SmokeyJ

Question for our European members

19 posts in this topic

I saw this lure over on Surf Talk in the Lure Building section in a thread called "Lure Building from Finland":

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The poster, Thalme, said the lure was called a Nirha and that it was a traditional Finnish lure style. I was wondering if anyone here makes them and would care to share any info about the lure? In particular I was curious about size and weight, how it sits in the water, what the action is like, etc.

Edited by SmokeyJ

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Hopefully he'll chime in if he is familiar with these.

My take on it is that it is a top water, WTD style lure. The line tie position would have me thinking that it sits in the water at a pretty steep angle. My shot in the dark of how I would ballast and through wire a lure of this style would be:

nirha.jpg

What does everyone else think?

Edited by SmokeyJ

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I'm not not from Finland but have fished a very similar lure called a Viva Pencil. They sit very steep in the water and will cast a long ways for this size bait. The Viva bait has more of a nose tie on the lure but the basic action would be the same. The lure would have to have a wire harness if it were made of wood. The balance point is between the two hook hangers.

I did a google search on the Viva Pencil and only came up with this video. When I saw him catch the first pike on it :? I was thinking there was no way that bait would last. Well you can see what happened to it but I bet it will still catch them. I have 3 or 4 of them and if I remember they are right at 100mm and about 8-9g. I will dig one of them out and get some measurements on it.

OK here are the exact details on the Viva Pencil 92.5mm and 7.0g.

First photo at the bottom shows a Viva Pencil (very similar to the one you want to make) and my 2 attempts to make something like it. Next photo shows the exact mid point for ballast distribution point of the lure. It is balanced the round edge of a Bic pen cap. You try and balance a lure and then photograph it.

Pit falls I ran into are, my baits were too heavy and one barley floated just the eyes were up and it was hard to walk, and the other would suspend nose up. It is very hard to make a through wire bait as thin as the viva and still have room for a harness and lead. With a bait this size you will need to make sure you count the hooks and rings in when you are weight testing. A light wire hook and split ring will weigh .5g. 2 hooks and split rings will take up 14% of the weight from the start. The ballast needs to be almost in the tail of the lure. (My guess is half way between the balance point of the lure and the tail hook.) Good luck and if you plan on making one you should try it with Balsa in the 8-10 lb density range.

The bait will draw strikes when it is walked or when it is twitched and only the tail feathers move.

I still have no clue what the lure is that you posted.

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Wow, the balance point on that is pretty crazy.

As far as the picture, I have no idea what it is either! :lol:

That's why I posted here since I know there are some Scandinavians on the board I thought maybe they were familiar with this lure type. Here is the link to the thread on Surf Talk: Lure Building from Finland

The lure I posted is at the top of page 3. I tried contacting him to ask him about the lure but haven't been successful. Wish he would come over here, he looks pretty prolific in his work.

I stole my ballast ideas from looking at the ima skimmer. I was thinking maybe using some of that hollow lead wire I got from you months ago and running the through wire through it for some of the ballast. I don't know.

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@ SmokeyJ

Jio from Finland is a friend of mine , just fired him a mail to call in here about that lure !

But if my memory serves my right , he has a few days off right now , so it might possibly take a while !

But also for me this is the first time to come across a Finnish topwater bait . Interesting !

greetz , diemai

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Thanks Gator, that seems to indicate it is a topwater lure, but maybe it sits more horizontal than vertical and uses very little ballast, more like a surface glider than a spook. I have no idea. I just thought the shape and line tie were interesting.

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This "Thalme" is well known Finnish lurebuilder, one of the best.

This "Nirha"-lure is old Finnish traditional lure for trout fishing by rowing boat in the rapids or/and streams.

I don't use them myself (I'm pike fisher), so I don't know for sure all posibilities to use this lure.

I know these go on the top water and these are floating (they float tail down, only the nose of the lure is over the water) and very light weight.

Also Nils Master have their own version of this "Nirha":

Finlandia Uistin Oy

but it's only available here in Finland.

This version is build also for casting and they say on their site that you cast that lure in the stream over the "hot spot" and by pulling the rod you make it copy wounded minnow.

So it's like a walk-a-dog style.

I sent some e-mail to Mr. Halme himself, if he could come here and write some more about his lure.

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I am curious why you would make such a small walking bait, unless it's just for the challenge.

Unless you're fishing for really small fish, I don't think a walking bait needs to be that small.

Matching the hatch, at least in bass, isn't critical in top water lures.

The distressed fish action of the bait is what attracts the fish and triggers the bite with predators like bass, and, I'd assume, pike.

Case in point, a 1lb largemouth I caught on a 7" homemade walking bait four weeks ago, when the bass were busting shad up shallow on the main lake points.

If the bass are really keying on small baitfish, like in the spring when they're busting really small shad, or in the fall, when they're busting silversides, they'll ignore topwater most of the time, anyway. Small plastics on dart heads are a much more productive lure.

I make walking baits for myself and a few friends. I've learned, regarding weighting, that the reason smaller baits hang down is that they need so much weight to make them castable. If I make a big bait hang down like that, it's a nightmare to keep up on top when I try to walk it. If I could make a small topwater with the same weight transfer as Yozuri invented, with a weight sliding on a cable run from midpoint to the rear, and a magnet in front to pull it back up after the cast, I'd be rich. Z baits makes 8 gram jerkbaits with that same system, and they cast like a dream with a baitcaster. Far better than Lucky Craft or any other lures without that system.

The balance point does need to be behind the center of the lure, so the back will want to keep going past the front on the pause, but, for larger lures, 5"/2oz and up, the lure should rest horizontally in the water, with 1/3 to 1/2 of the front half of the lure's back out of the water. Otherwise, there's just too much wood or plastic to have to haul out of the water each stroke to get it up and walking without a real workout.

I'm just now starting to shape a batch of 5" topwater gliders, in a trout finish, since they just started stocking our local SoCal lakes with trout again.

When I have some finished I'll post them in the gallery.

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Mark, you asked why I would want to make such a small lure. I guess my only answer is because I thought it was interesting (probably much the same way you started making your own version of punkers)

I'm sure you've seen lures that you thought were interesting and tried them and they were a complete bust, but you never would have known if you hadn't tried it. And according to the original post I linked to earlier in the thread, the lure is a very old design, so it piques my interest with its history. I make lures (very few at that, mind you) for my own use and amusement, so I am willing to try something strange and off the wall and if it doesn't work, it doesn't work.

On a side note, Toni Halme emailed me today, but he said his english was very poor and that he couldn't really describe the action, etc. of the lure. He told me to go to this website and ask Jarmo. The email address at that website is jarmo.rapala AT lgh.fi. According to their website, that would be Jarmo Rapala, grandson of Lauri Rapala, founder of Rapala lures.

Anyways, he sent me this picture of his "enhanced version" of the Nirha:

31072008320.jpg

Looks a little more like a more modern walker, but the line tie position is still interesting as well as how narrow the back end is.

Edited by SmokeyJ

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Vodkaman,

I think you're right. No wood is as strong as epoxy.

SmokeyJ,

I actually got started making lures because I broke one of my partner's Pupfish lures, and it's no longer made, so I figured I'd try to make one.

It kind of mushroomed from there. A year ago this last spring, he lost a Triple Trout lure on back to back weekends, so I thought I'd try my hand at jointed lures.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Fun, diverting, entertaining, all of that.

The lures on the Rapala site look like they'd be really tough to weight and wire. I figured out how to make small lures easier....I don't do them! Too lazy.

I'm going out to the garage this afternoon to repaint some old trout lures, to see if they'll work on the bass busting silversides right now.

That baitfish is so small, it's tough to match unless you use a 1/16oz dart head and 3" curly tail, or a little fishey(which are no longer made :censored:.

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Clemmy,

Those little fishies aren't the same ones I'm talking about.

I think they were spelled fisheeze.

They had a fish body, and a ribbon tail that was super thin.

In the water they're very subtle.

I'll email my friend, and try to get one to photograph so I can post it.

If someone one this site could pour them, they'd sell a million here in SoCal.

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Well, an update on this for anyone who is interested. I got an email from Jarmo Rapala and this is what he had to say about the Nirha lures:

Nirha is a traditional Finnish topwater lure that is used almost exclusively in river fishing for brown trout. In earlier years it was used only from boat trolling backward in a current and making short jerks by rod in hand. Recently we have developed a Nirha for casting and it is worked the same way.

The Nirha that we are making is ca. 2,5 inches long and weighs 1/8 oz. Normally we cast it with 8-10 lb. test line and spinning tackle.

We are currently making it in silver/black, gold /black, silver/green and silver/blue colors amd it's currently only sold direct from the factory.

Then I wrote him back to ask him about how the lure sat at rest and the action, and he wrote back:
When you let the lure stand still the tail is down but it stays level if you twitch it without a pause. It will not

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@ SmokeyJ

Very nice of you to post the results of your inquiries , also very nice of "Rapala" to have answered at all:yes: !

Well , all in all , that "Nirha" seems to be a special lure , that might probably only work for its local purpose , but nevertheless it is very interesting to learn about such different fishing/lure aspects:yay: .

greetz , diemai

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SmokeyJ,

That's too cool! Thanks for sharing.

When you reach Yuki Ito, remind him he has a long lost "cousin", Marki Poulson, here in Los Angeles, who would love to have some of his creations. :wink:

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