The Rapala Countdown Lures come under the beady eye of Angler's Mail tackle editor Richard Howard. He's the No.1 products inspector, checking out loads of quality kit every week.

Description: sinking lures for searching for predators in different depths.

Specifications: 3 cm (4 g), 5 cm (5 g), 7 cm (8 g), 9 cm,(12 g) and 11 cm (16 g) lures; diving depths from 0.3-0.9 m for the smallest, through to 2.7-3.9 m for the largest; weighted balsa construction; wide range of finishes; VMC Black Nickel hooks; hand-tuned and tank-tested.

My verdict: a lot of lures sink at 1 ft per second, so if you cast one out into a 10 ft-deep swim and let it sink for five seconds, you can then start to retrieve it in mid-water. If you start retrieving after nine seconds, the lure is likely to be just above the bottom, and so forth and so on.

It is called the ‘countdown method’, and with one of these lures you can search the entire water column, from top to bottom. Once you’ve had a couple of trial casts, to gauge how long it takes for your lure to hit the bottom, you’ll be ready to search the water in front of you.

This range of lures allows you to ‘match the hatch’ (imitate prey fish) as well as offering an ‘in your face’ design, both intended to trigger a response.

Retrieve or troll them steadily to make them swim in a ‘tight wobble’ fashion, or you can twitch and pause them to make them move more erratically, both having a proven record of provoking a predator to strike.

The finish and detail on these lures is second to none, right down to the pectoral fins on some of the patterns.

The VMC Black Nickel trebles are light, sharp and strong. Simply put, these are quality lures that will attract all kinds of predators, including perch, chub and pike.

Prices: £7.95-£10.45.

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