Rapala Original Floating Minnow

As a young kid, my foremost passion was fishing for brook trout in the beautiful mountain streams of New England.

Challenging and fun to catch as they are, native brook trout do not get huge within those cold highland streams. As an outcome, I was always in wonder of a big installed brown trout, holding on the wall of our family cabin, that a buddy of my grandfather had landed. I ‘d never ever seen a trout so large. I remember his good friend informing me where and how he captured the fish, and what lure he used to capture it. He saved that lure, and to my pleasure, passed it on to me as a gift. I cherished it and used it to capture lots of fish throughout the years. Naturally, it became a casualty, lost in action one day while fishing. But, ever since then I’ve made certain to have the exact same size and color lure in my deal with arsenal. It’s been among the most effective lures I’ve ever owned: a gold F05 Rapala Drifting Minnow.

The Rapala Original Drifting Minnow was produced in the 1930s by innovative Finnish angler Lauri Rapala. While fishing his preferred water, Lake Paijanne in Finland, he saw how predator fish confined and assaulted little schools of baitfish, spreading healthy specimens and choosing off having a hard time, weaker members of the school. The eventual victim frequently offered themselves away with sluggish, irregular swimming motions. It struck Lauri that predator fish keyed in on this unpredictable motion as a way of identifying slow, injured, and easy-to-catch baitfish. This got him thinking of ways to simulate that action and benefit from those predatory tendencies. If he could create a suitable imitation, he might capture and offer more fish while saving money and time.

Back at his village, Lauri took a shoemaker’s knife to a piece of pine bark and started whittling. He shaved and sanded the piece till it began to resemble a tiny baitfish. He covered a piece of foil from a chocolate bar around the outer surface area, then melted photographic negatives around the lure to produce a protective coating. To obtain the lure to dive, he created a smart service: a plastic lip connected to the nose of the lure.

The first convenient minnow model was completed in 1936, and Lauri instantly put it to good use. Soon, glowing fishing reports began growing up and rumors started to spread out about his brand-new minnow-lure creation.

“His objective started by providing for his family– he was aiming to capture fish,” said Mark Fisher, director of field promotions for Rapala. “Recognition was given to him for being an accomplished angler due to the fact that his lures worked. His understanding of forage at the time– and that he had the ability to set off a response to strike from predator fish– is really type of unique. By custom, the anglers in Finland at that time didn’t angle, they cast webs.”

Lauri entered the Finnish Army in The second world war. During his stint, he supplied fish for a few of the soldiers in his company. After the war, Lauri went back to his small village in Finland and resumed living the easy life. Already, his reputation as a professional angler had grown.

“The interesting part about it is that every town in Finland most likely had an angler who was more experienced than others,” stated Fisher. “Much as it is today, where each lake has a standout guide or a standout competitive angler who is a little more notable, it was the very same among the business fishermen back in the thirties. They understood who was who, and who was a little bit more proficient. And definitely, Lauri Rapala relocated to the forefront.”


Creating a special fish-catching lure added to Lauri’s prestige. He then acquired prominence amongst a group of Finnish business people who were members of a fishing club and took a trip to his village to fish. After trying his handcrafted lures, they decided to bring some back to Helsinki with them, offering him substantially more exposure and increasing demand. With the lure’s increasing appeal, Lauri and family went to work making baits to offer.

“Particular family members would do particular things,” stated Fisher. “Some sculpted, some sanded, some fine-tuned. Even without modern-day tooling and production, they were able to begin utilizing typical home items.” For performance’s sake they soon transitioned from pine bark and film negatives to utilizing balsa wood and lacquer surfaces. “When they went into production they found that balsa wood was a really tough yet easy to deal with compound,” Fisher described. “But the fascinating part about balsa, of all the woods out there, it’s the ‘liveliest’ since it’s the lightest, and yet there is strength.” To increase output, they began developing tooling devices and lathes from household devices such as spinning wheels.

In the late 1950s, a regional sales manager from Minnesota who remained in the fishing take on company took a trip to Canada for a fishing trip and found the Rapala lure. Ever the opportunist, Ronald W. Weber contacted the Finnish Consulate and sent a demand to become the sole global representative of Rapala lures. In 1959, he formed a collaboration with customer Ray Ostrom, and with the assistance of Lauri Rapala they established the Normark Corporation and started dispersing Rapala entices in the United States. Weber had a lot faith in the Rapala Minnow that he used his life’s cost savings to build a factory in Finland to satisfy growing demand.

” I think the remarkable part about it is that three individuals originated from various parts of the world, and without even a handshake, made an arrangement that actually altered the way of life for a great deal of other individuals,” said Fisher. “Not just those 3 individuals, however all the other folks who would pertain to work for the company over the years, in Finland, the United States and another 140 nations. It’s definitely shocking.”

Rapala’s greatest advancement came in 1962 when LIFE publication published a short article about Lauri and the lures. The edition included a retrospective on the life of recently deceased Marilyn Monroe, which led to the greatest blood circulation in the magazine’s history. This offered a world of valuable (and fortuitous) exposure for Rapala.

Today, Rapala lures are made from Ecuadorian balsa, sculpted to form by a wood lathe and completed with up to 12 coats of paint and epoxy. The company works carefully with the tree plantation, rotating balsa trees, restocking and replanting what they collect.

” Having the ability to control the tolerances on the density of the balsa is substantial,” stated Fisher. “They need many years to grow prior to the density is correct to make the lures.” Rapala uses 5 percent of the balsa tree to create the most fragile lures: the Original Drifting Minnow and the Shad Rap. The rest of the tree is used for lures that require a little extra weighting and extra components. When completed, each swimming Rapala lure is separately tank-tested and hand-tuned to ensure best swimming action, simply as Lauri constantly insisted. “We have forty tanks manned daily with people who do nothing more than test all these lures,” said Fisher. Over the years, Rapala expanded their lineup, including the Countdown, Shad Rap, Rattlin’ Rapala, Fat Rap, Magnum, Husky Jerk, and Tail Dancer, among others. Rapala manufactures near 20 million lures a year, and they are offered in over 140 countries all over the world. Factories lie in Finland, Ireland, France, China, and Estonia.

“The item serves you well,” said Fisher. “I think that truth has cultivated great people to come work for the company. You find that, sometimes, your job isn’t really your job, it’s a way of living. I believe having the ability to continue a heritage that started out of requirement back in the 1930s, and today being an organisation that can thrive in even the toughest of competitive times in the marketplace, is a quite distinct situation that the Rapala household developed.”