Ron Weber introduced Rapala to America

  • Article by: DENNIS ANDERSON DANDERSON@STARTRIBUNE.COM , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 29, 2012 - 11:24 PM

The Duluth native also worked on behalf of North Shore streams.

Ron Weber was famed as a marketer of Rapala lures and as a fisherman.

Angling legend Ron Weber, who changed fishing in Minnesota and throughout the world when he and the late Ray Ostrom began importing Rapala lures from Finland a half-century ago, died Thursday. He was 84.

Weber loved all types of fishing but was particularly smitten by steelhead, or migratory rainbow trout. A worldwide angler, he loved no river more than the Brule in northwest Wisconsin, where he and his wife keep a cabin.

"It's there that we found beauty and quiet and serenity,'' Mary Ann Weber said.

Originally from Duluth, Weber lived in Minneapolis and owned a fishing tackle distribution company in the 1950s when he happened upon a few of Lauri Rapala's early lures at a small shop in Duluth.

Intrigued by their fish-catching ability, Weber subsequently gave a few of the lures to Ostrom, a customer of his who also was an avid fisherman. The pair later formed a partnership after reaching an exclusive U.S. importation and distribution deal with Rapala.

Ostrom and Weber ordered their first 1,000 Finnish baits in 1960 and shortly thereafter requested another 2,040.

Today, Rapala brand lures are the most commonly used fishing lures in the world and hold more world records than any others.

Ostrom -- who died in June at age 85 -- sold his share of the business to Weber in 1984, and Weber subsequently sold the business in the 1990s.

But he didn't retire. "He was running four businesses right up until the end,'' his wife said.

In addition to funding music programs and scholarships at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, Ron and Mary Ann Weber also have underwritten research intended to refurbish the vitality and health of North Shore streams, where as a boy Ron first cultivated his love of river angling.

"He said to me the other day, 'If I could just make one more trip to Iceland for Atlantic salmon,' " Mary Ann Weber said. "I said, 'But you've been there eight times.' He said, 'I'd like to go again.' "

Services will be at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church in Minneapolis at 3 p.m. next Sunday with visitation an hour before.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

Click here to send us your hunting or fishing photos – and to see what others are showing off from around the region.

ADVERTISEMENT

Boston 0 Bottom 2nd Inning
Pittsburgh 2
Toronto 1 Top 2nd Inning
Baltimore 3
Washington 0 Bottom 2nd Inning
Atlanta 0
Miami 1 Top 3rd Inning
NY Mets 0
NY Yankees 0 Top 2nd Inning
Tampa Bay 0
Cincinnati - J. Cueto 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - J. Arrieta
Chicago WSox - C. Bassitt 7:10 PM
Kansas City - L. Hendriks
Cleveland - C. Kluber 7:10 PM
Houston - N. Tropeano
Detroit - R. Porcello 7:10 PM
Minnesota - R. Nolasco
Milwaukee - W. Peralta 7:15 PM
St. Louis - L. Lynn
Los Angeles - D. Haren 7:40 PM
Colorado - T. Matzek
San Francisco - J. Peavy 8:40 PM
Arizona - J. Collmenter
Seattle - R. Elias 9:05 PM
LA Angels - C. Rasmus
Texas - N. Tepesch 9:05 PM
Oakland - S. Kazmir
Philadelphia - A. Burnett 9:10 PM
San Diego - I. Kennedy
Tampa Bay 9/18/14 7:25 PM
Atlanta
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
(5) Auburn 9/18/14 6:30 PM
(20) Kansas State
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Toronto 9/19/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Should the lake where the albino muskie was caught remain a mystery?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close