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Rapala’s storied history can be traced all the way back to the 1930s and a simple hungry Finnish man and his trusty carving knife. His earth shattering epiphany was that big fish eat little fish, especially the wounded ones. And the rest is history that say, or maybe the greatest fishing story ever told given Rapala’s long and storied success.

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.

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. 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. He refined his creation until he released the Original Rapala Floater to the public. To read the full story, click here.

If you’re a fan of Rapala products today, we’ve created this section to help you catch more fish on Rapala’s lures and enjoy fishing more with Rapala’s fishing gear.