Major League Fishing pro Brandon Palaniuk, showing off a healthy largemouth bass from last week's MLF Bass Pro Tour opener on Florida's Lake Toho, is one of several Rapala pros fishing the MLF competitions.

TULSA, Okla. (Feb. 6, 2019) – Rapala, the world’s largest manufacturer of fishing lures and other fishing-related products, will join Major League Fishing (MLF) as an official sponsor of the 2019 Bass Pro Tour.

Founded in Finland in the 1930s by Lauri Rapala, their most popular product is a balsa wood minnow imitation lure called the Original Floater. Rapala’s line of products include some of the most recognizable names in bass fishing.

“Rapala has a lot of fast-growing brands that apply to the ever so changing bass fishing industry, including VMC Hooks, Sufix Line, Storm and Terminator Lures” said Matt Jensen, Director of Marketing for Rapala USA. “We also sponsor many of the greatest anglers in the world who are now a part of this historic inaugural MLF season and the Bass Pro Tour. It is our goal to support all our pros as well as align with the top trends in the fishing industry, and our new and exciting partnership with Major League Fishing certainly does that.”

And like MLF, Rapala is also interested in introducing more anglers to the sport of fishing and especially getting youth involved. The company is running a national video spot that encourages young people to get outdoors and go fishing.

Rapala sells millions of lures each year in 140 different countries, and 242 all-time world-record fish were set on Rapala lures. It is also the only fishing lure manufacturer that mass-produces balsa wood lures. Rapala products include crankbaits, jigging lures, lipless crankbaits, surface poppers, filet knives, fishing rods, reels and various fishing tools.

“We’re excited to welcome Rapala to the Bass Pro Tour,” said Jim Wilburn, President and CEO of Major League Fishing. “Their storied history in the world of bass fishing, the way they have brought revolutionary new products to the market year after year, it makes them a perfect fit for the tour as we grow this great sport into the future. They already support a number of the anglers that compete out here on the Bass Pro Tour, so we’re thrilled that they’ve now come on board as an official sponsor of ours.”

Rapala’s sponsorship includes 30-second commercials and graphic billboards in Bass Pro Tour television programming, and a brand presence among the tour’s in-show and on-site opportunities, and MLF NOW!, the live stream program that will deliver a minimum of five hours of real-time coverage during each competition day.

The Bass Pro Tour, a premier 80-angler, eight-event tour with a championship, has embarked on its inaugural season in 2019 with the goal of dramatically growing visibility and participation for the sport of fishing. The plans will help realize the founding partners’ original vision for MLF to elevate competitive bass fishing and its top-tier pros to a national exposure level and grow a fan base on par with other top major league sports.

The Bass Pro Tour features the same MLF format in which bass are immediately weighed after they are caught then released back into the water. Anglers know where they rank in the standings at all times via real-time leaderboards in their boats.

Each of the eight Bass Pro Tour events will produce roughly 40 hours of live-streamed content that can be followed on Every Bass Pro Tour stop will also become a two-hour television show to air on Discovery Channel in the fourth quarter of 2019, and then repeat on Sportsman Channel in first and second quarters 2020.

About Major League Fishing  

Developed through a joint effort between Outdoor Channel and the PBT anglers in 2011, Major League Fishing brings the high-intensity sport of competitive bass fishing into America’s living rooms in the form of riveting two-hour TV episodes. World-class anglers are filmed over the course of a six-day event. The show captures their efforts as they utilize a demanding format that allows them to weigh all the “scorable bass” they catch. Unlike other competitive fishing events, live leaderboards in the boats allow anglers to know their standings at all times. For more information about the game, visit and follow Major League Fishing on TwitterInstagram and Facebook. You can catch all current and past episodes of Major League Fishing on#MyOutdoorTV, the world’s leading outdoor television global, streaming service provider. Also, for more information about MLF anglers, see Game & Fish magazine, the official publication of MLF.