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The Birth Of The Worlds Most Recognizable Fishing Brand: Rapala
The Simple Story - Of A Simple Man
The birth of one of the most recognizable fishing brands – Rapala – is a simple one. The story starts with Lauri Rapala, a simple Finnish gentlemen, intent on feeding his family by fishing. Because his family’s well-being depended on his ability to catch fish – Lauri spend much of his time on Finland’s Lake Paijanne simply observing fish in their natural habitat, and trying to learn what he could. What he noticed was that predatory fish seemed to be attracted to bait fish that acted slightly different, or that swam a little different – perhaps due to being wounded. In other words, hungry fish looked for a simple meal, in the form of injured prey. Rapala took this knowledge, and created one of the greatest lures ever created.
Chocolate Bars & Cork
Lauri quickly realized that if he could create a lure that could produce a similar movement or action to the wounded baitfish he observed, that he could catch more fish and earn more money. So, in 1936 he began the process of creating this lure, by whittling and carving cork (not balsa wood), eventually taking the shape of a long slender minnow. He then experimented with different textures and finishes. Believe it or not, he took tinfoil from early chocolate candy bars to form the lures outer surface and flash. He then melted photographic negatives to form a protective coating, around the foil. With this he had an almost perfect representation of a wounded baitfish – with an unbelievable “side-to-side wobble” action. The lure of course became the legendary Original Floating Rapala.
Simple Genius & Attention To Detail
The lures action is what truly separated this lure from the pack, and what helped spread the lures reputation. It’s rumored that Lauri sometimes caught 300+ pounds of fish a day with his first lures. The process of hand-carving lures wasn’t obviously the quickest way to manufacture lures, but it’s one that allowed him to hand test and tune his lures to provide the perfect action – each and every time. It’s this attention to detail, and simple genius, that led Lauri to birth of the greatest lure companies ever!