Topwater bass fishing is just the absolute best. That may just be my opinion but I stand pretty firm on it. Anytime there’s the chance of a topwater bite going on, I’m going after it. With the spawning process winding down for many of us here in the south, the shad spawn, fry guarding and bluegill spawn are all well underway. That means it’s topwater bass fishing time.
Though many of us associate a twin prop bait most with Florida fishing around the spawn, these are great topwaters to use throughout the country around a variety of bait and cover situations. Today, we’re going to look at one such bait, the Rapala X-Rap Prop 11.
Let’s get to it.
Well for starters, to make sure you know exactly what we’re talking about here, a twin prop bait has a prop on the front end and one on the back end that spin and throw water as the bait is twitched along the surface. This is a more finesse prop bait when compared to the likes of the Whopper Ploppers and Choppos.
You don’t want to reel this bait like you would one of those other two, either. Instead, you simply twitch the bait along and let the props do the work. The Rapala Prop 11 has two well-fashioned metal props that do a good job of spitting water as the bait is twitched along. The props have a little curl to the tip of them to help catch the water and really churn on the twitch. The chrome flash as the props spin adds another level of attractant to the bait.
Rapala added a nice set of VMC treble hooks to this bait, with the back hook being feathered. I really like having a feathered hook on the back end of almost any topwater. It mimics the tail of a baitfish and masks the back hook well. This is important since that’s the first thing a trailing bass would see.
The hooks have a round bend, which helps increase the hookup ratio on a bait like this versus some hooks out there that have a point that kind of bends in. Those type of hooks work great on a bait that a fish can get all the way in its mouth, like a lipless crankbait or a squarebill. But for a topwater bass fishing lure, the round bend increases your chances of hooking up with a fish that’s swiping at the bait and not eating the whole thing.
Overall look and attention to detail
This is a good-looking bait with a lot of detail. Rapala added a pair of big reflective eyes to the bait as well as a lot of intricacies along the sides. There are little fins and an engraved scale pattern running the length of the bait. Typically, I’d kind of write all this detail off to the company trying to catch the eye of the fisherman more than the fish.
But with this bait in particular and any other bait like a jerkbait, for instance, that has a pause in the cadence as it’s worked along, the detail can be really important. If I have a trailing bass that’s indecisive, I want as much detail as I can get on a bait if he’s going to have the opportunity to sit there and stare at it for a few seconds.
How to use the bait and recommended gear
The Rapala X-Rap Prop 11 is a bait that’s intended to be twitched along in a fairly straight line, with intermittent pauses between twitches. You can walk this bait a little bit side to side as you twitch it along, but that’s not really the intended action. Though if you do have a fish boil on the bait and miss it on the initial swipe, you can twitch it in place fairly well and give the bass a second chance at it.
As far as the gear you’ll want to use, I prefer braided line personally on this bait and others like it simply because I can cast the bait farther and pull fish out of cover better with braid than I can with monofilament. But the flip side to that is that you’ll want to use a fairly soft rod like a 7-foot, medium-heavy and make sure you’re ready to back off your drag a bit as the fish nears the boat. The hooks are great, but you can straighten almost any hook out with braided line and a tight drag if you’re not careful. So just be aware of that.
The Rapala X-Rap Prop 11 can hang with any of them in my opinion. Now I’ve never been a big prop bait guy who swears by the old-school baits or anything anyway. But the Prop 11 gets bit and gets fish to the boat. For $11.99 it’s a reasonably priced bait considering the quality and attention to detail. The bait comes in six colors, giving you a little something to mimic several different baitfish that should work in a wide variety of water colors. All in all, it’s a solid bait if you’re in the market for a double prop bait like this.