Tackling Tackle Business
By Steve Chaconas
Whether capitalizing on their product reputation or to stay relevant, fishing companies are expanding product lines.
In the competitive fishing electronics world, Garmin set the pace with forward-facing sonar. While other major players played catch up, Garmin raised the bar. They did so without requiring anglers to completely upgrade systems at a great expense. New and improved LiveScope shows more detail and at a greater distance with a new transducer and free software updates. This is very rare in the electronics business as major improvements usually require replacing entire systems at great expense. The new LVS-34 transducer upgrade is an easy install and allows most users to keep their existing screens and enjoy improved screen clarity, transducer sensitivity and target separation. Garmin is setting another bar, not only with new transducer technology, but with how upgrades are sold to users. garmin.com
Dominating a product category combined with quality service, Power-Pole Shallow Water Anchors own the market they created, setting a standard for the fishing industry’s best customer service. Taking on a very crowded trolling motor field, Power-Pole isn’t doing it on price, nor are they marketing to the masses. Instead, boaters with high standards will be on board. A decade of research and development has produced Power-Pole’s MOVE ZR Trolling Motor Black, a brushless trolling motor for elite anglers. Powerful and quiet, the MOVE ZR is built for durability and performance with service to back it up. Power-Pole started from the bottom up, literally, reinventing the trolling motor. Even Power-Pole’s pull cord is beefed up with Dyneema fibers, many times stronger than steel wire ropes. Enduring full contact fishing, a shaft constructed of unbreakable aerospace-grade titanium includes a lifetime warranty. Steering through the toughest terrain, Power-Pole’s custom-built steering motor maintains near absolute silence. A brushless design makes the MOVE quiet while producing over 30% more thrust and efficiency than others. Features exceed industry norms, including GPS, built-in transducer, anchor mode, and backup systems to redefine trolling motor reliability. MOVE’s sleeker design is up to 35% lighter, giving anglers a break and an unobstructed view! MOVE is also easier to lift with a 3-to-1 pulley system and a cylinder assist making deployment and stowing easy. A visit to Power-Pole’s website shows a dream list of trolling motor features. 3 year warranty on all components. power-pole.com
When you develop and own a category, there’s a built-in customer base. Z-Man’s Original ChatterBait has company. It’s another original category creator, billed as a ‘self-walking’ topwater lure. Z-Man’s 5-inch HellraiZer disturbs the water and fish, doing the work of several topwater lures, splashing, sputtering, and making noise. It casts a mile and effortlessly planes to work as soon as it hits the water. Straight retrieves create a crazed fleeing action at any speed. ChatterBait inventor Ron Davis designed the HellraiZer with a weighted tail blade to accentuate swimming motion with a thin body, a belly line tie and a single treble hook for better hook ups. Several color patterns for various situations and water clarity, Z-Man’s new HellraiZer presents a new topwater category. zmanfishing.com
Sometimes if you can’t beat them, invite them to be a part of your success and drive more traffic to your store. The soft plastics industry is loaded with everything from international companies to garage businesses. Not long ago, BassCat/Mercury Elite Series pro angler John Crews launched his line of made in the USA pro-tested soft plastic designs finding their way into tackleboxes and store shelves. This was remarkable and a testimony to Crews and his family for pulling off an unlikely foray into a very crowded marketplace. Capitalizing on his soft plastic success, Crews recently introduced his third new bait in the last year, a scaled-down version of Missile’s Magic Worm, the Mini Magic. As his lineup has grown Crews noticed a very large market being created by small tackle makers. Large swimbait makers don’t really have a marketplace for their unique and handmade lures. Crews says Missile Baits stays in their soft plastics and jigs lane most of the time. However, now they’re going to sell small guy swim baits on Missile Baits’ website. Kicking it off Missile Baits will feature $200-275 handmade Tater Hog glide baits. Shortly Phoney Frog glides will be promoted. These sellers are too small to supply Missile with a monthly allotment, so they are going to rotate between at least 8 different ones. So far commitments from Tater Hog, KGB, Phoney Frog, Taddo Designs, Black Label, Black Talon, and more have been secured. These hard to get baits are in limited supply. Crews says, “We are doing it to help these smaller guys out and create something fun to drive traffic to our site.” missilebaits.store
With fishing lure conglomerates controlling the fishing industry, smaller companies aren’t waiting to be gobbled up. Instead, they are doing the gobbling.
Potomac River Bassing in MAY
Water is warming to close to 60 and fish are in pre-spawn, spawn, and post-spawn. This provides many opportunities to open the tacklebox.
Topwater fishing is coming along well. Cast buzzbaits with a trailer hook around grass, wood, and docks. Poppers work well over grass beds and clear water at falling tides.
Mann’s Baby 1-Minus is still a Potomac staple as it snaps out of grass and deflects off wood very well. Tie to 12 pound test Gamma Edge fluorocarbon line.
When water is stained, a ¼ ounce spinnerbait with a white skirt and gold Colorado and Indiana blades can be worked around cover, slowly on 12 pound test EDGE.
It’s always a good idea to use a jig around grass beds. Pitch to grass clumps or swim them with craw trailers through the grass on 16 pound test Edge. Snap free from grass and let them drop to the bottom. Fish will hit on the move, the drop or after being on the bottom.
Author Capt. Steve Chaconas is a Potomac bass fishing guide & freelance writer. Potomac River reports: nationalbass.com. YouTube channel: NationalBassGuide.