Shadow Rap is a new addition to the Rapala family of jerkbaits. It was released during the 2015 Bassmaster Classic and is currently widely available for sale in practically every tackle retailer.

Our team was excited about the Shadow Rap’s release. Finally, Rapala would be offering a jerkbait with some JDM traits that anglers are looking for. There has been a huge push into the North American market by JDM manufacturers, and the trend is now everything JDM. Rapala seems to be responding to the market shift and trying to fill that niche.

Lets get to it, shall we?

Rapala Shadow Rap Product Features

  • 3 VMC treble hooks
  • 4-1/4″ inches long
  • weighs in at 7/1-oz
  • Dives 2 to 4-ft; slow sinking
  • 14 colors to choose from
  • flat-sided
  • Erratic darting action
  • fixed weighting system
  • MSRP $8.99 USD
Rapala Shadow Rap color chart

There are lots of great color options and some familiar patterns for clear water fishing

Rapala Shadow Rap

Out of the box, the Rapala Shadow Rap is a great looking bait.

Pros

I love the design of the body on the Shadow Rap. It has the JDM look that anglers are seeking these days and its design is clearly inspired by that trend. When I first opened the packaging, it seemed like a high quality bait and the hooks were very sharp- sticky sharp, which is a good thing.

For Rapala to produce a JDM style jerkbait is not really a pro in terms of this review when you think about it, it’s just Rapala trying to keep up with shifts in the marketplace. But it is something that Rapala fans will definitely love.

The color choices are well thought out and there are several inlays that give the Shadow rap the holographic finish which many, more expensive, baits have. Rapala offers several great colors that would be amazing for northern smallmouth.

The pricing is also “a pro”. The Shadow Rap has an MSRP of $8.99 USD and is comparably priced when you compare it to other jerkbaits on the market.

The Shadow Rap seems to offer all the qualities that anglers search for when choosing a high quality JDM bait. Rapala seems to have produced a lure that looks and feels much like its JDM counterparts.

Cons

When writing up this review I could only find two issues with this bait. One of them is a critical fail and I have added a video which illustrates this point very well. Check it out below:

If you watched the video you can clearly see cracking that the Shadow Rap suffers when under stress. This is catastrophic to its use as a jerkbait. Online, there are several accounts of this bait filling with water and becoming totally useless as a jerkbait. I don’t know if the problem lies with manufacturing, quality control or plastic being too brittle, but a jerkbait that doesn’t perform is a major issue. Looking at the Shadow Rap’s manufacturing, I found out that it is assembled in Estonia and designed in Finland. There’s a lot to be said about where a bait is manufactured.

When looking at the Shadow Rap, I would love it if it was a suspending jerkbait. I know that it is designed to be slow sinking to mimic a dying baitfish, however it would be cool if the Shadow Rap had a suspending version.

On The Water

The Shadow Rap performed well when I was fishing with it. It cast well and had a predictable slow sinking action. When I jerked the bait, it had an erratic action and kicked quite far; not as far as Rapala claims (they claim 180 degrees). However that may depend on angler skill, tackle etc.

As I mentioned in my video, I caught a few fish on the Shadow Rap and did not notice the cracks that had developed as the day went on. The cracks on my trial bait did not get bad enough to let water into the bait and because of this the action was in line with what Rapala claimed. However, there were cracks, so who knows how long it would be until my bait filled up and failed totally.

In conclusion it is such a disappointment to have a lure by an otherwise reputable manufacturer, fail like it did during this review. The Shadow Rap has the potential to be a huge hit if Rapala can address the cracking issue.

It would be really interesting if they developed a suspending Shadow Rap – without the cracking of course!

Tight Lines!

Review Summary

Details about this item
Price
3.5out of 5
Fishability/ Lure Performance
2out of 5
Color Selection
3out of 5
Finish Quality
3.5out of 5
Manufacturing Quality
1out of 5
Design/ Innovation
3out of 5
Overall

The Shadow Rap has the potential to be a great addition to the Rapala lineup and fills a growing demand for JDM style jerkbaits. It is reasonably priced and color selection is pretty good. The only problem (which is huge) is that the lure cracks and can't fulfill its primary function. When it cracks, it becomes useless. Rapala needs to address this critical fail point in their design and manufacturing asap! Without this fail, the Shadow Rap would have had a high review score.

2.67

Fair
2.67 out of 5

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