In 1936, Finnish fisherman Lauri Rapala carved his first fishing lure, marking the birth of the Original Floating Rapala. Crafted from balsa, hand-tuned, and tank-tested, this lure’s distinct wobbling action proved irresistible to fish. The Rapala legacy, rooted in Lauri’s observations of wounded minnows, led to a worldwide angling phenomenon.
Born into poverty in central Finland, Lauri’s early years were marked by hard work and survival. In the harsh conditions of Lake Päijänne, he honed his fishing skills, eventually creating a lure that mimicked the injured minnows attracting predatory fish. Lauri’s commitment to quality led to the establishment of RapalaVMC, now a global fishing tackle company.
During World War II, Lauri defended his homeland, showcasing his lure’s prowess by out-fishing dynamite users. Post-war, Lauri’s lure gained recognition, reaching the U.S. during the 1952 Helsinki Olympics. The turning point came in 1959 when Ron Weber, an American businessman, discovered Rapala lures in Minnesota. The ensuing Rapala fever led to widespread demand and the formation of Normark Corporation.
In 1962, Life magazine’s feature catapulted Rapala into the U.S. market, creating unprecedented demand. Lauri’s humble beginnings transformed into global success, with his lures holding more world records than any other.
RapalaVMC continued innovating, introducing iconic lures like Shad Rap®, Husky Jerk®, DT® Series, Skitter Rap®, and X-Rap®. Yet, the Original Floating Rapala remains the top-selling lure, validated by its unmatched ability to catch more and bigger fish. With a legacy of quality, innovation, and a commitment to angler needs, Rapala products are trusted by fishermen in 140 countries. The story of Lauri Rapala exemplifies the brand’s dedication to excellence, ensuring every Rapala item meets its intended function, maintaining a legacy of unwavering quality in the pursuit of catching more and bigger fish.