Lipless crankbaits have been around for decades in the open water fishing world.  I remember casting them as a kid for pike and bass.  They worked well for casting along weed edges and I have many, many memories from using them.  Fast forward around 20 years and nowadays they’re fast becoming popular for hardwater.

Rippin Rap for Ice Fishing

I will admit, I was a newbie to fishing Rippin Raps & Shads for ice fishing.  I mean, my tackle box is FULL of producers already…why switch?   Because they trigger walleye! 

These lures were put to a big test this past weekend on a no-name lake in North Dakota.  We found a school of BIG walleyes and we tested them from the start for aggressiveness.

My buddy slapped on a Rapala Ripping Rap and after a few rips, he had a giant walleye on.  It came so fast it didn’t even get picked up by the sonar.  After a long fight, a 26” walleye came out of the hole.

We all switched up to Rippin Raps and Rippin Shads and soon after the bite was on.

Rippin Rap for Walleye

I’m now a firm believer in the Rapala Rippin Rap for walleye.  So much so, that I already have an order on the way for more.  Fishing them right is the key to success.

First off, don’t be afraid to really rip these things.  The rattle sound inside is LOUD.  I can even hear it in the ice house from down below.  This calls in fish, and if they’re active, they’ll probably strike.

Second, you don’t have to rely on ripping them all the time.  When I see a walleye come off the bottom, I will give it a short twitch.  This SHOULD cause the walleye to rise up towards the bait.  Half the time they’ll hit it on the fall, the other half when twitched up and away from the fish (keep away).  Either way, you’ll want to keep working the bait.

And finally, I like to tip my lure with a minnow head on the front treble hook.  That scent just seems to seal the deal, and I have better luck than without.

What Size Rippin Rap for Walleye

What size Rippin Rap you use for walleye will depend on a lot of things.  What is the forage base?  What size is the forage base?  Etc.  For me, I prefer to use Rippin Raps and Shads a bit on the smaller side.  My go-to size is the 05 Series, but I know a lot of guys who use the 06 or even 07 series for walleyes.  You may want to try various sizes and see what works for you.

Rapala Ultra Light Rippin Rap

As of recent, Rapala came out with the Ultra Light Series of lipless crankbaits.  These are also fast becoming popular for other species, including walleye.  While they are a bit smaller, they work great for ice fishing.   Remember, these came from open water applications, so don’t feel you have to put this lure away when ice is off.  Casting these crankbaits can help catch fish all open water season.


So, there you have it, a new ice fishing lure to use in my arsenal for walleyes.  Just when I thought I didn’t have any more room in my tackle box for more lures, I’m now making room for these. There are even custom painted Rippin Raps coming into the ice world as well if you’re into that.  I know of 3 companies already that are customizing them.  I’ve seen some white/hot pink Rippin Raps that are simply awesome for walleye. So, the next time you’re shopping online, throw a couple of these lures into the basket and give them a try.  You may be surprised at the results!

Tight Lines

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