Well, recently, my entire outlook has changed, and let me tell you why.
Since I am an avid ebay fan and user, I regularly scour the Rapala listings for something new, rare, cheap, and different. And different is what I had definitely found.
To backtrack a bit, this year I started asking various ebay sellers if they would like to have links to their Rapala-related auctions placed on my website, RapalaNation.com. In return, all I would ask for is a simple tackle donation, in which I would use for various free Rapala lure giveaways.
(For more info on this, click here!)
Anyway, I have been coming across some unreal and eclectic Rapala lures on ebay lately - a lot! I wonder how I had been so blind to this for so long.
Or have I? I don't know if I had just been blind to it, or has the custom repaint business been a recent boom?
I can't really be sure, but all I know is, there are a lot of extremely talented people our there, and they are doing things to Rapala lures (and other models, of course) that I would have never even dreamed of before.
Well as we all know, fishing lures catch fishermen as well as fish, and I was hooked. I started taking a closer look at the custom Rapalas on ebay, and various other places, and it seems that with each artist, each one seems to make a few lures that are heads and tails over the rest - but you can't really say which lure artist is 'better'.
A few weeks later, I was able to team up with Joe from JoesCustomBaits; he recently got a new website, so feel free to drop by and see what he has, or view his current ebay listings. Joe has some really unbelievable patterns, and does repaints on Rapala lures as well as other brands.
What makes it so exciting, is that everyone does things differently, and it is this variety that makes it so very fun. As I started teaming up with some of these talented folk, little did I realize that one of these artists resides right on my site, and I didn't even know it.
Steve Polaski, aka 'muskiehunter' on RapalaNation, is an avid fisherman and Rapala fan, and is fortunate enough to have Lake Michigan right in his backyard. Before JoesCustomBaits got his site up and running, I posted all of his patterns on my site so my members could view them all.
A few days later, Steve started posting some of his own work, and once again, I was amazed at how a few coats of paint can really make a lure jump out at you. I hurriedly rifled through my tackle box, and threw a pile into a box and asked Steve to give them a makeover for me. It is a great way to get some new life out of those old Rattlin Rapalas, or take advantage of some Rapala sales on less successful models (such as the Glass Fat Rap)
You can view his entire line of work here, but I just wanted to display a sample of just some of his work. He keeps adding patterns all the time, I simply cannot keep up!
Mean Green Craw
Wavy GravyXtreme Lure Concepts; I am hoping that Rob and myself will be able to help spread the word about our respective sites, but he deserves mention here simply because of the beautiful work he does in his natural patterns series. You can see some examples below; Rob sells his baits to tournament fishermen, and is also an aspiring tournament fisherman himself. All of a sudden I just because very jealous of this man!
Rob also lists some of his customs for sale on ebay as well, if you're lucky you may be able to snag some of them for less than the going rate!
With all being said, my love and pursuit of Rapalas initially began to try to find different Rapala lures to fish with; with all of these great lure artists in the world, the possibilities are now inded endless.
Before I go, here are some custom lure sellers that you should definitely check out!