Rapala Shadow Rap

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The Rapala Shadow Rap series has all the moves that other lures only dream about. A horizontal struggle with a big kick, plus a vertical fade or a vertical rise on the pause perfectly mimics a bait fish in its last, quivering moments before the end. The kick, the snap back to life and the slow fading or rising all trigger fish to hit the Shadow Raps, and boy do they hit them hard! The Shadow Rap features a minnow or shad body style, flat sides and a metallic finish with textured scales. The Shadow Rap series of lures feature super sharp VMC black nickel round bend hooks and are available in 24 color patterns.

This fish was caught at Midmar Dam off a rock pile in 6ft of water on a Shadow Rap.

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The Shadow Rap is such a versatile bait. This bait can be fished in just about any area you can think of. However my favorite area to fish this bait is on rocky banks and rock piles. This is where I find it most effective. I have caught fish with this bait in almost every season too! From the spawn to it being late Autumn I have caught fish with the Shadow Rap. My favorite colour would have to be Ghost Shiner. Overall this bait is a must have in your fishing box!

Written By Gareth Potgieter.

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Storm Arashi Flat 7

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This has become one of my favourite cranks lately. It offers everything I look for in a crank. But the most important thing, it is exactly what the fish want. My favourite colour is Tilapia. It resembles our baitfish accurately and looks so life like in the water. I also like the way it casts and doesn’t spiral into the wind. So overall I’m super chuffed with this bait and I look forward to catching many more fish on it. These are just some of the key features this bait offers:

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  • MULTI-BALL RATTLE SYSTEM tuned for mid-depth cranking delivers a variable pitch of both high and low frequency sounds
  • ROTATED HOOK HANGERS nests the hooks close to the body for improved action, preventing hang-ups and allowing larger hooks
  • SELF-TUNING LINE TIE is a free-moving design that keeps the lure tracking true, ensuring non-stop fishing action
  • CIRCUIT BOARD LIP starts right away at slow speeds and quickly reaches maximum diving depth. Extremely thin with superior strength and durability

 

My choice of tackle is a G.Loomis Cranking rod CBR 843C rod paired with a Curado 200I PG. I use 10lb Monofilament line or 10Lb Flourocarbon in most situations. The rod is a moderate action and allows forgiveness and this maximises hook-ups. This setup along with the Storm Arashi Flat 7 is really an all-round fish catching solution.

Written by Darryl Quinton.

 

Shimano Crucial Rods – Bass

 

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The new Crucial series is one of the most versatile rod series ever created. It has both split grip and full grip handle designs. These rods feature Shimano’s C4S-HM blank which delivers unbelievable strength with extremely light weight. Each rod was tested to cover a wide variety of today’s best fishing techniques.

OVERVIEW

CASTING

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SPINNING

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As seen in the pictures these rods are not just great fishing rods to use but they are great to look at to! Just to run you through the rod: Shimano Crucial rods have always had a really good reputation for being tough rods from when they first came out about sixteen years or so ago. The new Crucial has been built not to disappoint this long standing reputation. The new Crucial is lighter and stronger than the previous model. On average it’s 28% lighter and yes you are hearing me correct it’s also 22% stronger on average! How is this possible? Well the new Crucial C4S-HM blank is made from carbon which is what the C stands for in C4S-HM and the 4 is for the four layer process. The S stands for slick carbon tape which is used on the inside and outside of the blank which is what plays a huge role in strengthening the rod but still being able to use minimal material to keep the rod lighter. The new Crucial has returned to cork handles as the earlier models had which more anglers preferred. It also has a custom reel seat to minimize the weight of the rod. To end off the overview the new Crucial has Fuji Alconite Guides which finish off the rod! All in all the new Crucial is a beast of a rod that’s not going to let you down!

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My Rod Selection

  1. 2x 6.8ft Medium Extra Fast- My light worming rod (8-10lb line)
  2. 1x 7.3ft Medium Extra Fast- My medium worming rod (10-12lb line)
  3. 1x 7.3ft Medium Heavy Fast- My medium-heavy worming rod (12-16lb line)
  4. 1x 7.11ft Medium Heavy Fast- My heavy worming/pitching rod (20-25lb line)
  5. 1x 7.2ft  Medium Heavy Extra Fast Spinning- My drop shot, wacky rod (10-20 braid leader with 6-12lb leader)
  6. 2x 6.10ft Medium Heavy Fast- My reaction bait (small cranks, jerk baits, underspin and small spinnerbaits) rod (10-12lb line)
  7. 1x 7.6ft Medium Heavy Medium Fast- My reaction bait (medium-deep cranks, 1/2oz lipless and bigger spinnerbaits) rod (10-14lb line)

*Fluorocarbon line used on all above rods

Personal Experience

I personally have a full set of these new Crucials and have fished for more than a season now with them. I have caught large mouth, spotted and small mouth with these rods and they just don’t disappoint! I have fished six consecutive days with these rods and because they are so light you really don’t get tired of using them! The feel of these rods are just great. Pulling fish from cover is made easy! Feeling reaction baits and detecting bites because of its sensitivity is also incredible. If you’re in the market for new rods I would highly recommend the new Shimano Crucial range. You will be pleasantly surprised!

Written By: Gareth Potgieter

 

Rapala DT Series Crankbaits

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Over the past 8 years I have received many samples in the Rapala DT range. There is not another Rapala product that has received as much water testing time as these range of crankbaits for me. “Field testing” included some of my most testing tournament situations. Those who know me will tell you that it is no secret that the Rapala DT10 is my favourite hard bait for targeting bass. Over the years it has contributed to many of my tournament wins and it has also accounted for more fish over the 4kg range than any other crankbait I have ever thrown.

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Other popular DT models for me is the DT6, DT14 and DT20. “DT” stands for “Dive To” while 6, 10, 14 etc. stand for the depth in foot it can reach. The reason for the DT range being my favourite crank is simple:

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  • It has better cast ability than any crank I have ever thrown and it does not spin or “helicopter” when you cast
  • It has some fantastic colours in its range that is well suited for SA conditions and closely resembles our bass fodder fish
  • On a long cast and with the right tackle it is the smallest profile crank to reach the deepest in my arsenal of crankbaits
  • It catches lots of bass and big ones too

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My favourite colours are Bluegill and the whole “Ike custom” series. Caribbean Shad, Old School and Smash have been particularly good. I am very excited to hear that there are a “natural” range of colours on the horison and cannot wait to take them for a test drive.

Written By Martin De Kock.

 

VMC 7316

 

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I’ve been using these hooks for many years now and will continue using them for many years to follow. They are unbelievably strong and most importantly super sharp. These hooks can take the punishment that most other hooks can’t. I use the 1/0 to 2/0 for my finesse baits and then the 3/0 to 4/0 for my pitching baits. The 5/0 gets used for those oversized baits when needed. Landing more fish is a certainty when using these VMC hooks. Don’t wait…………………

Written by Darryl Quinton

VMC Hook Choice

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With so many hook choices on the market, it is difficult to decide which hooks are best suited for which application.

I can personally recommended the VMC range of hooks as they are super sharp and their range covers everything that an angler would need. They have contributed to my success rate over the past couple of years and I have put the following together to assist you with the selection of the model required depending on the breaking strain and the application of the hook.

  • 7342WG : This hook is a favourite of mine due to the fact that it is not only a traditional wide gap hook that is extremely sharp, but it has an offset point. Mike Iaconelli designed the hook and the offset of the point contributes to a higher hook-up ratio. When every bite needs to be converted to a fish on your boat, this is the hook for you. They are great for Carolina, mojo and texas rigging on any line from 8lb through to 20lb breaking strain. These are available in 1/0 through 5/0.

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  • 7316BN : These are one of the most versatile, sharpest worm hooks on the market making them great to be used on 8lb through to 15lb lines for use on my weightless and mojo rigged baits. The extra wide gap truly assists in your hook up ratios and comes in sizes from 1/0 through 5/0.

   

  • 7317BN : This particular hook is STRONG and I would normally use it to force fish out of structure (lay-downs and thick vegetation) on lines traditionally from 15lb upwards, including my Power Pro braided lines which run up to 50lbs. It has an extremely sharp point that is resistant to dulling and is available in 1/0 through 5/0.

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  • 7346SB : This hook is my traditional Swimbait or Horny Toad hook. You can add or remove baits without damaging them due to the tapered locking spring design. The tapered spring design also allows me to cast as hard as I require without the bait moving out of position on the hook. They are made of heavy enough gauge that they are well suited for your braid applications. Available in sizes from 4/0 through 7/0

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Written by Craig Fraser.

Shimano Sustain FG Ci4

 

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As many of you are aware, the Cape holds some of the most pristine small mouth bass fishing in the world, well known for their fierce fighting and aerobatic abilities.

Light line and strong fish naturally require the correct setup to ensure success and I have found that the Shimano Sustain offers me a smooth, lightweight reel with a great drag system for those energetic bursts that require both the waterproof drag and the rod to ensure there is no line parting between the fish and myself.

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The reel construction as a whole is world class, consisting of an aluminium spool and side plates, rapid-fire waterproof drag system, Aero Wrap II Oscillation, well balanced and it great for fishing monofilament, fluorocarbon or Power Pro braided lines.

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I can’t wait for August this year when we will all be attending Clanwilliam National Championships to put these reels to the test once again!

Written by Craig Fraser

Rapala X-Rap Pop

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I do not believe that there is anything more exciting than when bass are smashing surface baits.

The Rapala X-Rap is a great surface lure as it has a specially designed thin-cut cupped mouth that pops, spits and bulges just like a smaller bait fish would on the surface. It also allows you to have a long cast and is designed to sit tail down when at rest for a better hook up ratios. It incorporates a loud, hypnotizing rattle which has the capability of calling fish up from the deep. Another great feature is the VMC teaser hook which imparts additional action even on the pause.

Tip: if you add a split ring to the Rapala X-Rap Pop, you can also make this bait “walk the dog”.

So if you are like me and enjoy early morning busting fish on surface baits, get a Rapala X-Rap Pop from one of your local dealers in your area.

Written by Craig Fraser.

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Shimano Curado I

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When it comes down to “value for money” the new Curado has to be the leader. It simply offers you so much. It has an unbelievable gearing system and silky smooth drag system. It simply offers the angler so much. It has the X-Ship system, Hagane body and weighs a mere 7.4 oz. These are just a few to mention. I’ve really been impressed with this reel. I’m currently using mine for Cranking and Spinner baiting. It’s a real workhorse.

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Written By Darryl Quinton.

 

Rapala Tournament Scale

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After a number of years of searching and trying different options, I can say that I have now used the Rapala Tournament Scale for the past couple of years and it has proved its worth time and again.

We all know how much pressure is on a competitive angler and the one thing that we all can’t get back is time lost in any angling session.

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This scale makes it really simple to catch, weigh and load any “bin” tag number you would like with the respective weight. I will normally wait until I have my limit and then take a couple of minutes to weigh and tag them, it is really quick and easy to weigh and determine if the fish on hand will be released immediately or the weight dumped into the “bin” of your choice. Then it is a simple matter of reaching into the live well, removing the tag and swapping the fish around.

The Rapala Tournament Touch Screen Scale features a large digital touch screen, which makes it easy to store up to 8 separate fish weights. It also comes equipped with 8 numerical culling floats to match up with the stored fish weights, allowing for quick and easy identification of your smallest cull fish.

It automatically gives you a running total of your 5 fish weights is also continuously displayed, so you always know at a glance what your total bag weighs. The Rapala Tournament Touch Screen Scale runs up to 400 hours on two AA batteries and if you need to ever change batteries during a tournament, don’t worry, it has a backup memory for these odd occasions.

Tip: Although the scale can weigh in Lb’s and Kg’s, I select Decimal Lb’s, this allows for slightly more accurate culling of tag’s.

So I can confidently say stop searching and get a Rapala Tournament Scale from your local tackle dealer.

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Written by Craig Fraser.