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How to Master the X-Rap Haku

“It’s hard not to get excited when you feel that explosive strike from a pike biting on a jerkbait. An electric feeling, followed by a blast transferred directly to your hands – you can literally feel the lure being smashed in a furious attack, dragging the rod from your hands.”

Jerkbait manufacturing has been a central part of the recreational fishing industry for many years. I remember my first jerkbaits from many years ago. A lure with no specific action of its own – only the one you create with your rod. By combining reeling and jerking with the tip of your rod, you´d get that classic side-to-side, “walking the dog” action. Short and stiff rods used to be a regular setup for many anglers back then. But times change and anglers adapt. Both anglers and the industry have come a long way, which can be seen in all the new, thrilling lures on the market.

The X-Rap® Haku is a fantastic example of how far jerkbaits have come – a modern lure with all the thrilling features to keep the technical anglers excited for days. The X-Rap Haku is made of robust high-quality plastic and it comes fitted with two extremely sharp VMC Coastal Black hooks, size 3/0. And the Haku has a special talent: it comes equipped with Rapala’s proprietary 3R system. The 3R system is a titanium-made hook rig that detaches itself from the lure’s belly groove upon impact. When the fish strikes, the rig allows for a more secure hook-set, while also preventing the fish from breaking free – as it often is that fish use the lure as leverage while thrashing about. And if you’re worried about the rig getting snagged in weeds, fear not! There’s a red plastic clip at the tail end of the lure for securing the hook.

The X-Rap® Haku is 14 cm long and weighs 74 grams. It has a variable running depth, with a slow sink rate. The X-Rap Haku comes in fifteen life-like colors that have taken my fishing trips to new heights. A tip from my tacklebox: consider adding the colors ROL, SMB, and UV5 to your collection – your pike fishing might just get an extra edge.

How, Where & When

How should I fish my X-Rap Haku?

I´ve been fishing the X-Rap® Haku for a couple of years now, from the prototypes to the final design. And this lure’s versatility is something I truly appreciate. With the X-Rap Haku, you´ll have a couple of different ways to fish. The first way is the traditional jerkbait side-to-side action. By moving your rod in an up-and-down motion, followed by reeling in the slack, you’ll get the side-to-side action – also known as the “walk the dog” action. By adding a couple of longer pauses you’ll give the lure a slow sinking, suspending action. Twitching the X-Rap Haku with short, tight twitches gives the lure a rapid and narrow side-to-side movement. Just like a disoriented baitfish, fleeing in panic. For best results, add some short pauses in the mix, followed by more twitching.

The X-Rap Haku can also be retrieved slow, giving the lure a slower, wider action. By simply reeling the lure in – with brief pauses added every once in a while – the X-Rap Haku swims softly in an S-shaped pattern. A great choice when going for maximum exposure on both the left and right sides. And when you add that longer pause, the X-Rap Haku glides beautifully to either side while making that brief, suspending action – before resuming its glide.

Where can I fish my Haku?

What is the natural habitat of the X-Rap® Haku? I’d say the lure feels most at home in spots with a depth somewhere between one and four meters. Of course, you can fish it in waters deeper or shallower than that. But 1-4 meters is a great place to start. Look for weed beds in bays and larger areas with shallow, rocky plateaus. And any place with shoals of baitfish is a great choice! The X-Rap Haku will blend right in with its panic-stricken action, triggering predators to strike.

When should I fish my X-Rap Haku?

The X-Rap Haku is a stellar choice for every season. A more appropriate question would be “When shouldn’t I fish my X-Rap Haku?” – because I’ve been fishing this bad boy all year long, with great results. During the early days of spring, when the water is still cold, I favor the slower presentations, while increasing the number of pauses. But if I’d have to pick my favorite time for using the X-Rap Haku, I’d most certainly pick early summer when the pikes (and other predators) have already spawned, and midsummer when all the predators get sloppy with their diets and start gobbling up.

Here’s a fun fact: in Finnish, “Haku” means “seek”. And that’s what the X-Rap® Haku excels at – it can be used as a fantastic search bait that helps you quickly cover an area. With this lure, you’ll get those long casts to help cover even the larger areas. When I’m fishing in larger bays with a variety of depths, The X-Rap Haku is usually my first choice for the day.

So, to break it down: a modern, high-quality jerkbait with a groundbreaking 3R system. Life-like colors that please the eye. A versatile array of actions. Various running depths. The moral of the story is quite clear: grab a couple of Hakus and introduce them to your mighty arsenal of lures! I can say that the X-Rap Haku has given me a great number of explosive strikes and unforgettable memories. And of course, some very big pikes. I hope you’ll try it out! P.S. If you have any questions regarding the X-Rap Haku – or pike fishing in general – feel free to send me a line on my socials! I’m more than happy to share some of the insights I’ve learned along the way. You can find me at @Nellfors (Instagram) or Nellfors Jonatan (Facebook).

Have a great summer out there!

-JN