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 Paijanne, 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.
He created his first lure
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 cork 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 600 pounds 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.
One of the most successful fishing lures
A good day fishing. The undisputed mother of invention. For millions, success could be measured by the growing number of trophy fish caught on Rapala lures. (To this day, no other lure holds more world records.) And because we at Rapala are fishermen first, we know not only what our fellow fishermen need, but what they can’t live without. Like when the now legendary Shad Rap® first landed in tackleboxes. Word of the Shad Rap’s amazing ability to catch fish spread like wildfire. Tackle shops sold out across America, and then the rest of the world. Resort owners small family owned bait shops rented out Shad Raps by the day. And even by the hour. (Yes, it was that good.)
All these years later it’s still one of fishing’s most successful lures.
The tapered design and unique flexibility of the Fish ’n Fillet made filleting easier, which is why to this day they’re still the number one fillet knives in the world. And so a foundation was laid. The successes of the Original Floater™, Shad Rap®, and Fish ’n Fillet were followed by other Rapala products that found their way into tackle boxes and history books. Lures like the Magnum®, the Rattlin’ Rapala®, the Fat Rap®, the CountDown®, the Husky Jerk™, and the Tail Dancer™.
The number one fillet knives in the world!
All the world is your honey hole
There’s a reason more fishermen around the world put their faith in Rapala. It’s a confidence that stretches through 140 countries and is validated each year by the 20 million Rapala lures sold. Simply put, Rapala products make better fishermen. Nothing rushed to market, but carefully crafted from years of experience. No shortcuts. No gimmicks. No flash in the pan, next greatest things. It is a legacy of unwavering quality that can be seen in every lure, every fillet knife, every tool, and every cast. A legacy that continues with new Rapala offerings of more lures, new actions, new sizes, new colors, new finishes, new tools, new accessories and new ways of catching more fish.
The sweet smell of success lingers long after the scent of fish slime fades. Tens of millions of sea bass, tuna, trout, pike, zander, perch and salmon 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.