Tackle Tips

Under the Radar | Rapala 11 Original Minnow

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Believe it or not the Rapala Original Floating Minnow was handcarved over 60 years ago by Lauri Rapala. Introduced in 1959 in the US the Floating Minnow is still the largest selling product in the Rapala family.Hand carved out of a piece of balsa this little jewel has a lot going for it. At a little over four inches long it’s the right size for most of the country. With it comes a versatile bait that can be twitched, jerked or used as a topwater. It is aerodynamic and weighs enough that it can be thrown in the wind and because of its buoyancy it sometimes gets smashed on the rise. We call it an “injured minnow” and for good reason. It looks like one!

We use this bait as a go-to bait for prespawners and it works super  twitched over beds as well. It works well on long casts where the bait sits on top until all the rings disappear  and then is jerked back to the boat. Cadance can vary and the fish will let you know how they want it. Finicky and spooky bass can’t resist an easy meal and it seems the 11S works super in bright conditions. The 11 Original Minnow comes in multiple colors but we have it dialed in to two favorites, the 11S(Silver/Black Back) and 11G(Gold with black back) and use each of them for different conditions. The 11S seems to work much better on bright days when the angler is looking for flash and the 11G is our choice in overcast or rainy conditions.

We still use a 6 foot pistol grip rod to allow better handling and maneuvering of the bait. We normally throw it on 12-14 pound mono and most times we tie it directly to the line tie. Southern anglers have used a loop knot for years and swear by it to allow the bait to provide the action.

We have used it successfully from Florida to Minnesota and the bite is the same. When they hit it they smash it. It works exceedingly well around grass clumps and near buck brush

There is something about this old beauty that bass cannot resist. No rattles, nose down during the jerking process and the quick float make it irresistible to a hungry bass.

When the bite is super tough and the water is clear there is no better bait.

With all of the great new products in the Rapala line-up the 11 is sometimes tough to find.

The Rapala Original Minnow has a big brother with the 13 and there is a time and place for it but we like the 11 as it seems to cast better.

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