Paul Bercott from Ft. Wayne, IN asks:
Hey Joel what are the differences between the Ultralight Rippin Rap and the Slab Rap?
Great question Paul! I think it's tempting to think of these as the same bait with a different shape, but not only do they represent a minnow-like profile (Slab Rap) vs. a shad-style profile (Rippin' Rap), the Rippin' Rap has rattles.
I use the Rippin' Rap in extremely stained water, and heavily in shad-based systems like the Mississippi River. It flat calls in fish from an incredible distance due to the sheer amount of noise these things put out. When fish are on the bite, there are few baits that will get fish to cover distance and eat like this bait.
The Slab rap, while a hard bait of the same general size, rapidly departs from there. The Slab Rap does NOT rattle, but works much like a blade bait in that it vibrates vertically through the water column similar to an open water crankbait. Pull sharply, and you'll feel it, as will the fish. That said, it's got a few more tricks. Being a bit longer and thinner, I feel that neutral fish close on this bait a bit better than the noisier Rippin' Rap. While you may not be able to call them from the same distance, the Slab Rap covers water horizontally as well. Think Jigging Rap with vibration, just not with the same super wide swing and travel.
Both of them are deadly when rocked back and forth, with a slight edge given to the Slab Rap for less-than-aggressive fish. Similarly, both should be a part of your strategy depending on where you fish.