One of my favorite things about fishing lures is the large amount of selection you have. Color, size, type, depth, noise, scent... and the list goes on. Small lures with great detail have always appealed to me. Partly because of my background in fishing small streams and river, and also because of their productivity when fished correctly. The Rapala CountDown is without a doubt one of these lures.
Weighing in at 1/16 oz., one inch long, and no more than one number 12 treble hook, the Rapala CountDown is quite a little rascal. Of course, you can get a larger size that peaks at 9/16 oz., 4.375 in. long, and two number 3 treble hooks. In this review, I will focus on the smallest of all the CountDowns, the CD01.
The Rapala CountDown CD01 is quite a unique lure as it is one of the smallest suspended jerkbaits on the market. Rapala states that it falls at a rate of one foot per a second, and I have found this to be pretty accurate. I like to cast this lure and let it set for a little then pull my rod with a tug to get the sporadic action of the CountDown. After this, I usually let the lure sit again and repeat the process in a non-constant fashion. Sometimes three short tugs is better than one long tug, and sometimes a long tug followed by a pause and then three short tugs works best. You really have to get a feel for what the fish are doing.
In summer time, I have found most of my success with a little bit of a quicker retrieve than a slower one, and in colder temperatures I typically slow it down considerably. In fact, in winter time you really can't fish the CountDown too slowly. Of course some people say you can catch them just the same in the summer as in the winter, but this usually is due to unusual conditions. My number one spot to throw the CountDown CD01 is in the eddies that form in streams and rivers. I like to cast the CountDown into these eddies and then letting the lure fall for a second or two. After this, I usually hook up with a fish shortly into my first tug, but if not I will work it into the current. You will want to make sure that you cast the CountDown upstream in rivers as this is the direction fish face.
As far as tackle goes, I like 4 pound test monofilament with a light to ultralight action spinning rod. You can go to 2 pound test and even some fluorocarbon, but I prefer mono. The more bend your rod has tends to help in creating a life like action in the CountDown, as a stiff rod can overpower your lure a little.
For panfish, Guadalupe Bass, Trout, and Smallmouth Bass in a stream this lure is second to the Worden's Rooster Tail, but still highly effective. In slower conditions, the Rapala is most definitely much better than a Rooster Tail, but in other conditions I tend to favor a good ole' Rooster Tail.
My only complaint about the CountDown CD01 is the amount of missed hook ups I get. I almost always get multiple strikes on a trip, but I get a lot of fish that come off as well. I think this is because of the small number 12 hook, but I am not totally sure. I plan on replacing the factory hook on the CountDown with a larger hook, but in the meantime I’ll be fishing with the micro fly fishing like size 12 hook. I do have another minor complaint that has nothing to do with lure performance, this is the cost of this little guy. It ranges from $7-$9 depending on the store. This could by almost three Rooster Tails, but I will give Rapala credit that this lure has a lot of attention to detail and unparalleled action.
Until my next article, go get you a Rapala Countdown and try it out in your nearest river or stream. It is worth the money.