Rapala – A Look Back

1975 Rapala AdThe Rapala name has been attached to bass fishing ever since one of Laurie Rapala’s first lures made it to the U.S. It all started with the original Floating Rapala and for years that’s all that was available. By the mid-70s, though, Rapala had developed a few other baits to cover a wider range of depths, but for the most part, they were all still “minnow” designs.

What caught my eye in this ad was a bait I’d never seen before – the Deep Diver. After doing a little research I found out that this lure, the DD90 came out in or around 1972 and was produced in two sizes, the 7 and 9 and were 3 -1/4 and 4-1/2 inches in length respectively. They were taken out of production right before 1980, maybe due to the success of the Fat Rap.

Another lure in the ad that was of interest to me was the Magnum Floating Rapala – the first bait that I know of used for the technique “Crispin.” It was the lure Jimmy Crisp used to win a Western Bass/U.S. Bass event in the mid-80s on Table Rock lake (I believe) and spawned what would later become known at Rippin’ or Jerkbaiting. The Magnum Rapala was big enough to throw on casting gear and it spawned companies like Bomber and others to make bigger jerkbaits that could be cast on casting gear.

  • Ralph Manns

    My tackle box remains full of mostly Rapalas, with the DT series filing much of the tray. My bass fishing in the ” old days” when these floaters were new didn’t involve much deep fishing, but that deep diver and largest floaters were terrific baits for California barracuda and yellowtail, though the balsa didn’t stand up well to teeth. They also worked around kelp for calico bass.

    When the late Doug Hannon fished with me, he mainly strolled huge golden shiners (very effective for lunkers). But While strolling baits he cast and twitched the largest Rapala floaters along shoreline cover. to the side and front of his boat. It also worked well.

  • Jeff Hahn

    I have two of the deep diving, metal lipped, Rapalas (#4 in the above pic). Despite the number of bass that I have caught on Shad Raps, Husky Jerks, etc. over the years, I think I have yet to catch a single fish of any kind (even a small northern pike!) on those baits. They sure looked good!