Ultimate Bass

Where did they go?

What has happened to all the lure companies? Gone but not forgotten. While going thru my Favorite places list on my computer, I was very upset and sad to see that about 85% of the independent companies that were making lures from their homes and small companies, are gone. Websites down and removed. What happened? Where did they all go?

Well first I am sure we can all blame today’s current economy. The state of our nation has effected even the lure makers breaking even on their products. Then there are the big lure makers. They have finally realized that if we cannot find quality lures at reasonable prices, we would make our own, and they have kept prices fair. Then there is the angler. If there is nobody ordering, there’s no income.. We too are to blame for the demise of these small lure makers.

I went thru the list, company after company, site after site, gone… It was very, very sad.

Although there were not too many of the old lure makers left, I did find that there were some new companies breaking into the market, producing some very fine products, and though some of the products looked real and effective, the price tag was nothing to ignore, who but the top money makers are going to buy a single lure for $29.00? I would be afraid to throw that lure, maybe hang it on my keychain.

With the realization that to make a living, selling lures, we have to look at a company that made it big with one tournament. Z-Man fishing. When the Bassmaster Elite tour was being televised with ESPN, the Chatterbait won the tournament that weekend, and history was made. They soon had orders that lasted two years to fulfill. They were the hottest lure to hit the market since the Senko. Now there is one to a dozen on every boat in the world. Why? They work! There are companies that were making soft plastic that just couldn’t compete because everybody else was making these same plastics. It is the hard baits that have a better chance to break thru to mainstream and be successful.

There needs to be a difference, a unique quality to stand out from all the other lures that saturate the market. Laser Lure has the Laser, Backstabber has the hook on top. So what else can a lure company do to make their product stand out from all the rest? Well if I knew the answer, I would not be writing this. I would be cashing those checks from the orders flowing in daily.

It’s not only the lure companies that are hurting, Rod companies are also fading from the scene. When I first started reviewing custom rod companies, Texas Sidewinder rods stood out from a list of stick makers that had real quality product. They even put the customer’s name on the blanks! Gone.

Although some are still advertising only on EBay, their steady incomes are not enough to sustain full time production. The newest rod makers are now successful Pro’s on high level tours, creating their own companies. Duckett & Dobyns are two that come to mind.

Still every year at ICast shows, there are company after company that have their dreams and hopes of making it big come and go after the show is over, and it’s up to us, the angler’s, the customer, that make or break them. Good luck to all of them. It’s a tough road ahead.

Scott Perratti
“The Rockin’ Angler”



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