The Rapala X-Rap Otus 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: hybrid lures for big pike.

Specifications: ABS plastic body; flexible PVC tail; 25 cm length; weighs 90 g; 0.5-1 m swimming depth; mounted with Coastal Black VMC size 2/0 treble hooks; spare tail supplied; tail is connected to the main body at six points; ten finishes to choose from.

My verdict: when you see their action, there are some lures that you instantly fancy to win you a take from ‘Mr or Mrs Pike’, and this is one of those designs.

I’ve watched one being worked,  it sank horizontally in a steady, slow-sinking kind of way, and while the hard body rolls, the soft, curly tail flutters behind it when retrieved. It really does look as if it’s going to get ‘nailed’ at any moment.

It has a subtle action, and when worked slowly, it looks as if it’ll draw a strike, even from lethargic fish in cold water.

Measuring 25 cm, they imitate a reasonable-sized bait fish, and they look like a useful pattern for working in the margins for pike.

I also like the finish, the detail that’s gone into their scale pattern and their big eyes.

Price: £16.45.

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