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McDink

Rapala Shadow Rap Shad Hook Upgrade

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I'm new to this forum, so if this is in the wrong place I am sorry. 

I also tried the search, but couldn't find this question.

 

I am primarily a jig & softbait fisherman, and am fairly new to fishing hardbaits.  A friend of mine bought me some jerkbaits for my birthday, and I am learning them with some success as well as I have noticed some problems.

 

I have been having some trouble with my Rapala Shadow Rap Shad jerkbaits with hook bending issues.  These baits come factory with VMC Light Wire #6 hooks and they are very sharp, but I am having repeated issues with the hooks bending out on bass much over 3lbs.

 

I contacted rapala and VMC (same company im pretty sure) who stated that currently there is no exact replacement for the "light wire" hook available on the open market, but advised me to look at the VMC 8540 as a suitable replacement.  I go to their website to order those hooks and go figure, they are out of stock.

 

My questions are these, is there a better hook then the VMC?  will changing to a hook other than the "Light Wire" affect the action and buoyancy of the bait?  Are other people having these problems?

 

What would be a good upgrade hook and should I replace the split rings at the same time?

 

The setup I have been using is a 7"1' MH fast st Croix rod with a 7.2:1 shimano reel & Sunline 14# Sniper FC

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Your rod might be a little on the heavy side for jerkbaits but if you're set on using it, I'd try Mustad KVD short shank trebles.  I change pretty much all the stock hooks on my hardbaits to those.

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RichF,

I'm not necessarily dead set on this rod.  It's just what I had to use, and I am new to jerk bait fishing.  what makes a good jerk bait rod setup?  If I'm using the wrong setup I am open to changing it, but I just didn't know if the reason I am having hook bending problems was because of something I had wrong in my setup, or if they are just subpar factory hooks.

 

this bait is designed to suspend and very slowly rise.  would the mustads be too heavy to keep the same action?  A friend of mine talks very highly of the mustads as well.

 

thanks

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I'm not a big jerkbait guy by any means.  I definitely prefer a medium action with a fast or moderate-fast tip.  The stock hooks on the shadow rap shads are sticky sharp for sure but are kinda crappy.  I've bent them on smallmouth with a rod like I stated earlier and 12lb fluoro.  As for hindering the slow rise of the bait, I'm not sure what the Mustads would do.  The 2x strong ones could possibly be too heavy but there are lighter ones too.  If they stop the bait from rising, you could try throwing it on mono as well.  

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Tackle Warehouse might have the 8540.  If you use heavier wire hooks the bait might sink rather than slow rise.

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Update,  I live in Springfield IL, which is where Lure Parts Online is headquarters.

 

i bought a 10 pack of Owner ST-36 as well as a 10 pack or the VMC 8540.  Both packs were #6 round bend.

 

The original VMC Rapala Light Wire hooks weighed in at 5.8gr., the VMC 8540 weighed in at 5.6gr., and the Owner ST-36 weighed in at 6.9gr.

 

the replacement VMC 8540 feels more dull then the original Rapala VMC Light Wire, and the Owner hooks are substantially sharper than both VMC Hooks.

 

upon installation I float tested a stock Shadow Rap Shad, one with 8540 replacement hooks and one with ST-36 hooks.  All three still had a slow rise in the water, but the final float angle was just slightly different.  Both the stock and 8540 floated the same and the ST-36 floated with the nose of the bait slightly angled up more and the tail down slightly more.

 

im going to run the ones with the owner hooks and the 8540 and see if I have any durability issues out of either.  

 

I will update after my next outing.

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I made the following post last year...hope that it helps you and that you find success with your testing as well.

 

Tricked out a Shadow Rap with different hooks...it worked.

 

To give everyone an idea of what I did, attached is a photo with the new hooks swapped in after a largish musky destroyed the regular stock trebles that you can see in my previous posting.

I have substituted the treble hook at the head of the lure with a slightly larger (Size 4 instead of 6) red hook for 2 reasons; first to give the predator the impression that the fish they are chasing is bleeding or injured; the second reason is that most gamefish attack at the head of their prey, so a larger hook will be able to give a more successful hook up ratio than a smaller one. The middle treble hook remains a stock treble hook, a size 6 1X Strong Round Bend Treble in black nickle. The last or rear treble is a size 6 2X Strong Barbarian Treble also in black nickle. I find that it's a good hook to use on this lure because there are times when the fish will strike short, leaving only the rear treble in contact with the hooked fish.

All the hooks are made by VMC, and they held up very well in the conditions that I was fishing. I'll be doing some more late night walleye fishing on some deep weed edges and hope to catch some larger fish at that time. 

57f2cbde51f9b_AlteredShadowRap.jpg.fc598865f5a863778bd62ac683c4dc06.jpg

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I'll agree with you that the Shadow Raps have very light (some may say weak) hooks and hardware. The first fish I caught on a Shadow Rap back whenever they were released was a 4lb. 2oz largemouth. The fish had both sets of hooks in him. However, upon inspecting the lure after releasing the fish, I noticed that I had straightened out the front split ring and bent out one of the rear hooks. So this alone is an issue with these baits. However, your setup is a little overkill for jerkbaits. The higher pound test you use, the more your action is killed. I never go over 12lb. test for jerkbaits. So using 14lb. is going to kill the action some and potentially lead to more straightened out hooks. 

 

As for a replacement, check out the Gamakatsu TGW Finesse trebel hooks (designed by Aaron Martens). They should make a fine jerkbait hook if you're wanting to keep that bait's slow floating action. Another good option for a lighter wire hook is the Megabass Katsauge hooks. These are the hooks that come on the 110 with the outward barbs. These hooks are also very prone to bending out, but they're great for jerkbait fishing with the proper equipment.

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I have found that the hooks work fine but are not all that great. Replace with: http://www.tacklewarehouse.com/Gamakatsu_Aaron_Martens_TGW_Nano_Finesse_Treble_Hook/descpage-NFH.html

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Frankly the hardware on most of them such, that said most guys use way to much power in setting the hook.

I have found that mist hook themselves and require little effort.

 

It may be the combination of the two

 

I replace almost every treble that comes stock

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You could try loosening your drag some.  As already stated, your setup might a little over kill for jerk baits but I've bent some light wire hooks in the past because my drag was set too tight.  I lightened up the drag and stopped bending hooks, without sacrificing any fish.

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Keep experimenting till you find a good rod/line/hook combo. You're going to bend out hooks if you have a med/heavy rod, braid, and light wire hooks. 

 

I like gamakatsu g finesse trebles for jerkbaits, with 10 pound flouro, medium mod/fast rod.

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Update,

 

So I was able to get on the water yesterday, and my son and I were both throwing the Shadow Rap Shads with the upgraded ST-36 hooks from Owner. 

 

As stated in my previous update the hooks did weigh a little more, but did not seem to bother the slow rise of the bait other than changing the float/rise angle slightly.  However, both of us did in fact notice that the bait didn't seem to have quite as much erratic movement.

 

With this new outing I was using the same rod (St Croix Mojo Jigs/Baits 7'1" MH Fast), but went down to 12lb test Sunline Sniper FC and loosened my drag up quite a bit. 

 

We had both caught about 8-10 fish each with no bending issues catching fish in the 1lb-2.5lb range.  I did hook and land a 5lb 3oz largemouth.  I did not loose the fish, but did find upon inspection of the bait after turning the fish loose find that one of the front trebles did not straighten out but did open up.

 

After all your guys input, I think I am going to go buy a different rod specifically for jerkbait fishing.  I can for sure see your points in that if the rod is too stiff, and by throwing FC line that has less give than mono that it could be over stressing the small #6 hooks. 

 

I have always been sort of partial to St Croix, and in 20 years of fishing have never had a problem with one.  Unless someone on here can give me a better idea for the money I was thinking about getting their Mojo Bass Jerkbait rod.  It's a 6'8" Medium/fast.  I currently own two of their newer IPC Mojo Rods (Plastics 7'1" Medium Fast & Jigs/Baits 7'1" Medium Heavy Fast) and have had good luck with them so far.

 

Thanks for all the input so far, and am looking forward to your responses.

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@McDink Check out Gamakatsu's Magic Eye Short Shank Treble Hook ~ 

Very nice replacement on that bait.

A-Jay

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I'm using a Mojo Bass Glass rod for crankbaits and can't really speak to the rod that you're buying as I run a Daiwa setup for my jerkbaits. I can tell you that the Mojo Bass series is very well built and, as I'm sure you're aware, very sensitive and I have no doubt that it'll meet the need you want to fill.

 

A note about line selection - I run braid with a fluorocarbon leader. It provides me with greater control over the movement with the jerkbaits that I fish.

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