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Thread: Rapala lures for Salmon?

  1. #1

    Default Rapala lures for Salmon?

    Hey guys,

    I almost went crazy today in the sportsmans warehouse. Ever since I found out I was going to Alaska 2 months ago, I find myself roming through the fishing sections in various stores hours at a time.

    Today, for an hour or so, I picked up and looked at about 20-25 different Rapala lures. Sinking, count downs, swimming, shallow, tail dancers, the list goes on.

    I was just wondering if any of you have used rapala's or any sort of 'swimming plug' (lure that looks like a fish) to catch salmon? Ive never used those flatfish lures before but Id imagine its pretty much the same thing.

    Id imagine it would work for silvers in the surf... from what Ive read at least.

  2. #2
    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Default

    Flatfish/Kwikfish have a totally different action from Rapalas but back in the great lakes I caught lots of salmon on Rapalas. The best were J11 & J13's (jointed, floating) in orange, chartreuse or blue.

  3. #3
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Talking Meltdown

    Wow soda your gonna meltdown soon buddy. Hey, not heard of to many rapalas used up here at all for salmon. The flat/kwik are very very popular. Im sure the rapalas are good for pike but if people are not using them for salmon up here there is a reason. Dont forget the 1st one is on me when you get to town. Fished yesterday for bows got one small one missed 2 others. Heading down to the kenai peninsula next week to chase bows on some of the lakes down there
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alaskachuck View Post
    Wow soda your gonna meltdown soon buddy. Hey, not heard of to many rapalas used up here at all for salmon. The flat/kwik are very very popular. Im sure the rapalas are good for pike but if people are not using them for salmon up here there is a reason. Dont forget the 1st one is on me when you get to town. Fished yesterday for bows got one small one missed 2 others. Heading down to the kenai peninsula next week to chase bows on some of the lakes down there
    Hey Chuck!
    I know man...Im going CRAZY!!!! I wore my waders inside my hotel the other day if that gives you any indication of my 'itch'.

    anyways, Im wondering if the only reason rapala's or other lures arent used is because they have not been marketed as well? In the east coast, no one uses spinners to catch the striped bass. They use these massive swimming plugs, poppers, HEAVY spoons, even brighly colored surgical tubes. However, I would think that if someone really tried with spinners, he/she would be successful. Its got a great flash to it, and its seems really darn annoying to fish.

    Im was just wondering if no one has success with these lures, is it because no one is using them?

    Lets say 10 years ago, the best rapala sales rep came to anchorage. He had underwater footage of all of the great lakes salmon hitting rapalas, footage and proof of atlantic salmon smashing them etc etc etc. Then he gave all of the tackle shops a deal on the lures. Lets say he sold them for 1 dollar a piece. (Im laughing inside cuz some sell for $15 HA!). Anyways, thats just an example. Im wondering if today, there wouldnt be more people using them?
    Im saying 'rapala' but I meant any other swimming plug.

    I dont know much about fishing lures. I used what Im told to use, but I do wonder, how much of it is really tested and how much of it is marketing?

  5. #5
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Lightbulb My guess

    Is that they have been tried pretty hard by alot of anglers up here, Im not saying they wont work but to give yourself the best chance I go with what is proven. Living up here i do try different things in the fall for bows and dollies and all but for someone coming up for a dream trip Id stay with the odds and go with what is proven. Waders in the hotel room are ok. When you start fishing in the toilet and calling 1-900-big fish we are having you committed
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

  6. #6
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    Default Rapalas

    When I first got up here I used some Husky Jerks on a southwest stream for rainbows....the water was slow and the smelt were running in the spring time...it worked great...but those multiple hooks are really hard on trout...even singles...so I now avoid them for that reason. I use rapalas and other stick baits for pike and of course they work well, but the issue with using them for salmon is that most rapalas don't work that well in rivers, if you are shore fishing up here, you are going to be casting upstreaming...drifting until it gets below you...then swinging, or some version of that. Anything that doesn't sink well is going to keep you lure high in the water column and for salmon you usually want it pretty tight to the bottom. Some of the deeper raps may work like a wiggle wart if backtrolling but like chuck said...when this place gets your soul and you come up to stay...try anything you like, but go with the tried and true and get the idea first, it will make your experimenting later more effective.

    But, would they work?...they certainly could in the right situation...and trolling out in the salt, most likely, but I've never found them conducive to river work.

    ps, if you try it, check the hook regs for your river...lots of single hook, no treble, gap restriction regs out there that might come into play.

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alaskachuck View Post
    Is that they have been tried pretty hard by alot of anglers up here, Im not saying they wont work but to give yourself the best chance I go with what is proven. Living up here i do try different things in the fall for bows and dollies and all but for someone coming up for a dream trip Id stay with the odds and go with what is proven. Waders in the hotel room are ok. When you start fishing in the toilet and calling 1-900-big fish we are having you committed
    Thats the advice Im sticking with for sure. Ive purchased a fair bit of lures I have never even seen before, and its all because of advice from this forum, or from books suggested from members of this forum.

    1-900-big fish?? No wonder no one answered the 800 number!!

  8. #8

    Default Soda, STOP!!!

    You've got to get a hold of yourself, Man! Whoa, Nelly! Put the brakes on the wallet or give it to your wife (wait, that's going too far!).
    Take the good advice given and wait till you're in the area you want to fish. Take a walk to the stream, river, lake, shoreline (toilet doesn't count) that you want to fish and see what other's are doing. Just sit and observe, engage in a conversation if the opportunity arises; believe me, we've been coming to Alaska for 11 yrs now and I still consider myself to be an amateur & novice. The information, help, & tips I've gleaned from the forum members and people I've met on the banks have been priceless. No amount of money spent is going to help you catch fish, it'll just make you think that way.
    Back to your post about Rapala lures:
    Stick one next to a Flatfish or Qwikfish and what do you notice? (I've no doubt in my mind you've numerous samples to compare!) Most Rapala's have a smaller "bill" that will make the lure wiggle very quickly side to side (the deeper models have a bigger bill) and the faster the retrieve, the faster the wiggle. This "wiggle" speed will appeal to different fish, but when fishing the rivers, where typically you're trying to get the lure close to the bottom, the faster you retrieve to get the lure down, the faster the wiggle. It seems as though Kings prefer slower, undulating action (big t-spoons, spin-n-glows, spoons) and others (silvers, pinks) prefer something a little more aggressive at times. Again, I'm speaking from only what I've seen & experienced and will gladly be corrected if I'm off base.
    I know it's easy to get caught in Trustworthy in July and go nuts with the plastic; it's the atmosphere of the place! I try (note: "try") to go in there when they first open to avoid the "urge". They subliminally attack your common sense when you go thru the door, not sure how they do it yet! But slow down, observe, ask questions (you've got that part down pretty well), and save some money for the stuff you'll really need.
    Jim

  9. #9
    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    Default

    Rapalas are my favorite lure for trout but I have not caught any salmon on them. I have caught salmon on wiggle warts, hot shots and kwickfish.

    Dont forget we have Sportmans whorehouses here too so you can pick gear up here and not have to bring them with you.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

  10. #10

    Default Crank Baits

    Rapalas probably not the best choice to fish for salmon from the bank. A better choice would be a Wiggle Wart or Magnum Wart. The best colors are Red/Silver, Chartreuse/Silver,
    Black/Silver & Pirate. Most plugs are best fished back trolling from a boat, but you may have good success fishing smaller rivers by cast & retrieve, or by using a side planer. If you can get is down into the strike zone salmon will crush it!

  11. #11
    Member monello's Avatar
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    Default Heavy Bags

    SB 1-5,

    Where are you going to put all the S^%$#$%^ T that you bought to fish Alaska???

    I hope you're driving & not flying. Think excess baggage.

    Hey, I left Tuesday and I'm heading northwest. Should be there in a couple of weeks.

  12. #12

    Default

    Ive actually been roaming the stores and not buying them out.

    I havent really bought much so far except for 2 flatfish/kwickfish and about 12 vibrax spinners. 8 of them I got for 1 dollar.

    I got leader, line, hooks and a few other small things. When I say Im going crazy, I leave the money with the girlfriend. She's good with those things.

    When it comes to fishing/hiking, I can fit most, if not all of my stuff in a normal sized backpack. Thats including reels. So Im not too worried.

    I think I asked the question because I used to really enjoy fishing with crank baits so I was hoping someone would say: "OH YEAH!! they're awesome for Salmon!!!"
    I kind of knew that would not be the case. Anyways...19 days and counting down

  13. #13
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    Default I love Pixies...

    Pixies work...First King ever I caught on a Pixie & haven't used much more than that...the bigger the better...& I take off the treble hook & add a single #4-2 Mustad or Gamakatsu hook...

  14. #14
    Member Adventures's Avatar
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    Default salmon on rapalas

    It has always been my understanding that alot of the reason a salmon strikes a lure is not out of hunger like trout or pike but out of aggression towards a possible threat. So, I believe that is why the kwikfish, wigglewart and few other erratic action lures get the takes. The rapalas do a fine job of imitating a real fish swiming which is why they get a picky trout to bite. If you want to catch more salmon throw something in front of it that aggrovates it to no end. In the ocean may be a different deal as the salmon are still eating then adn could strike out of hunger. Another problem with rapalas for salmon would have to be the wimpy hooks they come with and the improper action they give if you replace the hooks with something beefier that might hold up to numerous silvers or 1 good king.
    Just my .02
    Justin

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    Wiggle warts work well for kings and I'd imagine can work for silvers too. I have used flat fish with some success, I have used them a lot more for trout though. Excellent trout lures!
    River Runnin

  16. #16
    Member slimm's Avatar
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    Default fishing gear...

    i have found that fishing gear is about 20% cheaper in alaska than it is in idaho at least in the anchorage area....and pretty much anywhere else i have shopped in the lower 48
    and there is a much better selection there also..
    i saved enough-$$ on a couple penn reels that it paid for my king stamp, one year..

  17. #17

    Default

    Last year we had good results casting Wiggle Warts to the schools of jumping Silvers in Valdez in late August and Sept. You can also troll them with good sucess.

  18. #18
    Member akshrop's Avatar
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    Default Who knows

    The best advice is come here and use what others are using, then experiment. Last year I brought up a friend for NC and he tossed a crappie jig in the current and hooked up instantly with a king. He and my wife caught 5-6 kings on those jigs over the trip. Blew my mind, the kings were hitting those faster and harder than the normal fare. I watch the kings move 4-5 feet to hit them. For those taking notes, the jigs were simply yellow crappie jigs with no spinner. Just cast, drift, retrieve.

  19. #19
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    Default King jigs

    My first king 6 years ago was outside bethel fishing for grayling with a 1/16 oz. crappie jig, on six pound test...only 15 pounds but what a ride. What the heck he was doing grabbing that thing I have no idea.

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