How to Fish With Rapala Lures

Written by mike schoonveld
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How to Fish With Rapala Lures
(bait image by Zbigniew Nowak from Fotolia.com)

Rapala lures are some of the most popular sport fishing lures in the world. There are models made to catch nearly every species of game fish swimming in fresh or salt water. Rapala lures didn’t gain such success by being tricky to use but there are subtle methods experts use when fishing Rapalas and similar lures to up their chances for success.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Stainless steel split ring
  • Split ring pliers
  • Shallow diving Rapalas
  • Deep diving Rapalas
  • Various colours of Rapalas

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Check to see if your Rapala lure has a split ring installed at the factory where the fishing line attaches. Some models have them, others don’t.

  2. 2

    Check to see if the split ring on your Rapala lure is made of copper or stainless steel. The copper rings are copper coloured and usually installed on smaller-sized lures. When lures with copper rings are used to catch smaller-sized fish or weak fighting fish, they are sufficient to do the job. Often, when a large, hard fighting fish is hooked, this is the weak point in the connection between fisherman and fish and will fail.

  3. 3

    Remove the copper split ring.

  4. 4

    Use a split ring pliers to add an appropriately sized stainless steel split ring to the line connection point whether the lure came without a ring or you are replacing a copper split ring. Don’t tie the line directly to the connection loop on the nose or lip of the lure as doing so will impede the action of the lure.

  1. 1

    Cast the lure to a likely area or just beyond a likely spot so the lure will track past or through the fishy-zone on the retrieve.

  2. 2

    Retrieve the lure with a series of jerks and pauses. Since Rapala lures mimic the look of real fish, the pause allows the fish to get a good look at the lure, the jerk often triggers a strike when the predator fish thinks the bait is going to escape.

  3. 3

    Experiment with the length of the pauses and the extent of the jerks to determine which pattern the fish are most prone to strike.

  1. 1

    Choose a Rapala lure designed to dive on a retrieve to the depth you think the fish are holding. Some Rapalas only swim a foot or two under the water, others have oversized lips which make them dive down 15 feet or more.

  2. 2

    Cast the lure well past the area you think the fish are holding.

  3. 3

    Start reeling as soon as the lure splashes down in the water to make it dive quickly to the fish zone and continue cranking steadily to keep the lure at the preferred depth as long as possible.

  1. 1

    Put your boat in forward gear and drive it straight ahead as you drop the Rapala lure in the water and let out 50 to 100 feet of line.

  2. 2

    Engage the reel so no more line deploys while maintaining a steady speed and the lure will begin to swim along behind the boat.

  3. 3

    Choose different models of Rapala lures to make them swim near the surface or dive to medium or deep depths at trolling speeds.

  4. 4

    Drive the boat through areas you suspect fish to be holding and experiment with trolling a bit faster or slower to elicit more bites.

Tips and warnings

  • Rapala lures come in a variety of colours. Some mimic the natural bait present in many areas, others are painted in bright colours which make them more visible in dark waters or more tempting to certain species of fish. Experiment with several colours on each fishing trip to learn the preference of the fish on the day you are fishing.

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