From Shimano, the well-known Japanese fishing tackle company, to Rapala, the fishing lure specialists from Finland, many of the biggest fishing brands in the world are based on foreign soils. However, there are still a wealth of high-quality domestic entities that deliver great fishing equipment to millions of anglers each year. If you want to keep your money within the United States economy, each of the five American fishing brands listed below should be on your list.
1. Bullet Weights:
Founded in 1970, this Nebraska-based company had a simple yet genius idea: what if a lead weight had a shape that could be easily fished by anglers in heavy cover? Creator Larry Crumrine then created a "bullet"-shaped sinker that is now considered a staple in the fishing world. Bullet Weights has only continued to expand from its bullet sinker to include dependable models, such as the Ultra Steel® and Ultra Tin™ products, as well as new features like the patented patented PermaScent™ and PermaColor™. To put it simply, Bullet Weights is here to stay.
In the United States during 2012, no business sold more fishing rods than the Shakespeare Company, a South Carolina-based subsidiary of the New York consumer products company Jarden. There's a reason: the Shakespeare Company makes superior fishing tackle and American buyers have been repeatedly satisfied by their products - which include combos, rods, reels, monofilament line, and other fishing equipment - ever since the company's 1898 founding. For a classic American brand with more than a century of dependability and quality, Shakespeare is definitely the brand to beat.
It doesn't get much bigger than Berkley. Founded in 1937 in Spirit Lake, IA, the company boasts some of the fishing world's most famous products: Berkley Trilene, the Lightning Rod, PowerBait and FireLine, to name a few. The company first entered the rod business in the 1960s and made its debut to the international market in the 1970s. Specializing in everything from plastic hard baits to fishing rods, Berkley has become a household name for American anglers.
Ardent owns a sweet spot in our hearts when it comes to angling. Why? The company is the only manufacturer of freshwater casting and spinning reels in the USA. Based in St. Louis, MO, Ardent doesn't produce run-of-the-mill reels - these performance-packed products are competitive in quality to the big name import brands. Ardent is only 10 years old, so we can't wait to see what this company creates for American anglers in the future.
5. Eagle Claw:
What good does the rest of your fishing gear do without a good hook with which to actually catch the fish? Founded in 1925 in Colorado, Eagle Claw is one of the finest fishing hook manufacturers in the world, and is absolutely worth tracking down if you are dedicated to the practice of "buying American." The company also produces rods, reels, and a nice selection of tackle, but it's the single, double, treble, and snelled hooks that truly set Eagle Claw apart.
Did we miss any on your top five list? Let us know!