Hand-Tuned and Tank-Tested – Lydiya’s story

Ever since Lauri Rapala carved his first version of the Original Floater out of cork, impeccable swimming action has been a cornerstone of Rapala’s hard baits. Before an angler picks a Rapala lure and ties it on, we have to be certain the bait swims exactly like it’s supposed to. And the only way to be sure is by rigorous testing. That’s why all our lures equipped with a swimming lip are tuned and tested – every single one. Working in our lure manufacturing unit in Pärnu, Lydiya is one of our tank testers. She is part of the team responsible for ensuring our hard baits live up to their well-earned reputation.

People | 2 min read

What does a professional tank tester do?

First thing in the morning, I grab my tank testing stick and a cart full of lures. I do a visual check on the baits to make sure they look right. If they pass the visual check, it’s time to start testing the swimming action. I do this in a testing tank, where I sweep the lures through the water with the testing stick. If there’s something off with the action, I adjust the lure’s eyelet – but if hand-tuning won’t fix the issue, the lure has to go.

What does it take to be a skilled tank tester?

Each lure has a specific swimming action – so they need to be tested in a specific way! Some hard baits require faster speeds or larger tanks, and you need to know what to focus on when dragging the lures through the water. And that takes practice. But I like it! This job is very mobile, and the different lures are fascinating.

What brought you to Rapala VMC?

I’m from Ukraine, and initially, I was working in Poland. But honestly, that job wasn’t the right one for me. I have relatives working here at Rapala VMC, and they recommended I’d come, as well! So, I packed my things and moved to Pärnu. It’s been a year now, and I can say that coming here was definitely the right choice.

So, how about that fishing?

To be completely honest, I didn’t like fishing that much – it’s mainly because my husband’s an angler and he seems to always be looking for ways to get away on a fishing trip! But now, it feels like I’m slowly discovering the sport!

If you were a Rapala lure, which one would you be?

Some of my favorites are the Shadow Rap, the CountDown, and the X-Rap Peto – so I’d be one of those!