The man who played a key role in introducing Rapala lures to the US has died. Ron Weber, who was 84, was still running four businesses right up to his death, though he had moved out of the tackle business in the 1990s when he sold Normark to the Rapala family. Weber owned a Minneapolis tackle distribution company in the 1950s, when he discovered a few of Lauri Rapala’s early lures at a small shop in Duluth. He gave a few to Ray Ostrom, a customer who was an avid fisherman. The pair later formed a partnership after reaching an exclusive US deal with Rapala. The pair ordered their first 1000 Finnish baits in February 1960 and shortly thereafter requested another 2040. When a story appeared in Life magazine, the fledgling company got orders for more than 3 million lures. Remarkably, Rapala gave the pair permission to register the US firm as The Rapala Company, a name that later changed to Normark. Story here.