It all began with a hungry Finnish guy and a carving knife. It was the 1930s when a simple fisherman made an observation of simple genius: Big fish eat little fish, especially little fish that are wounded. So begins the greatest fishing story ever told. As Lauri Rapala fished the waters of Finland’s Lake Päijanne, he quietly rowed and watched. And what he saw was how hungry predator fish would dart into a school of minnows and attack the one that swam with a slightly off-center wobble. Over and over again.
Lauri realized that if he could craft a lure that mimicked the movements of a wounded minnow, he could catch more fish, earn more money, and not spend time constantly baiting lines. So Lauri set to work. He whittled. Carved. And shaved. Eventually a lure began to take shape. Using a shoemaker’s knife and some sandpaper, he created his first successful lure from pine bark in 1936. Tinfoil from chocolate bars formed the lure’s outer surface, melted photographic negatives the protective coating. But most importantly, it perfectly imitated the action of a wounded minnow. Legend has it that Lauri sometimes caught 300 kg of fish a day with that new lure. And as word of his abundant catches spread, the lure’s reputation grew. The rest, as they say, is history. That first lure was the forefather to the lure that has helped more fishermen experience the thrill of more big fish than any other: the legendary Original Floating® Rapala.
The wiggle fish can’t resist. As fishermen around the world began to catch more and bigger fish with Rapala’s lure, it became clear that what triggered them was the lure’s tantalizing wiggle and wobble. Because even though fish throughout the world were different, predators and baitfish always acted true to form. Big fish hammer wounded little fish. That’s why Lauri tested each lure to make sure it swam true to the unique "wounded-minnow action." It wasn’t the fastest way to make a fishing lure. But it was the only way to make a Rapala. To this day, all Rapala lures with with a swimming lip are hand-tuned and tank-tested to swim perfectly right out of the box. It’s an action as distinct to a Rapala as a fingerprint is to a person. An action no other company has been able to duplicate.
Decades later, Rapala continues to stand the test of time. Through the industry’s ups and downs. Through the coldest cold fronts. Because through it all, one simple truth has endured. That which is irresistible to fish will always be irresistible to the fisherman.