I‘m a liberal leaning outdoorsman attempting to open the minds of right wingers to the idea that libs fish too. Anglers come from all walks of life, left, right, and center. Not everyone who fishes for bass is a redneck fond of Nascar, country music, and religiosity. Expect posts about largemouth bass fishing, techniques, reviews of lures and other products, but not any condemnable conservative rants. I hope to inspire the online angler community to dial down rhetoric which will do more harm than good to our sport.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

• Rapala Jointed Shad Rap (JSR)

As I've said in the past, discussions on crankbaits can wind up becoming very detailed and sometimes even passionate. Crankbaits come in many different shapes and sizes and in turn, are fished using different techniques. Rapala is a favorite for some and nothing more than an infomercial lure to others. I happen to like lures made by Rapala. The Rapala JSR is just one of my favorites.

The Rapala JSR (Jointed Shad Rap) is a jointed crankbait and is another member of the popular Shad Rap family. Rapala makes three different models of the JSR; the JSR04, JSR05, and JSR07. The JSR has a plastic body construction and black nickel vanadium pyramid point (cone cut) hooks. It is both a suspending and rattling crankbait. Each model dives to a different depth. The three models cover running depths from 4 to 15 feet. The strange thing is, when I bought my JSR I could have sworn the box said its running depth was 5 to 7 feet. You will want to use this crankbait with a casting or trolling technique. The design is meant to mimic a distressed minnow by creating a wide wobble. Rattles are inside to accentuate this wounded baitfish presentation. Rapala recommends tying the double loop knot onto the JSR. To tie the double loop knot, download Rapala's brief knot diagram available in PDF format. It is very similar to a clinch knot.

Double Loop Knot1
1. Run line through the eyelet. Run free end through the eyelet again, creating a loop. Leave 5" of free end.
2. Wrap free end around standing part of line 6 times. Pass free end through back of loop.
3. Moisten line and draw up tight. Trim excess.

It comes in many of the usual Rapala colors that we've come to know. I tend to use the one in Parrot although I believe you should use the color you are most confident using. Perch is another very popular color.
Colors: Perch, Hot Perch, Shad, Silver Shad, Crawdad, Firetiger, Parrot, Baby Bass, Red Crawdad, Fire Crawdad, Brown Crawdad, Blue Shad, Silver Shad, Walleye, Chartreuse/Black

Size/Weight: 1 1/2", 3/16oz
Size 8 & 10 hooks
Running depth: 1.2 to 1.8m (~4-6ft)

Size/Weight: 2", 1/4oz
Size 6 & 7hooks
Running depth: 1.8 to 3.9m (~6-12ft)

Size/Weight: 2 3/4", 7/16oz
Size 4 hooks
Running depth: 2.1 to 4.5m (~7-15ft)

I make many of the same changes that I do on the Rapala DT series crankbait. I replace the front hook with a size four or six VMC Sure Set hook. I leave the treble hook in the back alone. I make sure the large hook on the SS hook faces down. Most of my strikes are hooked with the SS hook and not the rear hook. You can put a Sure Set hook on the back, but in my experience it does a lot of extra damage both to the mouth of a fish and sometimes to its eyes and body.

When Do I use the JSR?
First and foremost, I make sure I'm using it in water that isn't too shallow. I put the Jointed Shad Rap second in line after the DT-6 and if I know the fish are there and not biting, I give them something different to look at with the JSR. I use a much similar technique that I do with the DT. Straight cast and retrieve does work with repetitive results, but a varied retrieve with pauses and jerks of the rod tends to work much more productively for me. It can really draw out strikes when my DT doesn't. Use this lure's ability to suspend to your advantage. Mix it up a little and experiment with your retrieve. You will know when you've found the right presentation the fish want. The action in this lure is transmitted right to the end of your rod, so you'll even feel the slightest strike with the right gear. Help it get down to the desired depth by using light line or fluorocarbon.

I have not experienced any problems with this lure. The body and lip are both durable. The action meets my expectations. The lure dives to the desired depth without much fuss. I've caught white bass, largemouth bass, channel catfish, drum, and even one crappie with this lure. You'll find reviews from people who also use them for pike, walleye, and trout. By now, I'm sure your tackle box is getting full. If we kept every lure in our box that a review told us to, we'd weigh ourselves down and never get any fishing done. I will say to make some room for a few of these to cover various depths. They come in very handy when you can't find a bite.

1. Rapala. "'How To' Properly Tie On A Rapala" < http://www.rapala.com/pdfs/instructions/lures_knot.pdf > 2008. July 22, 2008.
2. Rapala Jointed Shad Rap Parrot. [Online SWF Object] Available < http://www.rapala.com/products
/lures.swf?model=jointed_shad_rap >, 2008. July 22, 2008.

Related Posts:
Rapala SSR
Rigging Crankbaits
Review: VMC Sure Set Hooks
Rapala DT-6
Rapala Original Floating Minnow


Anonymous said...

Valuable comment . Yes, I am interested in replacing front hooks also . How is this done ? I have never replaced hooks before and I do not know how to do it . Can the rear hooks be eliminated altogether or will that interfere with the retrieve action ? Thanks for being a source of factual information .

BassFishingDem said...

I'm not sure if removing the rear hook changes the action nor could I begin to say whether it would change it in a good or bad way. It's always worth experimenting.

I would compare removing hooks to removing a key from a key ring. The hooks on the JSR are attached with split rings, so imagine the split ring is like a very small key ring. The easiest way to go about it would be to change the hook at the same time you remove the first one. I use my thumbnail to first open the split ring wide enough to slide the eye of the treble hook between. At this point, also slide the eye of the new hook in behind the old. Continue turning and advancing both hooks until the first comes off and the new hook slips on. Be careful as to not hook yourself in the process.

Let me know if that helped. It sounds like a good idea for a new post though.

Anonymous said...

Just got into dummy baits this year and have to say that ive been more productive than ever. Many fish were way above my average. I have used shallow 2-4 ft crank baits while trolling and have also produced nicely on overcast days. I just got the new x-rap jointed shad which runs at depths of 4-8 feet and i cannot wait to use it. My point being, great post. I couldnt find a descent review.