X-Rap Haku - First Impressions
I’m writing this article way before the release of the new X-Rap® Haku, and at the moment I only have one prototype example. It is a final product but in early stages of actual test fishing. I have put the lure through serious tests, and I cannot wait for the launch and being able to see people’s reactions on this masterpiece!
What is the X-Rap Haku?
The “Haku” is a classic jerkbait, which means it’s a lure that will go side to side when twitching your rod or giving short but fast retrieves with your reel followed by a pause. But what truly makes the X-Rap® Haku stand out is the innovative hook release system! What this does, is when a predatory fish attacks the lure, the hooks will semi-detach from the body of the Haku. The hooks are attached to a line-through wire system, so the actual lure will hang off to the side of the hooks. Fish won’t be able to use the lure as leverage as they are now hooked to a stinger system, so no matter how much they roll and shake their heads… they are stuck (in theory).
The stinger is attached to the X-Rap® Haku with a very smart clip, and the wire runs in a recessed track under the belly. This gives the lure a smooth look and the system has a very tight fit. The clip (located towards the tail end of the lure) is perfectly balanced in resistance – attached tightly enough so that the hooks won’t come off when ripping the Haku out of grass, but with enough give that they will come immediately off when hit by a fish. I’ve put the release system in serious test with both pike and grass and it works perfectly every time. Well done Rapala PD-guys!
I have detached and reattached the clip hundreds of times on my lure and it hasn’t weakened or gotten worn out in the slightest – it’s still holding on strong. The lure I’ve been testing has probably seen 100+ pike, including some big ones, plus some perch and zander - so it is built to last.
The finish of the lure is, as always with Rapala lures, stunning; and the colors look like million dollars. The Perch is an actual perch imitation and not just painted like a perch, the same goes with the roach and some of the other live imitations. They are very natural and life-like looking, which of course builds up the confidence when fishing the lure.
How to fish the Haku?
One thing that I really love about the Haku is how easy it is to make it swim. Some jerkbaits demand precise control and lots of training to get the right action, but with the X-Rap® Haku it is super simple to get that side-to-side action – even if you’re just getting into jerkbait fishing you can’t go wrong!
I prefer to work my jerkbaits by cranking the reel with stop-and-go and keeping the rod still, but that’s very tricky with some jerkbaits. Giving a fast retrieve followed by a stop will throw the Haku to the side and I truly appreciate this feature, since it suits my personal preference.
Whilst there’s nothing majorly wrong with working jerk baits with your rod, one downside I see is that if you get a bite while your rod is in a slack position, like just when you’ve finished a twitch motion, you won’t have as much space to set the hook and thus get lower hook-setting power. Working the lure with just the motion imparted by your reel means that your rod is always pointing at the lure and you’re always ready to set the hook with full power, no matter at what stage the bite comes.
I have used the Haku in all kinds of environments and situations; from shallow bays loaded with grass beds to a couple meters deep over rocky outcrops – and even to pelagic fishing over very deep water. The Haku is truly a lure to be used in all depths and situations. The wide-flashing, wounded bait fish-look will get pike to rise several meters to hit this lure.
In shallow waters we take advantage of the high side profile. Pike are swimming at the same depth as the lure, thus seeing it from the side, front or behind. In all cases, the X-Rap® Haku is very visible with it’s wide swimming action.
In deep waters, where the fish are swimming below the lure, I twitch the X-Rap® Haku much harder so that the broad sides will flash downwards creating a bigger silhouette. Just remember to go a bit slower and make longer pauses in deep water. This will give the fish an extra second or two to swim up 4-6 meters and hit it!
My most critical test of the Haku was during the Pike Fight competition 2019, where we really needed to catch big pike in both shallow and deep water. It was post-spawn time of the year and the pike were really hungry and I knew they’d want an aggressive presentation. At the same time we fished waste areas and needed to locate the fish and the X-Rap® Haku excelled at both tasks since it’s a very long casting lure and twitching at high speed with the reel made it possible for us to drift fast with the boat, covering ground and presenting the lure with aggression. Not all jerk baits can do this.
Today I can say that the X-Rap® Haku is finally here! I’ve had an absolute pleasure testing it these many months, and I’m sure it will catch you loads of fish. Easy to fish, fun to use and with the Rapala 3R release rig, it’s going to help you to get more fish in the net!
All the best,