Monday, January 28, 2013

Fish Tales: How Rapala Killed the Wiggle Wart

This is an argument that seems to come up over and over again both on and off the water. The elusive "vintage" Storm Wiggle Wart is a legendary bait that seems to be increasing in demand and price as it's legend grows.. Why? you may ask is a bait that is still being build causing such a stir on fishing boards and eBay alike.. well it all leads back to 1991.. the year Rapala killed the Wiggle Wart

The following story was used with permission from fellow Dobyns team member Pete Mathews, In this short excerpt Pete provides some awesome insight into the changes to the original Wart made by Rapala as well as how to spot the real thing

The Crime:

In 1991 Rapala purchased Storm and took over the manufacturing. They literally destroyed the mold and made a few key changes that in turn made the bait less effective. Other than destroying the original molds, they started using a lighter plastic that was less dense, so the bait floats up faster when you pause it. In cold water, that's not what you want. They also started using a steel rattle instead of a lead rattle. It produces a different sound than the lead and I'm no scientist, but I would think crawfish would be making a dull, subtle clicking noise in cold water (lead) instead of a higher pitch, louder noise (steel).

Knowing what you have:

Figuring out if you have a pre-Rapala or post-Rapala wart is pretty easy. The older baits have "wiggle wart" printed on the under-side of the bill, and the newer baits say "storm." Also, the older baits have a distinct ridge or rough spot down the's where the two halves of the mold were jointed together. A lot of people think that ridge/imperfection takes the balance of the bait away from center, which in turn makes it hunt back and forth when you have it grinding through the rocks.

If you find an old one in a good color, buy it. If you find an old one in one of the "phantom" colors, definitely buy it. If you find an older one that's a crappy color (basically anything that isn't craw colored), buy it and get it repainted. There were several shad patterns that have a clear body, and if you find a good painter they should be able to re-create those phantom patterns.

To learn more  about the elusive Wiggle Wart and the changes made to them over the years, check out Pete's full article entitled Wiggle Warts old vs. New check on his website (HERE)
If you have any cool bait realted History or stories feel free to share them with us


  1. Did you mean to have the same paragraph twice? (the knowing what you have paragraph)
    I don't remember using a Wiggle Wart, but I will now keep my eye out for any if just to put them on Ebay

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Thanks Brian, no that is an error, I was having a formatting issue and it looks like I got a littl cut and past happy

  4. ust read your article. Good one. I liked it. Keep going. you are a best writer your site is very useful and informative thanks for sharing! Go for the best quality product possible and research before purchasing one. Wasting money is not something anyone likes, better spend sometimes on research and get the right best spinning reel