Lauri Rapala was born 1905, November 27th in the town of Rapala, Finland and died in 1974. He made his first successful fishing lure in 1936 from cork, a candle flame, photo negatives, and empty cheese wrappers.
Lauri never knew his father. Until he was 5 years old he had no last name until a priest gave him the last name Rapala, from the town where he was born.
Lauri sometimes fished up to 30 miles a day on lake Paijanne. While he rowed he saw how sport fish would dart into schools of minnows and grab one particular minnow, always a wounded one, and so he decided to make a lure that would imitate the swimming pattern of a wounded minnow. It was successful and he caught lots of fish.
Well, word soon spread about this lure that caught fish like no other before it, so the whole family started making up to 1000 tank-tested Rapala lures a year until 1965 when Ron Weber and Ray Ostrom offered the Rapala family an exclusive contract to distribute the Rapala lures in North America and they agreed.
They were a big hit.