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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Monday, October 27, 2008

• Rapala Shallow Shad Rap (SSR)

Rapala is a favorite brand for many bass fishermen out there. On more than one occasion, I have mentioned that Rapala lures might be seen as an infomercial brand. Rapala has always come through for me. The Shallow Shad Rap is just one of the many Rapala products that do the job.

The Shallow Shad Rap (SSR) is a single bodied shallow swimming jerkbait in the Shad Rap family. The SSR is available in three different sizes which cover different depths ranging the smallest SSR05, mid-range SSR07, and largest SSR09. The SSR has a balsa wood body construction and two treble hooks attached via split rings. There is a tapered contour on each side of the lure behind the painted red gills and I assume this design has something to do with the action Rapala intended. The lip design is also very unique. The lip has a square vertical design, but protrudes horizontally at a slight angle with a rounded edge at the front. It is a floating lure which covers swimming depths from 1 to 8 feet. When fishing for bass, you will want to use a casting technique incorporating either a straight retrieve or a sequence of twitches. This lure can also be used as a topwater bait when twitched along the surface. The design is meant to mimic a minnow by creating a somewhat tight wobble and shimmer. Unlike some of the similar Shad Rap lures, rattles are not inside of this model. Rapala recommends using the Rapala knot when using the SSR, although if you have a loop knot you prefer, give it a try. To tie the Rapala knot, download Rapala's brief knot diagram available in PDF format.
http://www.rapala.com/downloads/download.php?f=lures_knot.pdf - Photo

silver, walleye, baby bass, shad, perch, crawdad, bluegill, silver fluorescent chartreuse, blue, firetiger, hot steel, purpledescent, hot tiger, yellow perch

Size/Weight: 2 1/2" long, 3/16oz
Two Size #6 Treble Hooks
Dives to 1-6 feet

Size/Weight: 2 3/4" long, 1/4oz
Two Size #5 Treble Hooks
Dives to 1-7 feet

Size/Weight: 3 1/2" long, 3/8oz
Two Size #3 Treble Hooks (Some retail sites say size 1)
Dives to 3-8 feet

My experience with the SSR
I use the Shallow Shad Rap right out of the package without any modifications. However, I might rig it with a split shot for improved casting distance. Round or oval split rings can be added to the nose to change the action, but I prefer fishing the SSR without a split ring. Suspend strips will help keep this lure at the desired depth longer. The original treble hooks are sharp and do just fine. Light tackle with a spinning reel might give you an advantage, but I use a baitcaster with a ML rod with little difficulty. Shallow crankbaits can benefit from using a rod with a soft tip in addition to light line anywhere from 8 to 12lb test. Since this lure is designed to perform in shallow water, I am torn between using fluorocarbon or my favorite copolymer line. Although fluorocarbon tends to sink, the sensitivity may outweigh the risk of running too deep for example. My favorite color for any shallow crankbait is a silver shad pattern, but consider water clarity when picking out the right color. You already know I firmly believe confidence trumps color.

Fishing the SSR may require adjusting your technique until you learn how it moves. The wiggle is somewhat tight and since the lure floats, timing could mean everything. A crankbait like this can be fished fast or slow. Bass infrequently bite a jerkbait or shallow crank fished fast in my experience. A slow to mid-range retrieve appears to give the presentation you want. In addition to a simple steady retrieve, the SSR can be fished using a series of quick twitches on slack line which provides that momentary recoil in between snaps of the rod. The Shad Rap will dart to the side when twitched in this fashion, but I do not let the lure float. At the end of the twitch, I resume the retrieve with very little pause in between. The square lip adds to the side to side twitching action, but may also make the lure somewhat snag resistant. The buoyancy of balsa wood also makes this lure more resistant to snags as you bump it around.

The SSR is a perfect little shallow water bait and should be an addition to your arsenal if you want to cover that skinny water. It can serve as a substitute for another shallow diving jerkbait such as the Rapala Original Floater or an alternative to a topwater lure. A subtle lure change like that could mean the difference between a slow day and an exciting one.


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


Anonymous said...

i bass fish and that bait is good but i prefer a dt firetiger or a skitter prop