Saturday, August 22, 2009

Rapala Fat Rap Launch

Saturday - 22nd August 2009

The much anticipated date arrived for Rapala Fat Rap fans waiting eagerly for the official Fat Raps to be available on retail stores. In Singapore, the Fat Rap was officially launched at Hot Spot Bait & Tackle, located at Kandahar Street. 

The popular Rapala Fat Raps were discontinued in 2003 to the disappointment of many Toman, Sebarau & Grouper anglers in Malaysia & Singapore who have found them to be most deadly on these species. Recognizing there was still much demand for these fantastic balsa-wood lures, Rapala VMC Asia Pacific brought these lures back for a limited, special production run with only a limited 24,000 pieces only available in Singapore and Malaysia retail stores (of course, not surprisingly some of these may find their way onto the Internet) with some new colours too. 

Opening some of the stock in the store in preparation for the crowds

Hubby: All I want for Christmas...
Wife: No.

There was a buffet spread too for the Fat Rap launch

Fred Goh, Sales & Marketing Manager for Rapala VMC Asia Pacific - the brainchild of the Rapala Fat Rap 'limited resurrection'

Hot Spot Bait & Tackle @ 56 Kandahar Street, Singapore - a Rapala Premium Dealer

They stock a good selection of Storm & Rapala lures

The first customer with Rapala T-Shirt (free with purchases of 12 pcs & above)

FR05 & FR07 in classic and new colours

The lures disappeared unbelievably fast! In fact, some models were almost gone by the afternoon!

Wen Long, Hot Spot's young, energetic and enterprising proprietor

It was no surprise that by late afternoon, most of the lures were already snapped up by droves of anglers who have waited in much anticipation for the limited stock available. 

Have you got yours yet?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Fat Rap Returns! Hitting Retail Shops 22nd Aug 2009

Latest update: 14 August 2009

The much anticipated Fat Rap returns! Rapala VMC Asia Pacific officially announced the Fat Rap will be launched in tackle shops around Malaysia and Singapore on Saturday, 22nd August 2009!

In anticipation of the launch, here's an article written by FG published in Rod & Line (English) August 2009 issue. Enjoy....

A Legend is born
In 1977, Rapala launched the company’s first proper “round-bodied” lure, designed to dive very deep and to impart a frenetic wobble. The Fat Rap was born to answer to the American fashion in fat bodied lures that were then very popular and effective.

The Fat Rap was introduced in 2 sizes, 5cm and 7cm. The Fat Rap has characteristics that made it a valuable lure. The angler could retrieve hard in order to make the lure dive deep, then stop winding and let the lure float upwards. This type of retrieve was a well-kept secret for a number of years and it worked very well till today. The shape of the lure and its fast, tight action also emitted increased vibrations, so the lure was useful in dark or cloudy water. Till today, the Fat Rap is still regarded as one of the classical bass crank baits in the USA.

The story did not end; the Fat Rap went on catching fishes all around the world and became a legendary lure.

The History of the Fat Rap
The Fat Rap is an improvement to the American-designed crank bait. The original Fat Rap was designed to crank heavy-bodied fish out of intermediate depths and heavy cover. It is guaranteed to track straight as an arrow and digging deep to trigger the strikes. These features made the original Fat Rap into a huge success.

Over the years, due to the success of the original Fat Rap, the Shallow Fat Rap, a shallow running version was introduced in 1978. This lure is identical in every respect to the deep running Fat Rap with the exception of the diving lip which is smaller and designed to run at lesser depths.

Then the Mini Fat Rap 3cm was introduced in 1979. This is the smallest member of the Fat Rap family, especially effective in very shallow water when gamefish are feeding on smaller prey. It also works well in small quiet bodies of water such as ponds, pools and streams.

The Rattlin’ Fat Rap was introduced in 4cm and 5cm sizes in 1991. In 1992, the 7cm model was introduced. This member of the Fat Rap was designed to be louder than the original Fat Rap and best fished in cloudy waters or during falling light conditions.

As there was a request for deeper diving lures, the Deep Down Rattlin’ Fat Rap 7cm was introduced in 1993 and later in 1994, the 5cm model was introduced. This lure has an extra longer bib that will dives down to 4 to 6 meters of water to reach out to those fishes hiding in deeper pools of water. 

The Glass Fat Rap, 5cm and 7cm was introduced in 2004 as technology of plastic molding improves. This gives the newest member a more lifelike look.

All these members of the Fat Rap family are lures that all anglers must have inside their tackle boxes till today.

Fishing the Fat Rap
The Fat Rap has a well earned reputation for taking finicky fish. The tight swimming action of this balsa lure will attract even the weary fishes.

The Fat Rap works great using the “bump the stump” method, based on the fact that fishes like to conceal near the shelter of an ambush point. Cast out to these ambush points or snags and bump them on retrieve. The lure’s strong plastic bib should fend off most hang-ups and stopping the retrieve will allow the lure to float up to avoid snagging. 

Starting slowly, the retrieve is made until the diving lips bumps the bottom. By backing off slightly, the lure will float up slowly, and then the retrieve should begin again. In this manner, the lure can be fished down the slope, bumping the rocks on the bottom occasionally as it descends. Many good anglers start the retrieve with their rod tip high and as the lure descends the slope, gradually lower the rod tip until the deepest portion of the retrieve. Many strikes will occur during the brief pause when the lure is slowly floating upward off the rocks or obstacle. 

Let the Fat Rap work and dig to the desired depth and sooner than later, you will be rewarded with a wrist-numbing strike and the fight will be on. The Fat Rap is made so that even during your slowest retrieve, the Fat Rap is working for you with natural lifelike action. The Rapala Fat Rap has given less-experienced fishermen an instant tool to search for trophy sized fish. 

Over the years, the Original Fat Rap added more members to the family and were greatly successful. However, in end year 2003, the Original Fat Rap was discontinued. It was replaced by the Glass Fat Rap to give it a new look. Over these years, 3.6 million of Fat Rap lures were produced and sold. The Fat Rap has proven to be a great lure and have been very successful with the local species that many local anglers were crying for the return of this legendary lure. The Fat Rap was so sort after, that collectors are willing to pay premium prices for them. Prices went up as high as RM100 in EBay and many are not even willing to let go of their prized assets. 

History will be made as finally Rapala has agreed to make a special production run for the Original Fat Rap in the 5cm and 7cm version. These are exclusively for our local market and only a total of 24,000 pieces of lures will be on sale for both Singapore and Malaysia market. There are also some never seen before colours in the history of the Fat Rap as well as the classic colours which are so effective on the local species.

The Fat Rap will once rule the water and a new history begins. 

Monday, August 10, 2009

Giant Barramundi - Semeling, Kedah

Photos by TKH & Jeffroman (Minnow) 
About 1 month back, Rapala angler KH in Northern Malaysia reported in that a new catch & release pond had opened somewhere in Semeling, Kedah. With Bedong Angling Park and the now defunct Kakilai pond providing thrills to lure anglers up north, this pond is sure to add to the action - with Barramundi starting from 3kg and above while Mangrove Jacks above 1kg roam the waters.

Initially I didn't think much. In my mind, I thought it was just another paypond... until the pics arrived. To add to the 'poison', Jeffroman also had the opportunity to fish the pond that same weekend and sent in pictures as well. This warranted for an exploratory trip up there!

Here's what the boys reported in two separate trips:

Giant MJ on Rattlin' Rap

They also fancied Twitchin' Raps

BTW this is a Glidin' Rap and not a Twitchin' Rap. You can estimate the fish size ;)

Self-explanatory: This pic and next two, itself was enough to warrant me a trip to go up there and check this place out!

Jeffroman's precious Shad Rap mutilated by a monster. Sign of being bullied.

That's a nice Jack

Storm Wildeye SP totally engulfed by the Jack

More to come...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Malaysia Tackle Challenge Trophy 2009 - Part 4 (Final)

Photos by D1 & TKH

Meanwhile YH & KH had a rough morning. They only managed a baby Toman and a reasonable 3kg fellow which pounced on a Hot Tiger (orange) Shad Rap. Still a far shout from the leading fish of 5kgs.

As the day became more toasty, they headed for the cool mountain stream water gushing down from a little waterfall. The water turned out too be too inviting for YH who, without needing invitation, went for a dip in the icy cold water to cool down. Forget about the fishing - why not just enjoy the cool dip! 

Fishy-looking coves like this were everywhere. Check out the stumps on the left! If only water level was higher!

Gently guiding it boatside without a net

TKH, our Northern Rapalero, who is no stranger to the Chinese fishing forums such as MyFishing.Org and FisherZone

This snag was home to some gregarious Toman

Energized by the cool dip, it was time to get back to work. Out came the Clackin' Raps. Nothing much to shout about except for some smallish, pee-wee Toman. No mega rises whatsoever. So YH did some blind casting around the vertical sticks - half-heartedly. What unfolded next was as if he struck lottery: A 1kg plus Sebarau found the Clackin' Rap too irresistible and so greedily grabbed the lure and headed for sunset. 

No chance given. Drags locked tight and the fish was pulled in despite protests as evidenced from a few surging runs. Good thing the hooks held! Good size! After the customary recording of photographic evidence, the fish was released.

It could only be the Clackin' Rap!

As the groups poured back, there were stories of big brutish Toman bullying going around. Some had their lines burst, hooks straighted and prides crushed. It was also reported that the Pure Fishing team lost an estimated 6kg Toman boatside during netting when the fish made a successful last dash for freedom! Talk about heartache! 

After dinner, the much anticipated results were read out:

Toman Category
Champion: Team Season Tackle - 5.5kg
1st Runner Up: Team Berjaya - 5.05kg
2nd Runner Up: Team Explorer 4.94kg 

Sebarau Category
Champion: Team Sea Tackle - 1.5kg
1st Runner Up: Team Rapalero 1 - 1.15kg
2nd Runner Up: None

Unknowingly, there were only 2 Sebarau above 1kg that qualified and that was the Champion fish from Team Sea Tackle and YH's fish! Totally unexpected! To quote a Chinese saying "Blind chicken gets a worm!" Nevertheless, it was still a good cause to be cheerful and celebrate. Team Sea Tackle did indeed deserve to win as they sped off to the fishing grounds even before breakfast - they even left without their packed lunch! The sheer determination was commendable. Hats off to you guys!

It seemed like Day 2 was a good day for Toman - the top 5 fish were Toman ranging from 4-5kg from the preliminary results. Pretty close fight too I must say... however, the poor show in big Sebarau was attributed probably to the dry season and low water level. The anglers reckoned the rainy season would be much better! 

YH gestures "Only possible with RAPALA"

The triumphant Rapaleros!

1st Runner Up Sebarau Category for the Malaysian Tackle Challenge 2009

TomX from Team Explorer (2nd Runner Up Toman Category) with his mutilated Fat Rap Fire Tiger

Fat Rap - Fish bite and wont let go? 

All in all it was a well-organized tournament with good sportsmanship and professionalism displayed by all the teams and the spirit of comradeship and fun was obvious. Personally, I was very happy to catch up with old friends such as CS Fong, CM Po & Faiz Karim while meeting new friends too. Kudos to Rod & Line (English & Chinese) & Pancing for their efforts in this event. 

I'm already looking forward to the next year's tournament... and I'm gonna make sure I don't get bullied by Toman this time!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Malaysia Tackle Challenge Trophy 2009 - Part 3

Photos by D1 & TKH

Early next morning, each team assembled by the jetty ready for battle stations Day 2 in hope of getting some better results compared to the previous day. As usual, being the slowest boat, FG and I were left behind the wake of the more powerful boats. Most teams opted to head south of Temenggor Dam to press chances for the elusive winner Sebarau. As morning was the best time and we didnt want to spend 1.5 hours travelling down to the rivermouths and waterfall at the southern part, FG and I decided to play around the rivers near the base.

We motored in quietly into the first river. Looks fish and beautiful. Gentle mists were still overing on the water surface. But as we turned a bend, to our disappointment, we saw a boathouse parked nicely at the middle of the narrow river! And in the inner part of the river, two teams had already reached there and were already fishing. So much for hoping to be the first at the spot! We decided to leave the teams alone and went off in search for other more promising spots. Sadly, the scene repeated itself a few times at other rivers: most teams had already reached the fishy looking spots before we did.

Our guide was also starting to feel the pressure from lack of spots to bring us. It was already 10.30am. We discussed the options we have and together decided to take the 1.5hr journey south to the waterfall - hopefully the Sebarau were there.

Our strategy turned out to be a bad move. The water level had dropped tremendously and worse still, the Sebarau remained elusive! Worse still, it seemed as if each bend we approached had already anglers fishing there! Somehow Temenggor was packed with visitors that day!

2.30pm - We approached a quiet cove with crystal clear water. A few rises were spotted upon our entry - a sign that the Toman were happily playing and surfacing to catch their 'breath'. FG and I proceeded to fire off our Fat Raps at the rises. One particular Toman fearlessly surfaced right a few feet in front of us near a sunken log, as if to sneer at us. FG and I simultaneously cast at the same spot. Remembering an article he read to stick the rod tip into the water to get the extra depth when cranking in a lure, FG did just that - and was duly rewarded with a solid hookup!

At one moment of the fight the Toman headed for the snag below the boat but with FG's expert handling of the situation, it was quietly subdued and led into the landing net - pulling the Boga grip down by 8lbs! Woohoo!! We proceeded to cast around the area as there were still rises around. I had a miss on Fat Rap Redhead that came back with a Toman "kiss" on the lure. This sure wasn't a good trip for me!

to be continued in Part 4 (final)....

FG managed to convert to a solid hookup

On Rapala Fat Rap GFR!

And check out the colouration on the Toman

Mug shot

Length of 72cm

Released to fight another day

My Fat Rap 'kissed' by Toman that did not convert to a hookup