Looking to add a new, unique, and versatile lure to your tackle box for 2021?
Take a peek at the latest largemouth crankbait from Rapala, the OG Slim 6, made from balsa wood. Designed in a garage by a Bassmaster Classic Champion, Ott DeFoe, the OG Slim 6 dives to six feet, casts well, has a realistic swimming action, and will catch bass anywhere in the country.
From Ott’s Garage, Bassmaster Classic Champion Ott DeFoe Designs a Powerful New Bass Fishing Lure for Rapala that will catch bass anywhere and everywhere.
From wood shavings and sketches, sawdust and dreams comes Rapala’s new balsa-wood flat-sided crankbait, the OG Slim 6.
“OG stands for ‘Ott’s Garage,’” explained 2019 Bassmaster Classic Champion Ott DeFoe, a Rapala Pro. “This bait is something I designed in my garage.”
A non-rattling, easy-casting crankbait that swims with a medium wobble and tight side-to-side action, the Rapala OG Slim 6 sports a lightweight, circuit-board lip. The lure dives to six feet when fished on 12-pound-test line – hence the “6” in its name.
In a Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour tournament in 2020, DeFoe placed third, catching most of the bass he weighed on a prototype OG Slim 6 crafted in his garage.
“There’s a lot of tinkerers in this part of the country,” said DeFoe, a rural Knoxville, Tenn., native. “I’m really no different, as far as that aspect goes. I love altering a bait. I love building baits out of balsa wood. I’ve done it since I was just a wee little fella.”
Although OG Slim 6’s name derives, in part, from its thin, flat-sided profile, its balsa-wood construction gives it a live-minnow action that similar-looking flat-sided plastic crankbaits can’t imitate.
“A flat-sided balsa-wood bait, for me, so much of the year it’s about imitating baitfish,” DeFoe said. “I’ve been fishing balsa-wood baits my whole career.”
Throughout the Southeast, national, regional and local bass tournaments have been won “for years and years” on balsa-wood and flat-sided crankbaits, according to DeFoe.
“The OG Slim will be that next crank. It gives anglers a new edge on the water,” DeFoe said.
“For these anglers down here in the Southeast, we’ve kind of needed something like that,” he said. “Something not as wide-action, but something not as tight-action and more castable – something in between. That’s where the Slim comes in.”
The Rapala OG Slim 6’s ultra-thin circuit-board lip delivers the right action and attitude no matter how you fish it, triggering bites from big bass and other gamefish.
“The thinness of that circuit-board lip actually helps cut the water really well,” DeFoe says. “It’s a really, really key component.”
Another key detail DeFoe designed into the OG Slim 6 is the line-tie placement in the bait’s nose.
“You want the line-tie up there to keep the action tight,” he explained. “It makes the bait more natural, more subtle.”
The OG Slim 6 is armed with two No. 3 VMC black-nickel, 1X-strong, short-shank Hybrid Treble Hooks.
“I was really particular about the size hooks I wanted on this bait,” DeFoe said. “I wanted them as big as they could possibly be, but still not catch each other. A short shank keeps the hook closer to the bait. That gives the fish less leverage to be able to throw it.”
The Rapala OG Slim 6 measures 2.75 inches and weighs a half-oz. The lure is available in 14 color patterns: Big Shad, Chartreuse Rootbeer Crawdad, Citrus Shad, Crawdad, Dark Brown Crawdad, Green Gizzard Shad, Helsinki Shad, Mossy Chartreuse Crawdad, Perch, Red Crawdad, Live River Shad, Rootbeer Crawdad, Silver and Silver Shad.
Among those color patterns are “proven fish-catchers that has relied upon Rapala for years and years,” DeFoe said, as well as five brand-new pro-staff-inspired patterns. “I’ve been painting and testing my own lure patterns in my garage for several years – they’re coming to you all now.”
When fishing a Rapala OG Slim 6, DeFoe recommends pausing it often on the retrieve and resisting the urge to reel too fast.
“I’m not burning the bait,” he explained. “It’s just a slow, steady retrieve. I’m going to reel that bait down to the bottom, bump it off of a piece of cover, stop and pause. Because I want the bait to hang there – have that bait just barely, barely rise – or even suspend.”
When outfitted with OG Slim 6 prototypes last year, DeFoe caught bass on them well into the summer and early fall.
“The bait works at a lot of different times, all year long,” he said. “I know it will produce bass for you in any part of the country.”
For a longtime angler and bait-building hobbyist such as DeFoe, it’s a toss-up as to what’s more rewarding: catching fish on an OG Slim 6 himself, or knowing that kids all over the country could be making their dreams come true with it by catching a big fish — maybe even winning a tournament. What’s not debatable, however, is that he’s truly tickled to see the bait he dreamt up come to life.
“From a 12-year-old kid in his garage to now being partnered with the legendary Rapala lure company and having my own bait under their brand — it’s a dream come true,” DeFoe said.