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Karl,
What got you into the lure making business? Have you always made your own baits? How long did it take to get where you are today?
 

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great story lots of detail and emotions

lol ok not really but better grab a chair when he starts, its gonna be a long one!!!
 

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Well, it all started when I was a little whipper snapper :rofl1: Wrong story :D
It all started with a friend I met online last January 2006. We started talking on the phone and I found out he was driving from Chicago once a month to fish the Team Supreme Trail. He fished it for I believe 4 years and never once placed, never had a full sack and never culled a fish. I told him I would show him around since he fished all tourneys on my stompin' grounds. After 1 day on the river he asked if I would be his new partner and he would take care of all expenses including tourney fees, gas, food and drink. He also began buying me tackle including a couple rods worth over $500 :bowdown: One day his Brother-in-Law , Bob Sherry, a FLW Pro, gave him a lure and in return he gave it to me. it was a type of swimblade. I fished it for 3 days and got hit after hit on this thing with few hook ups. What I did notice was that any fish would hit this thing including Bass, Northern, Drum and the fish that finally stole it from me, a dogfish (bowfin, grennal). Well here is where it all started. It was June of 2006 and I wanted this lure back but nobody up here in the north even sold them, plus, it was all the rage down south so you couldn't even order one from the internet. Well that got me thinkin', I could make this thing :idea: I went to the local hardware store and bought me some flashing tin, drew a master template and proceeded cutting out blades with a tin snip. I then drilled holes, hammered it out flat again and took it to the grinder to smooth out the edges and holes. Once I knew I could make the blade I ordered a mold from Do-It and began altering the mold to my specifications. Now I had the two main components to begin making my SwimBlades :D I made about 25 baits that first day. It took me about 10 hours :rofl1: The next day I hit the water and to my surprise it not only worked, it worked like a charm!!! I had 23 hits that day and I put 23 fish in the boat!!!! Not only did I make a lure that replaced what I had lost, I had solved the hook-up ratio issue so many anglers have experienced with this type of lure. It wasn't long and my friends were wanting some of my new "Magic Baits" and before I knew it they had told people and they wanted to buy some from me. So, I began cranking them out. I got it to where I could make about 40 in an 8 hour day. This was rough, so I began looking for someone to take over the blade work. Once I found them this freed up more time to pour and paint lead, I could now do about 100 a day!!!! But it was still a lot of work. Then one day I was on another forum and a guy began posting about how he liked the chatter bait but gave up on them because he couldn't hook-up on many fish. I PM'ed him and asked him if he would like to try mine? I wasn't trying to sell him one I just wanted him to see that the lure was good, it just had a design flaw and that I had figured it out. 2 weeks later I got on the forum and my PM box was full. It was all of these people he had been talking to about this new lure on the market that was a great improvement over the competition and they all wanted it. Well, I thought to myself, should I tell them that this was just something I made for myself and a few friends or should I sell them some?? I guess you know the answer to that one ;D Next thing I knew I had them for sale in the local proshop and my sales through PM's was steadily climbing. It got so good I became a sponsor for the site, made a webpage and began creating a workshop out of my home theater room :rofl2: That was 3 months ago, and today I applied for my first patent on 3 new lures that I will be introducing this spring!!!!! My head is still spinning from this rapid growth and I still have a lot to do to make it all work, but, in the end I believe it will all be worth it, I'm living the fishing dream and I never want to wake up ;D
Karl Franzen, Owner of GotstaFish Tackle Co.
 

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Well that about sums it up. It's amazing how something like that can escalade so fast. If it weren't for the internet you prolly wouldn't be anywhere, because you prolly never hooked up with Team Illinois and you never would have been able to get your name out there like you have. The internet is a wonderful thing...as long as it is working :rofl1:
 

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Super story Karl,

American ingenuity .. it never ceases to amaze me .. there was a need and you figured out how to fill it. This has happen time and time again in our history at many levels. Heres wishing you continued success.
 

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TampaCountryBoy said:
Super story Karl,

American ingenuity .. it never ceases to amaze me .. there was a need and you figured out how to fill it. This has happen time and time again in our history at many levels. Heres wishing you continued success.
Thanks, I appreciate it :D
 

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Karl I am very proud of you. You are a down to earth person and you deserve what God brings. You have a great product and you are on the right track. I appreciate all you do for us anglers.
 

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mary dean said:
Karl I am very proud of you. You are a down to earth person and you deserve what God brings. You have a great product and you are on the right track. I appreciate all you do for us anglers.
Mary, I'm sorry I haven't been online much but I'm swamped with orders plus I've got 3 proto type baits I'm working on. I should have your Pro Staff Package out to you the middle of next week ;D
 

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Karl, great story that truly represents the American dream. Any idea when the jigs will be out? That brim skirt was fantastic. I NNEEDDD some now :boing: :boing:

Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
thanks for sharing that with us, such a great story that proves you can do anything that you put your mind to.
 

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OTTER said:
Karl, great story that truly represents the American dream. Any idea when the jigs will be out? That brim skirt was fantastic. I NNEEDDD some now :boing: :boing:

Gary
I will have some for sale next week on a first come first serve basis. I only had 150 hooks for 3 sizes and I had to pour a master set in order to get my production mold done. After I weed out the Masters I will put the rest up for sale.
 

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microtek60 said:
thanks for sharing that with us, such a great story that proves you can do anything that you put your mind to.
You got that right. It all has to do with how badly you want it and how hard you are willing to work for it ;D
 

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GotstaFish said:
microtek60 said:
thanks for sharing that with us, such a great story that proves you can do anything that you put your mind to.
You got that right. It all has to do with how badly you want it and how hard you are willing to work for it ;D
How TRUE!!!
 

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It looks like a quality product. Are some of those rigged with copper blades? I've been looking for chatterbait type lures with copper blades. Oh,by the way your pro staff is HOT! No offense Mary it is a complement.
 

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I bet Jeremy is blushing about now... :rofl2:
 
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