Blackwater Bait Company is doing fishing lures right.
Many of the largest artificial lure manufacturing companies use a foreign-based, mass production, plastic injection mold process to make fishing lures, which leads to cost savings but inferior products. Their products may suffer from poor quality and a lack of consistency or performance.
It is very rare these days to find a local, US-based company that still uses the old fashioned, handmade, wood lure manufacturing process. So rare in fact that it has nearly become an extinct. That is unless you have met Florida bass fishing legend and topwater lure making expert Lee Howard.
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Lee and his wife started Blackwater Bait Company together many years ago and have been making the highest quality, hand-made wood lures in their own workshop in Vero Beach since then. During that time their record of catching record, and near record, fresh and saltwater species on their products since then is simply remarkable. I guess making something in the USA still works after all?
I met Lee and his wife a week ago at a Central Florida trade show in Lakeland, Florida. I was impressed with his knowledge of fishing – particularly freshwater bass fishing – but I had no idea I was basically talking to a virtual legend in the field when we met. It turns out that the man is on the “who’s who” list of bass fishermen in Florida!
According to their brochure and talking to Lee in person very few people know that some of the most famous lures of all time – including the one the George Perry used to catch the world record bass – have been made of wood.
You might be surprised by the fact that for over 100 years, some of the most productive fishing lures such as the the Dalton Special, the Creek Chub and many other old favorites have been made of wood.
During my conversation with Lee, he told me that the wood lures from Blackwater Bait Company are handmade and painted using the finest components available. They use stainless steel hardware, black-nickel hooks and an 11-step painting process to ensure durability.
In October I will have a chance to actually find out if they work or not. That’s because Lee Howard, the Florida bass fishing legend himself, is taking me fishing. Seriously.
I can’t say where just yet (because it’s a secret) but trust me, it is going to be good.
And by good, I really mean great. Exactly the way legends should be. Just wait and see.
Ever fished with wooden lures? Let us know if you think they’re worth it in the comments.