TESTED: Rapala Max Rap 5 & 7

I CAN’T say that I know any serious trout fishers that don’t have any Rapala Original Floater minnows in their tackle box. They are a deadly lure to troll or cast and could possibly have caught more trout worldwide than any other lure.

For me, they are my “go to” lure for shore based lure casting for trout and have been for the longest time. I have certainly tried many other lures and most of them have caught plenty of trout but none have made me second guess tying on a Rapala Original Floater as a first choice. That is until now.

I first saw the Rapala Max Rap whilst doing some promotional work with Rapala a few years ago. The lure was one of Rapala’s premium range and had plenty of very impressive features. The only problem, for me at least, was the range of sizes. They were too large for what I would use them for. New in 2012, however, are five and seven centimetre models and some great colour schemes for the Aussie market. Time to get excited!

These lures are neutrally buoyant, meaning they are effectively suspenders. For the applications I use them, mainly alpine lakes, they actually sink very slowly. In saltwater, they are more neutral. This allows me to genuinely twitch and hang a lure in front of an interested fish’s face, a technique that can trigger an attack response from a moderately curious fish. They are also shallow running, ranging from 0.3 to 0.9 of a metre in both models making them perfect for rivers, lake edge fishing and estuary flats and edge cover work.

The 5cm lure weighs 2 grams while the 7cm is 5 grams. This may sound very light and difficult to cast. However, the Max Rap concept incorporates Rapala’s weight transfer system. This means that the finely tuned internal weights sit appropriately to ensure the lure sits horizontally in the water while suspending. However, when the lure is cast the weight shifts, or transfers, to the rear of the lure. This increases casting efficiency and therefore distance. This system also greatly minimises the chances of the lure toppling or turning over during the cast. This can cause hooks to get tangled in leaders resulting in a fouled lure hitting the water and a wasted cast. Even if your lure lands correctly, a toppling lure is also very inefficient in the air, which reduces distance considerably.

This system is not a gimmick and really works which is one of the reasons why I have now started using this lure more often. Firstly, I can cover more water therefore increasing my chances of crossing paths with an interested fish. Also, I can still use it effectively in more adverse conditions, like wind, meaning I have an effective lure in the water more often.

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The marketing material speaks of premium features such as “laser etched internal scale patterns” and “3D holographic eyes”. These do look cool and the features are of a typically high Rapala standard, but for me some of the more important features include:
VMC spark point hooks, which are strong and incredibly sharp; hand tuned and tank tested ensuring they work straight out of the box; and really good colour schemes.

My favourites are the brown trout colour for trout fishing and olive green and gold, fluoro red for bream and flathead. One curious omission is that of a rainbow trout colour scheme. Currently this is not available in the Max Rap range, which is unusual given the huge success of this colour in other Rapala lures.

Like all premium lures today, Max Raps are not cheap but they are, however, competitive. Perhaps even more important is that they come from a stable from which all similar lures today are derived from, one that has been renowned for quality for more than half a century.

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