TURUS UKKO: one of the best-known successful lures with tradition.
The meanwhile deceased inventor of the legendary Turus Ukko wobblers, Jorma Turunen, had grown up with predatory freshwater fishing since his childhood. Like most children in Finland, he went fishing with his father almost every day. One reason for sure was to enrich the menu with freshly caught fish.
There are many predators like big pike and heavy salmon in the Åland Islands and Saimaa Lakes. Best conditions to design new lures. And that's exactly what Jorma Turunen did. He was very fond of experimenting with fishing and had the unconditional will to develop a large lures for extremely big predators. At that time he was one of the first to know: big lures often bring big fish. Until then, there were no such lures to buy and so he created his first own large wobbler from domestic birch. Soon a certain shape emerged with which the catch results skyrocketed. The first TURUS UKKO wobbler was born: legendary 40 cm long. They already had the typical flat and elongated tail area, their special curved shape and the characteristically head section. The shape and size of this TURUS UKKO basic form was revolutionary at that time.
Jorma Turunen continued to refine the lure shape by trial and error until the final version was found, which is still made in this way. The legendary success of TURUS UKKO wobblers spoke quickly in the Scandinavian area and it didn't take long before the TURUS UKKO wobblers had their firm place in every fishing box of a Finnish trolling angler. Of course, it was also used in the Finnish Saimaa Lake area, one of the top areas for trolling on landlocked salmon and lake trout, and of course for pike and in the meantime also for pike perch (European Walleye). There was a need for smaller lure sizes: the TURUS UKKO wobblers in 16 cm and 20 cm were born. They embarked on a unique triumphal march in the world of predatory fishing, which lasted for decades and consistently gave the predator angler fantastic catch results.
Jorma Turunen presented it in small series produced TURUS UKKO wobblers at international trade fairs. From then on, demand increased rapidly and worldwide interest grew and grew. In order to meet this increasing demand, the lure series with higher quantities were made of African Abachi wood. This was the right choice. Abachi is beautifully light, has a high buoyancy, is considerably harder than the balsa wood preferred in lure making and is much better suited for the stability of larger lures. To this day, Abachi wood is still used for the TURUS UKKO wobblers.
The production of the TURUS UKKO wobblers takes place - then as now - in elaborate manual labour. The wooden bodies are milled, smoothed by hand and a metal weight is placed in the head area to ensure that the lure runs horizontally (to compensate for the uneven buoyancy between the head and tail area). An extremely resilient hook-in eyelet in the head area and of course stainless steel eyelets for the treble hooks are a matter of course with this premium wobbler. The Turus Ukko lures have multiple coatings. Firstly, they are primed in an immersion bath with a thick layer, which provides protection against bite marks hurting the outer skin of the lure and thus against water penetrating into the inside of the TURUS UKKO. This ensures the unique running characteristics even after years of hard use.
The crowning touch are the enticing and finely crafted colour patterns, also applied by hand, with a final layer of clear varnish that provides additional protection against damage. More than 25 years ago then came the shock for all predatory fishermen. Jorma Turunen took over the business with the TURUS UKKO and sold his "Turus Ukko Oy" to an American company. This company tried to market the Turus Ukko in a cheaply manufactured version, probably from the Far East. The word quickly spread, with the result that TURUS UKKO has disappeared from the scene since 1995. The remaining Turus Ukko models, which were still handcrafted in Finland, became precious treasures and sought-after collector's items.
In 2006, Jarmo Rapala (the grandson of Lauri Rapala) brought the TURUS UKKO back to Finland, and since then he has placed great importance on the fact that the TURUS UKKO lures are handcrafted as it used to be and catches as successfully as when Jorma Turunen was still responsible for the production. Jarmo Rapala has been able to improve the quality even further thanks to his extensive know-how and his excellent worldwide relationships in lure making. He hired Veli-Pekka Sahinoja, who already made the TURUS UKKO for Jorma Turunen, so that the wobblers have the same shape and design as before. Today's Turus Ukko lures therefore offer optimum quality and seamlessly tie in with old traditions.