The history of the wobbler for fishing.

Wobbler is a solid solid volume bait for fishing by trolling, “track” or spinning.

Black Square Design
6 min readJun 4, 2020
The most popular Rapala lure model

The creation of the prototype of a modern wobbler is attributed to the American beekeeper James Heddon (James Heddon). One day in 1894, Heddon, resting near the dam of an old mill, planed wood. When he got home, he threw the waste into the pond and noticed how large American perches (bass) attacked the shavings swaying on the surface of the water.

Intrigued by this, Heddon began experimenting with wooden lures. April 1, 1902 he received a patent №693,433 for a new fishing bait (fish-bait) — “Dowagiac”. Translated from the Potavatomi language, “Doe-Wah-Ge-Ack” means “a lot of fish.” The Heddon Lucky 13 lure created in 1920 was a huge commercial success in the US market. In 1932, the Heddon and Sons company manufactured the world’s first plastic wobbler, named because of the transparent case “spook” — a ghost. At the beginning of the 20th century, a significant number of firms were already engaged in commercial production of wobblers.

fisherman Lauri Rapala

In 1936, the Finnish fisherman Lauri Rapala cut out his first wobbler from pine bark. The first wobblers of Lauri Rapala became the prototypes of the still popular Original Floater model. The historical merit of Lauri Rapala is that he was the first to guess to attach a blade to the wobbler that makes the bait hesitate and go to a given depth. Wobblers of the Rapala-Uistin company (Lauri Rapala and sons) became world famous after the 1952 Helsinki Olympics. Today, Rapala is one of the largest manufacturers of wobblers in the world.

The first wobbler of production in 1936 from the company “Heddon and Sons”


In view of the huge number of volumetric baits (lures) created over the past 100 years, their classification seems difficult. In general terms, wobblers can be classified according to their physical properties (buoyancy), appearance (body proportions), size, weight, color and nature of the game.

The following types of wobblers are distinguished by the degree of buoyancy.
weakly floating (Slow Floating)
with neutral buoyancy — Suspenders
Slow Sinking
Fast Sinking


It is made of solid wood (mainly balsa, pine, hazel, oak are used for these purposes) or various plastics. In the case of using plastics such as ABC, polystyrene or polycarbonate, the body can be hollow inside, and when using foamed plastics (for example, expanded polystyrene), the body can be solid. The color of the wobbler can both imitate real objects of prey of predators, and be fantasy.

Quality wobblers often have a holographic coating on the surface that increases the reflective properties of the wobbler. There are models of transparent, slightly colored wobblers filled with oil with sparkles floating in it (imitating the falling of fish scales). In addition, the body of the wobblers can be two- and three-piece.

To create additional effects that attract fish, rattles can be placed inside the body, balls sounding at different frequencies from different materials (glass, metal, plastic).

Vane (tongue)

The blade (otherwise the tongue) is the main working organ of the lure. It makes the bait hesitate and go deep to a predetermined depth. Mounted in front of the bait. The blade may be part of a plastic housing or may be embedded in a bait housing. Made of plastic or metal. The first blades on Rapala wobblers were made of tin, but it soon became clear that the unnatural appearance of the blade often guards the fish, so manufacturers switched to inconspicuous blades made of transparent plexiglass. Metal (often duralumin or titanium) blades are mainly placed on powerful wobbler models where strength is required for extreme loads.

May contain adjustments for the degree of deepening and “game” of the wobbler. The blade has four main parameters: slope, length, area and configuration.

In general, the longer the blade, the greater the working depth of the wobbler. However, the lateral disturbing forces increase significantly. With insufficient stability, the bait deviates to the side, up to the exit to the surface. To balance such a wobbler, to maintain the stability of the game and the deepening ability, the fishing line loop is moved approximately to the middle of the blade.

The area of ​​the blade determines the intensity of the “game” of the bait. The greatest swinging effect is achieved when the blade is perpendicular to the direction of movement. As the angle decreases, the disturbing effect of the running water decreases, and the intensity of the game decreases. In the general case, the projection of the area of ​​the scapula perpendicular to the incoming flow works on the “game”.

Equally important for the intricacies of the behavior of the wobbler is the configuration of the blade. For better interaction with the oncoming water stream, the front surface of the blade is usually slightly concave or with a small indentation. The wider the blade, the more intense the wobbler game. But at the same time, the bait may “fall over” and lose the game. To increase the stability of the game on wide and almost perpendicular blades, a special bend is sometimes made.

There are also models of wobblers without deepening blades. On Japanese models of bladeless wobblers, the name “bladeless krenk” is usually found

Wobbler loading

As a wobbler load, tungsten balls can act. Loading creates the correct position of the wobbler in the water, provides the desired buoyancy, complements the game of the wobbler and gives it sound effects in the form of noise.

Magnetic system to increase casting distance

This technology is called mag drive, magnet, mag system and looks like a sliding channel, inside which the load moves. In a calm state, the weight is held in the middle of the body due to the attraction of the magnet. During casting, the load breaks away from the magnet and slides along the channel into the tail of the bait, shifting the center of gravity, which increases the range and accuracy of flight due to less spurious rotation and the movement of the bait with the pointed tail forward. After splashing, the load slides into the center of the wobbler and is held by a magnet, without violating the proprietary game of the bait.



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