Although the Heddon Lure Company is recognized as the inventor of the wood fishing lure, it might be correct to say that the Rapala company perfected the wooden fishing lure. Rapala is now the world's leading brand of fishing lures and there have been more world records caught on Rapalas than on any other brand. Also impressive: Rapala remains the only worldwide company that mass-produces balsa baits (competitors instead use plastic or composite).
It all started in 1936 when Lauri Rapala, in Finland, carved his first minnowbait with a shoemaker's knife and sandpaper. It was made of cork. Tinfoil from chocolate bars formed the lure's outer surface. Melted photographic negatives provided the protective coating. But most importantly, the creation 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 and that first lure was the forefather of the Original Floating Rapala – perhaps the most famous and successful hardbait in fishing history.
Rapala today, alongside its parent company Normark, crafts every sort of hardbait imaginable, plus a suite of fishing products like rods, line, knives, accessories and so much more.
One of Rapala's most successful bait introductions of the past decade was its DT series, which was perfectly timed to capitalize on the recent cranking renaissance.
The DT (Dives-To) Series features a unique body and lip design.
Made from the top 7% of balsa wood, this consistently perfect wood, combined with carefully placed internal weights, tapered fuselage and thin tail design creates the ultimate crankbait action.
The DT Series is weighted to rest in a quick-dive, nose-down position, which allows for a more immediate descent to the desired depth, and it can easily be cast 150 feet.
Within the DT Series, the Ike's Custom Ink baits are truly unique. The "ink" is a reference to the individual markings and colors palates designed by Mike Iaconelli that define the Custom Ink series.
Each of the colors in the series is muted. Iaconelli believes these colors are more natural, and for years he sun-baked his cranks on car dashes and windowsills to achieve a similar lifelike tone.
Ike also directed Rapala to polish the baits into a pearly finish like that found on several baitfish species (and classic automobiles).
Ike also demanded glitter – super-fine glitter, actually, to add reflective depth. The fine particulates are meant to emulate the true appearance of baitfish.
The Custom Ink series is available in the following sizes: DT4, DT6, DT10, DT14 and DT16. Number denotes dive-to depth.
Length: 2-, 2 1/2- and 2 3/4 inches
Weight: 5/16-, 3/8-, 3/5- and 3/4-ounce
Extras: Muted colors, premium polish, fine glitter
Colors: blueback herring -- Caribbean-shad -- demon -- disco-shad -- mardi-gras -- old-school -- penguin -- smash
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