A Shad Rap is a shad bodied lure that is manufactured by Rapala. The lure is grouped into a general category of fishing lures known as crankbaits.
It comes in several different types and sizes. The original shad raps were made of balsa wood and were available in 4 sizes and 21 colors. Other types of them are the RS version, which are made of plastic and the glass version.
Personally, my favorite is the RS. I have caught more kinds of fish on the RS's than any other kind of crankbait. What I like about them is that they can be casted, or trolled. They are made so well that they run true and they can be easily trolled. The problem with many crankbaits is that they either run to the left or right. This causes them to run up to the surface of the water and dragged, rendering them useless as you are trolling. I rarely ever have this problem with them.
Color choice depends heavily upon the body of water you are targeting. As a general rule, natural colors work well in clear water and bright colors work well in stained. Natural colors include silver-blue and shad and bright colors include firetiger.
An exception to this rule that I have found is that natural colors such as shad and silver blue work well in lakes where the fish rely heavily on shad for their food source. In these waters it is a toss-up between fire tiger and shad as to which one is my favorite color. I have caught so many fish on shad raps in shad infested lakes that I rarely ever use anything else in them.
Another aspect of the is size. I like to use a size 5 lure because it mimics the threadfin shad that are so prevalent as a baitfish in lakes of the midwest or south. I have had better luck with these smaller lures than any of the other sizes they make.
One of my favorite methods of presenting the it is to cast them up against rip rap shore lines. The best way I have found to do this is to cast parallel to the shoreline. This works best if the shoreline is deep. Shallow shorelines should be casted into.This means that you should position your boat a cast length away and cast perpendicular into it.
A deep shoreline is one that drops down into deep water very quickly. By far, the best rip-rap shorelines to target are the deep ones. When you stop to think about a deep shoreline, it only makes sense to cast your lure parallel to the shore because it becomes deep very quickly. When I am targeting rip-rap, I like to bang the lure off of the rocks as often as possible. The shad rap is built to take this kind of punishment.
While casting these crankbaits I have caught large and smallmouth bass, walleyes, northern pike, muskies, catfish, and hybrid stripers. There are very few thrills in freshwater fishing that can rival how it feels to be reeling one of these lures quickly through the water and have a fish just smash it. I have thought that the rod was going to be ripped out of my hands!
The Shad Rap made by Rapala is a must have lure if you want to catch fish in the northland where shad are prevalent. I have lots of them and they have never let me down.