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The rumors were true; Rapala did, indeed, introduce another variation on its venerable floating/diving minnow at this summer’s national tackle show, but this one is truly unique. The RipStop is described by pro staffers as a cross between a swim bait and a jerk bait that will “stop on a dime” when you quit jerking it, then suspend, ascending slowly in a heads-up attitude.

What’s different is the tail; right in front of the rear treble hook is what looks like another diving lip facing in the opposite direction, which the company calls a “boot tail.” It essentially acts as a brake on the lure’s forward momentum. The result is a lure that shimmies like a swimbait but can be stopped without sinking. It should be killer in cold water when fish need a little enticement to strike, but it can be retrieved equally well as a basic chunk-and-wind bait if that’s your preferred presentation.

The 3 1/2-inch, 1/4 ounce bait will dive three to four feet. RipStops retail for around $8. — Bob Gwizdz

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