The Rapala X-Rap 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: extreme-action ‘slashbait’ lure range that’ll tempt a variety of predators, from perch to pike.

Specifications: available in 4, 6, 8 and 10 cm sizes, and covering the 0.6-1.8 m swimming band, depending on which size you choose; tough hard plastic, bait fish imitation bodies; an erratic action; textured, translucent body finish comes complete with an internal holographic foil and 3D holographic eye; internal long-cast system on all but the 4 cm; flash feather teaser tail; hand-tuned and tank-tested; VMC Black Nickel Round Bend Hooks balanced to the size of lure.

My verdict: designed to catch any predator in freshwater, the X-Rap range comes with lots of action and options – whether you scale down to one of the 4 cm (swimming depth 0.6-0.9 m) or 6 cm (0.9 m-1.5 m) snack-sized offerings for perch or chub or even pike that may be preoccupied with smaller bait fish, or step up to the 10 cm (swimming depth 1.2-1.8 m), which are larger but still a very ‘comfortable’ mouthful.

The X-Raps can be retrieved slowly to give a tight wobble, but I would opt for two or three quick jerks, to trigger an erratic action, and then a pause, when the teaser tail treble, complete with its own ‘flash’, is likely to be nailed.

As you jerk the lure, slashbait style, you’ll get plenty of flash from the lure’s flank, thanks to the translucent body and holographic foil, which even includes a scale pattern complete with a lateral line.

At the same time, predators can also pick up on the vibration and erratic action from the lure’s body, only to have the lure suddenly suspended on the pause ‘attack time’, with the teaser tail treble wafting slowly in the water column.

There are plenty of finishes to try, from natural and imitative to high visibility. They’re designed to be cast and retrieved, and with their swimming depth running down to 1.8 m (6 ft) for the larger model, they should suit a lot of UK venues.

I bang on about the finish on these Rapala lures, but it really is second to none, right down to the 3D Holographic eye.

Even if you haven’t lure fished at all before, the X-Raps look like another good lure to start with, to build your confidence in the method.

Prices: £9.25-£11.25.

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