I decided recently to give the Rapala Countdown Elite 75 a review in the spirit of fall. Right out of the package, this lure is a lot different than the original countdown – It’s beefier, heavier, and it’s got a new paint job. The nose has a bulky split ring, which is great for added action and the hooks are beefed out, too. Overall, I’m pretty happy with it; you can go a little further with this thing.
Body and Casting
I noticed the Elite 75 is bulkier with sharp edges along the sides of the dorsal with a mean little expression for a face. This hardware upgrade adds weight to the lure and allows you to cast much further than the Original Countdown. This is perfect for reaching target areas out of range of any lightweight balsa. On a light action rod with a good parabolic bend, I can launch this lure beyond shallow points and over drop-offs and retrieve it back at the depth I need.
I see no difference in the rate of fall compared to its original counterpart. You can still get this thing down to where you need it at the same speed. As mentioned above, the real difference is in the casting. Having a lure with sinking capability plus the new weight of the 75 allows for a perfect search-and-destroy lure around fall trout.
The Rapala Elite’s action is a perfect, tight wobble for colder water. However, on occasion, I needed to give it a fast rod twitch to engage the movement of the lure. One area I’m always interested in is the ability to twitch and pause a lure. The Elite has a good yet subtle twitch and fall action, which looks really great in moving water. Try casting upstream at a 45-degree angle let the lure sink to the right depth and begin twitching it around – it looks really great.
The Countdown Elite’s hooks are difficult to bend out. I should know, because I tried bending them with pliers. I see no reason to not leave them in place. They have a standard sharpness and when targeting trout, I would leave them on due to the softness of a trout’s mouth. I compensate for any shortcomings by fishing the Elite with a 7′ light action rod with a good parabolic bend, which keeps them’ pinned longer as they do their acrobatic leaps from the water.
All in all, the Rapala Countdown Elite is worth the purchase if you’re looking for the same features, plus added casting distance. Aside from a new body build, some cosmetic changes, and hardware upgrades, the Countdown Elite carries the same effectiveness as its counterparts with its ability to sink to that sweet spot where monsters roam. In moving water the Elite is fantastic at maintaining action depth where the Orginal Countdown ( and especially the Original Floating) would rise and remain out of the strike zone.