It’s tough to improve on the best crankbaits on the market, but not impossible. Rapala® did just that with its release of the Shad Rap and Shallow Shad Rap in four Ike’s Custom Ink colors — Blue Back Herring, Caribbean Shad, Demon and Mardi Gras.
As popular as tattoos themselves these days, Rapala’s Ike’s Custom Ink line is the brainchild of 2003 Bassmaster Classic Champion Michael “Ike” Iaconelli, a Rapala pro who for years tweaked the colors of off-the-shelf baits with out-of-the-box tweaks, like baking them in the sun for weeks, dousing them in pearlescent nail polish and dusting them with glitter.
Those modifications now come right out of the package in Rapala’s Ike’s Custom Ink line. One of Ike’s secrets, he says, is “using something different, something unique, to catch more fish.”
The benchmark other crankbaits are measured by, the Shad Rap, closely resembles baitfish found the world over. Constructed of premium balsa, it’s equally effective cast or trolled, performing from ultra-slow presentations to super-fast without fail. Its precise action, detailed finish and proven fish-catching patterns make this a must-have bait for all anglers.
The Shallow Shad Rap, also built of premium balsa, is ideal for fishing skinny water. Cast it out, let it sit until the ripples fade away, then begin a slow, enticing retrieve. It is equally effective when twitched, cast out or trolled slowly.
Both the Shad Rap and Shallow Rap are hand-tuned and tank-tested for perfection right out of the box, and come equipped with super-sharp VMC® Black Nickel Treble Hooks. They are both now available in the same popular Ike’s Custom Ink color patterns:
Blue Back Herring
Designed to match its namesake baitfish (and other similar-looking forage), the Blue Back Herring color pattern features a dark blue-green back stripe fading into muted blue-green side panels with a silver scale pattern and a silvery-white body and belly with a yellow throat flash.
The Caribbean Shad color pattern features a blue-green back stripe and side panels with a silver scale pattern, a silvery chartreuse body and belly with an orange throat flash.
The Demon color pattern features a black back stripe fading into dark red-orange sides and a belly with a craw-shell pattern on the sides.
Also carrying a craw-shell pattern on its sides, the Mardi Gras model features a black back stripe fading into dark olive-green sides and a slightly lighter olive-green belly with an orange throat flash.
Suggested retail price: $7.99
Image courtesy Rapala