Peter Käänteinen, a goldsmith from Tornio, founded Tiura-Uistin in 1881 and began production of spoon baits in Kemi. The name 'spoon bait' derives from the first baits which were moulded with existing silver spoon moulds. Later models were manufactured from moulds specifically made for Salmon spoon baits. At the time only tenant farmers were allowed to use nets to fish from rivers. This gave rise to the industrial manufacturing of spoon baits on the banks of River Kemijoki, as people sought other methods of efficient fishing.
Frans Tiura continued manufacturing spoon baits until the eve of Winter War in 1939. Thereafter the manufacturing was continued by his apprentice, and successor, Väinö Viktor Varonen. From this point onwards, spoon baits were embossed with 'V.V.V.F.W.TIURA Kemi'. Teemu Ypyä succeeded Väinö Varonen during the 1960s and continued the business until 1989. Around that time Ari Yliollitervo had graduated as a forest technician and was going Salmon fishing to River Tenojoki: I walked to Teemu Ypyä's jewellery store in Kemi and asked for a couple of '71 Tiura' spoon baits. Teemu explained that he had had no time to manufacture spoon baits this year and offered the manufacturing rights to me. I promised to consider the matter and after coming back from River Tenojoki, I decided to start manufacturing Tiura spoon baits in Oulu.
Tiura's old models consist of twenty-three different spoon baits. The model numbers are: 00, 0, 1, 2, 3, little 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 61, 71, 81 and 82. The old models were designed between 1881 and 1950, when Finland's largest and the best river source for Salmon was River Kemijoki. According to records, Tiura's oldest models were 81 and 82. My grandfather Kalle Yliollitervo was one of the famous Salmon fishers in River Kemijoki. He was very familiar with Tiura spoon baits. He told me that the 'Tiura 71' was so reliable that you only needed to occasionally check if any fish had been caught. There was even time to brew some coffee in between.
When I began manufacturing Tiura spoon baits in 1989, I only had plate cutters, designs for spoon baits and a punching press. Although I believed I would manage with the older production methods, there were a few things that I failed to take into account. Old tools and methods forced the manufacturing cost of each unit to nearly 100 Finnish marks. The slow manufacturing process was also a source of problems. Even if someone wanted to buy these superbly hand-crafted spoon baits, it was not possible to manufacture them in few days. This started a thinking process on how to mechanize the manufacturing so that it would become profitable.When I made the cutting tools for the models that I thought would sell, I was able to reduce the costs of handcrafting. It became easier to market products when they could be manufactured in sufficient quantity. I felt confident that the business would take off. The only troubling thing was that nobody wanted top-quality rowing spoon baits, which were designed for a freely flowing river. After touring from Utsijoki to Hanko, I noted that my top-quality spoon baits were only in demand in the Tenojoki-Torniojoki area. This was because of many other rivers were dammed with power plants. It was then that I began to fathom the extent in demand and I became very depressed. I could not accept that this was to be the end of such a long standing enterprise.
Motor trolling was booming past-time during the early 1990s and I was very interested in it. Tiura's old models were well-suited for motor trolling, but only when the boat was travelling at a very slow speed. When American spoon baits began appearing on the market, I noticed that the trolling speed increased annually. This compelled us to develop new prototypes designed specifically for motor trolling.The first designs of the 'Vetotiura' prototype were developed during autumn, 1994. This prototype produced strong results during a fishing competition in Airisto. One of the where a fishing pair, Kaltiainen and Turunen, managed to catch a 5kg Trout and other smaller fish. The 'Vetotiura' managed to gain a national reputation when the Carelia-Trolling Team organized a 1000-hour continuous fishing competition in Pyhäselkä, Joensuu. While all the top brands from Finland took part in the event, the most fish were caught with the 'Vetotiura'.
We also developed a casting spoon bait called 'Neiden' in 1995. It was based on the 'Näätämö' spoon bait design and although the 'Näätämö' had a good reputation, I was not happy with the swimming ability. I wanted our model have a kick that was sharper and clearer. After numerous prototypes, we created a prototype that fulfilled these requirements. The 'Neiden' is manufactured in two weights; 12g and 20g
Motored Salmon Trolling in Finland is over 15-years old. During the 1990s its popularity skyrocketed and today it is more popular than ever. This is the reason why Tiura developed its own Salmon spoon bait in 1995. My idea of good Salmon spoon bait was based on old Tiura's models, mainly the number '0', which was designed for strong streams. It is good for catching upstream Salmon from the cold waters of River Torniojoki. The upstream Salmon has the same genetic inheritance as Salmons in the Gulf of Finland and the Baltic Sea and the water temperature conditions for migrating Salmons are almost the same as in rivers. These were the things I considered when designing the movement of the bait. The old Tiura-0 has a wide kick, which is a basic quality for good Salmon spoon bait meant for cold water. The movement spectrum becomes considerably smaller when moving upstream toward River Tenojoki, where Artic Sea Salmon become more dominant
It is not easy to produce top-quality Salmon spoon baits. Many excellent products are already available. I actually started drawing different designs for new spoon baits in 1995. Although I wanted to design spoon bait that looked great, the final deciding factor was the bait's movement and this compelled me to go back to the original design. It was during this process that 'Isotiura' was designed. Testing started in early June, 1996. The first day of testing was very productive, Jarmo Kauppi managed to catch an 8.5kg Salmon from the Gulf of Finland. The catch history of the 'Isotiura' started from there. During the following spring, Tiura-Fishing Team dominated the competition in Hänö, Sweden. The team included Yliollitervo, Junnila, Moilanen, Kauppi, Virta and Hokkanen. The catch was over 100kg during the four day period. The new model did go through iterations during the summer and the final 'Isotiura' was ready for sale in spring 1998.
In 1996, we began to invest in spoon baits designed for winter fishing. It was natural progression to develop spoon bait for ice-fishing of Trout and Rainbow Trout. In ice-fishing, the movement is only a half-meter drag or a drop and I believed it had to be especially floating and sensitive. This is how 'Kirjotiura' was designed. Retailers started to sell them in autumn 1998. In spring 1999, Oiva Pietikäinen won the Rainbow Trout Ice-fishing Finnish Championship in Koli, Finland while using our spoon bait.
The spoon bait called 'Raututiura' was developed for sale in 2000. Its most popular colour is 17/C. It gathered popularity among the ice-fishers because of its sensitivity and top-quality fishing ability. The hook of 'Raututiura' is Kamasa B420 and wire trace Stroft ABR 0,28.
The spinning-side also needed a smaller model mainly for catching Trout and Rainbow Trout. Idea about developing a smaller 'Neiden' came in 2001 and we started a prototype workshop. I produced ten different versions and we went fishing to a familiar planting lake with Eero Laurila and Mikko Vetelä. We continued testing the prototypes and it appeared that Eero caught the most fish with his prototype, which seemed to catch a high number of Rainbow Trout. That prototype was developed into the 'Neiden Junior'.
Developing spoon baits for ice-fishing continued and we developed 'Kirjotiura Junior' in 2003. Regarding the spoon-part of the bait, we clearly noticed that a smaller spoon worked better during a poor feeding time. So 'Kirjotiura' gained a little brother, which even today is a trusted lure of ice-fishers.
Tiura's Kojamo-wobbler originated in River Tenojoki and was originally envisioned by Timo Laiti, a professional rower named. I have rowed with Timo for a week every year for the last 15-years. It was during our brainstorming session when decided to start a project called 'Tiuravaappu' (Tiura wobbler). I was unsure what the wobbler would look like or what size it should be but Timo was very definite and started giving out precise measurements. I was dumbstruck about Timo's vision of the wobbler. The first prototypes were ready for display in 2004, a year after the project had started. In 2005, we started test runs with Tiura wobblers and in the first day of testing we managed to get two 10kg Salmons during a single run. The first catch was with a colour-507 wobbler and the second with a colour-503. After the last run, we managed to catch another 10kg Salmon and decided to start warming the sauna, to celebrate how well our wobblers were working.
In 2007, we developed a spoon for the slow-speed trolling. We already had great rowing-spoon baits, such as models 3 and 5. We modified these to work better with motor trolling at slower speeds of 3 ? 4.5 kilometres per hour. This gave us new spoon baits for both Salmon and Trout, which worked very well at speeds suitable for bait holders. Our testers Ilkka Kukkonen and Hannu Huttunen managed to catch a 4,2kg and a 5,2kg Trout from Lake Oulujärvi in 2008 by using the colour of glittering-black-silver 3.
The little brother of Tiura's wobbler 'Kojomo' was developed in 2007 and was aptly named 'Kojomo Junior'. Timo Laiti did the first tests and caught one 16,5kg fish and several 10-kilo fish. The 'Kojamo Junior' was developed for a particular situation where the water quantity in rivers starts to diminish, and wobblers get smaller.
The 11cm length of 'Ukkotiura'-wobbler was developed to catch Zanders and Pike in 2008. Among the expert consultants were Jari Kostamo and Mika Ristiharju. The wobblers worked great and we nearly won the first day in Hauki-EM 2009, with a catch of 90kg, but were unfortunately too late for fish weighing and were disqualified.