The Rapala OG Rocco 5 is the latest Rapala crankbait to hit the market. It has quickly gained popularity amongst fishermen throughout the southeast. This bait was designed by Bassmaster Classic champion and arguably one of the best crankbait fisherman of all time, Ott DeFoe. This is the newest addition to the Ott’s Garage lineup, adding a whole new style of crank bait to this already stellar collection of Rapala lures.
OG Rocco 5 Build
Much like the other baits in this collection, it is made of highly buoyant balsa wood. This allows the bait to float up out of cover while still being heavy enough to make long casts. The body shape of this bait is very similar to a typical square bill. It has rounded sides and a 2-1/2 inch long body. The compact shape allows the bait to maneuver through cover with ease, while mimicking small forage that often uses this shallow cover for protection.
Specs of the OG Rocco 5
The OG Rocco 5 comes equipped with a square shaped circuit board lip. This causes the bait to deflect off wood and other cover. This lip allows you to fish a crankbait in areas where other treble hook baits would likely get hung up in.
This bait also comes stock with two hybrid VMC treble hooks, which can be found on a wide range of other Rapala baits. These hooks are proven fish catchers, and can handle any caliber fish in the thickest of cover. Unlike many other square bills, this bait is silent. This is ideal for targeting pressured fish that will often steer clear of a loud rattle.
Ideal Setup for the OG Rocco 5
When throwing the OG Rocco 5, it is important to have the correct setup to get the most out of this bait. I prefer a rod with a softer tip, but still enough backbone to winch fish out of cover. My ideal rod is a Dobyns Champion XP 7-foot, 3-inch medium-heavy glass rod. This rod has a very parabolic taper, which keeps you from ripping the hooks out of the fish’s mouth, while still having enough backbone to keep fish out of cover.
For a reel, I prefer one with a smaller spool since you are often making short specific casts at cover. I also prefer a lower gear ratio which forces you to slow down and fish the bait properly. My go to reel is a Shimano Curado 70 MGL with a 6:1 gear ratio. This reel is super light and great for making short specific casts with light baits.
Fishing the OG Rocco 5
My favorite time to fish the OG Rocco 5 is when I’m burning down the bank fishing cover such as laydowns or rocks. There are many times throughout the season where fish won’t commit to a slow moving bait such as a jig, or Texas rig. This is when I like to implement the OG Rocco 5 to generate some reaction bites.
There are a few key attributes to this bait that make it a year round fish catcher. To start, this bait has a moderate wobble. This allows you to fish this lure year round, even in the colder months when fish typically don’t prefer a wide wobbling crankbait. Furthermore, even though this bait is made of balsa, it still has enough weight to make long accurate casts.
Its compact size combined with its weight allows the bait to cut through wind and deliver consistently accurate casts. The circuit board lip also allows this bait to come through tight cover without getting snagged. This gives you the ability to throw this bait in the heart of laydowns and reach fish that wouldn’t typically see a crankbait.
Given these features, there are a few key strategies I like to implement while fishing this bait. I like to keep my trolling motor on a high level and move down the bank quickly in order to cover a lot of water. I will make repetitive casts at a piece of cover such as a laydown, while simultaneously changing the angles of my casts through boat positioning and cast placement. This gives you the highest percentage of running the bait by a fishes face which often generates a strike. I like to fish this bait at a moderate fast retrieve while occasionally stopping or twitching the bait in order to get those weary bass to bite.
This past weekend, I went to one of my local lakes and threw around the OG Rocco 5 (see this crankbait in action here) on a wide variety of main lake cover. I fished a few riprap banks and seawalls to start the day, then later transitioned to laydowns once the sun got up. I started off getting a few bites on rocks and sea walls, but that bite seemed too fizzle out as the day progressed.
Once I switched over to laydowns, I was able to cover a lot more water compared to flipping a slow moving bait. This allowed me to get reaction bites that I likely wouldn’t have capitalized on throwing a typical jig or Texas rig. This strategy later produces a quality fish pushing the 7-pound mark. This was a super fun day on the water fishing shallow with the OG Rocco 5 while the majority of anglers were out offshore trying to find a deep bite.
An OG Rocco 5 is an excellent bait to generate shallow reaction bites, especially when fishing gets tough. If your looking to get a few more bites this year fishing shallow, this bait is a must have.
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