American Originals: New nostalgia

The phrase “they don’t make ’em like they used to” is no longer applicable to fishing lures. Luck “E” Strike USA is using the methods, materials and most importantly, the labor, that ruled the fishing industry just decades ago: American. The best part? Every product in Luck “E” Strike’s American Originals line will retail for less than $6.

With this new line, Luck “E” Strike is putting Americans back to work and filling tackleboxes with 100 percent American-made hard baits. Every component in the line – from the paint, hooks and plastic to the labor – is homegrown from Florida to Illinois and Arkansas to Missouri.

The brass at Luck “E” Strike heard the same complaint from anglers for nearly two decades: This lure doesn’t do what it used to. Anglers weren’t having the success they used to enjoy with NOS (new old stock) lures. The reason? As lure production was farmed out overseas, production materials and methods changed. These changes altered the end product into something different, despite it looking like the original.

Bobby Dennis, Luck “E” Strike’s product development and marketing specialist says that he hopes the American Originals will turn the American fishing public back on to American-made baits.

“People have been going on the Internet and buying 30-year-old lures because they act, sound and feel like they should, and that’s what we’re bringing back,” Dennis said. “Second to making a lure just like the originals, it killed me knowing what a lure cost to make overseas, then seeing what they charge for them when they get here.”

Dennis went on to say that the reason lure manufacturing is sent overseas is because it’s cheaper. Why then, he wondered, do they cost significantly more?

“Small manufacturing changes, premium hooks and paint add pennies to the end product, so why are they $10 and $15 more?” Dennis asks. “Norman, Luck “E” Strike and Mann’s make USA-made lures that retail for less than $5. I ask, if you can make a more affordable product with American labor right here, why wouldn’t you?”

The first offering in the American Originals line is the Wart Hog. Dennis wanted to debut with the Wart Hog because there is high demand for original Storm Wiggle Warts that sent prices of the 30-year-old lure skyrocketing.

“The originals had a wider wiggle, the dimple in the bill and were of made of butyrate plastic,” Dennis said. “Ours will be made of the same plastic and design and assembled in Cassville, Mo. The bodies are cast in Harrison, Ark.; the hooks are Eagle Claws; we’re using hook hangers from Chicago; and the paint comes from Florida. We just built an entirely new paint facility in Cassville.

“What I want to do with those is make a high-quality American-made bait for $6 or less,” Dennis said. “Every component and hour of labor in this line is American. I don’t want to sound bitter, I just want to offer the public something good at an affordable price.”

Along with the Wart Hog, Luck “E” Strike will debut two deep diving crankbaits around the 2012 Bassmaster Classic.

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