Rat-L-Traps: How to Grip It and Rip It

There are specific techniques designed to be used in conjunction with specific lures in order to maximize their efficiency on the water. Obviously, it behooves anglers to become familiar with such techniques, as learning them will improve your skillset and, ultimately, put more fish in the boat, which I think we can all agree is preferred. One such technique is known as ripping, a practice commonly associated with Rat-L-Traps. Today, we’ll explore how to rip a Rat-L-Trap, and why the technique works so well. Keep reading to learn more.

Ripping is perhaps the best known tactic when fishing with a Rat-L-Trap. To employ the tactic properly, you’ll want to find some sparse vegetation. Once you have some grass to work with, cast out the lure and pull it back across the grass. When you feel the Rat-L-Trap start to catch on the grass a bit, then you rip it out. It’s that simple. And it produces massive strikes time and time again.

Now, there are some who may be leery of performing such a tactic with expensive lures, since conventionally, using treble hooks around vegetation is a surefire way to get snagged. However, this is where your equipment will come into play. Because you’ll be working in and around grass, it’s smart to use heavy braid—50 to 65lb is ideal—for ripping Rat-L-Traps. Braid has zero stretch and will cut through the vegetation like a knife through butter. Furthermore, it transmits any vibrations right up the line and to the rod very well, so you’ll be able to feel each touch. You’ll also want to make sure the rod you use is the right one for the job. I suggest a 7 to 7 ½’ rod in the medium-heavy range, along with a reel with mid-range speed, such as 6.4:1. This type of rod will allow you to rip the braid through the water and grass with ease, and the speed of the reel allows you to bring the fish to the boat quickly while still enabling you to fish slowly enough without having to work too hard.

Finally, be sure to pay close attention to your drag when ripping Rat-L-Traps. Keep the drag tight so you can rip the grass, but not too tight; you don’t want to rip the hook through the fish’s mouth. A good test to see if it’s at the proper setting is to be able to pull the line out by hand without the braid cutting into your skin.

Ask anyone who’s fished with Rat-L-Traps and they’ll attest to the effectiveness of ripping the lures through vegetation. Don’t be afraid to get hung up now and then, either. As someone once told me, if you’re not getting snagged, you’re not fishing in the right spots. Tie on a Rat-L-Trap the next time you hit the lake and hone your ripping skills. I promise you’ll be glad you did.