I hear you....those Flat Rap at $9.00+ are way overpriced and in my multi state travels I have seen no empty peg hooks at the major tackle stores which means slow sales. I like the shallow Thunder sticks, Bomber Long As and the similar Bagley's shallow stuff. The Rapala F-13 and Husky line are good alternatives at less money per bait. The F-18 Rapala is my ultimate nighttime walleye trolling bait as I have 35 of them with most being airbrushed and epoxied with custom colors.
I did buy one of the "Carbon " color because some kid at a Canadian fly-in lodge reported it was his best pike/walleye bait. young boys haven't learned how to lie yet.