What is the point of using a jointed crankbait or swimbait as opposed to a straight, hard body crankbait? The difference between fishing these jointed crankbaits and swimbaits vs a hard body crankbait is subtle, and most apparent in your retrieve style.
Jointed crankbaits are most effective when retrieved slowly, where they can give off the illusion they are traveling quickly. In hard-bodied straight crankbaits, the swimming action is a constant, tight wobble (when they are performing correctly). This erratic action is great but has its own time and place.
Jointed crankbaits like the Rapala Jointed Shad Rap are perfect for fishing in cloudy, murky water, or when fishing at night. The jointed crankbait body gives off more of a vibration than a straight crankbait, which comes in handy when bass’ vision is clouded and they rely more on their sense of feeling in their lateral lines.
In jointed crankbaits, the “broken back” on the body allows for more of a reaction than an action. As you drag it slowly through the column and the back end kicks, that causes the front end to kick in the other direction. These alternating movements simulate a struggling baitfish, and the buzzing rattling vibration will drive any hungry predator wild.
Along with the action, you are more likely to have a solid hookup with your target. The slow retrieve gives fish a chance to catch up and hit your bait directly, while the jointed body provides two distinct targets for a fish to bite at. When you are trophy hunting or going after larger species like musky, especially in cloudy water, the jointed body will give you a leg up on their straight-bodied counterparts.
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$7.49 Non-Member Price
The Rapala Jointed Crankbait adds more action to the typical distressed swimbait action that a Rapala already has. The lifelike patterns and large hooks make this a target for BIG fish, whether it be a trophy bass or that muskie you've been looking to check off your bucket list.
Updated February 17th, 2022 at 7:56 AM CT