A Brief History of Rapala: The Most Trusted Name in Fishing
OutdoorHub Contributors 06.25.14
It’s said that big things have small beginnings. The adage rings especially true for Rapala, a company that has put high-quality fishing lures and accessories in the hands of anglers across the globe for more than 75 years.
The brand was unofficially founded in 1936 when Finnish fisherman Lauri Rapala made one simple, yet genius observation: big fish eat little fish, particularly the wounded ones. As he fished the waters of Finland’s Lake Paijanne, he noticed how predator fish would dart into a school of minnows and attack the one that swam with a slightly off-centered wobble again and again.
This elegant insight led Lauri to pick up a carving knife to whittle, shave, and sand the original Rapala fishing lure. With makeshift household materials such as cork, tinfoil, and melted photographic negatives, he crafted and painstakingly tested a lure that perfectly mimicked the action of a wounded minnow and would ultimately become the forefather of the legendary Original Floating Rapala.
From these humble origins, the greatest fishing story ever told began. As anglers around the globe began to catch more and bigger fish with the lure, the legend of Rapala grew. It became clear that the Rapala’s groundbreaking “wounded minnow” action was the key to triggering strike after strike from fish of all species in nearly any application.
In 1959, Normark Corporation was established and set out to increase distribution of Rapala lures to US fishing enthusiasts, helping to offer the brand’s innovative designs to more people than ever before.
Since the inception of Lauri Rapala’s original lure, Rapala has become a market leader known to anglers worldwide as the standard in functionality and high quality.
Each Rapala lure—from the Original Floating Rapala to the immensly popular Shad Rap to the innovative new Scatter Rap series—is hand-tuned and tank-tested to swim perfectly right out of the box, maintaining Lauri Rapala’s strict standards of craftsmanship and perfection in creating industry-best products with each and every effort.
Today, more anglers put their faith in Rapala lures and accessories than any other brand. In fact, Rapala now consists of such world-known brands as VMC, Blue Fox, Williamson, Luhr-Jensen, Storm, Terminator, Sufix, Trigger X, and ICE FORCE.
Confidence in the company’s ever-growing selection of products has spread to more than 140 countries worldwide and is vaildated with approximately 20 million lures sold annually and the prestigious claim that more world-record fish have been caught on Rapala lures than any other brand of fishing lures.