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Start up business

    Someone areas I wished someone would start a business.
1.Reel repair shop.This is one you could run out of your home,
   much of the knowledge could be acquired on line and it can
   fit into spare time.Less and less competition.
2.Rod repair and custom rod shop.Once again in home,supplies
   easily available.
3.Jig manufactuer.There a popular jig/bucktail maker in SW Fl.
    who supplies his product to 8 unit ACE Hardware and BassPro.
     His business is huge,but I've seen better workmanship in our
      local fishing club.
4.Fly manufactuer.Similar to making a bucktail jig but better margins.
   A bucktail of similar design to a fly can have half the profit.


  • BobberBobber Senior Member Posts: 943 Officer
    Said it before, I'll say itagain: the best jigheads/bucktails on the market are made by Bob LeMay here in SW Broward,far better than Hookup,Backbone,CAL or Spro at half the price,pm him for his price list. The hook quality, shape, alignment,balance and paint are top notch. Not in stores but he will ship or you can pick up. Great guy to deal with.

  • kci-miakci-mia Senior Member South end of MiamiPosts: 273 Deckhand
    I'm not sure if it's still same now but Philippines used to have a huge fishing lure industry.  They had a fly tying factory that employed hundreds of ladies that tied flies and jigs from cheap Walmart specials to very high quality sold under very prestigious brand names for big money in Europe.  I believe some of that business has moved out as labor cost kept going up in Philippines and I believe Vietnam is now becoming big.  As labor intensive as fly and jig making is, it's hard to make them here in US for good profit unless it can be more automated but I don't think that will happen.  There will always be some specialty/custom makers locally but it's a small market.   
  • 10kman10kman Senior Member Posts: 970 Officer
       kci-miami raises a great point,how do you compete
    against the stuff coming out SE Asia?Bobber in the first
    reply gave a clue on how to compete.
       If your starting off ask yourself what is my market?What
    are my advantages over a supplier overseas?Captain Lemay
    has some of the answers.He makes a product that he has
    tested and works.Advantage 1.He's at most 50 miles from
    his market,SE Asia 7000 miles.Advantage 2.Captain uses
    and tests what he selling on snook and reds.Who does
    that little sweet Vietnamese women test her lures on?
    Catfish????Advantage 3.
         So,if you go after serious fisher people you may suceed,
    go after the WalMart's you may fail. 

  • kci-miakci-mia Senior Member South end of MiamiPosts: 273 Deckhand
    You also have to wonder about the size of the market your products will be viable to.
    You may sell top of the line quality product at premium price but the size of that market may be too small for a viable business or there may already be business in that market so it would make it even more difficult.  
    I once hear or read and I'm not sure if it's true but that Walmart sells over $1.5 billion in sports fishing products annually in USA.   
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Senior Member Posts: 4,804 Captain
    Thanks for the kind remarks... Looked at the proposed businesses - and thought to myself, you're describing exactly what I've been doing for some years now (but I've quit tying flies commercially - still tie them for my charters but just can't face long hours at the tying bench any more, tying for shops...).  I'd rather put my feet up and read a book.

    The problem with it is that you just can't make a go of it, full time.  There's a reason that most gear is built overseas these days and it's a rare outfit still building (or repairing stuff) here.  Yes, there's a few individuals doing it - but I'd be surprised it they're doing much more than supplementing their income... Me, I build and repair rods, repair reels, and all of the above but it's more a hobby gone berserk than a business model.

    Long, long ago I guy I really respect told me that we could make a small fortune in the tackle business... first we'll start with a large fortune.... One thing you can be sure of though, if you do get a tackle business up, running, and profitable... You won't be doing any fishing...  All of the knowledge in our sport resides in the small shops around the country and in truth they were my starting point all those years ago.  I can't remember all the folks that made a point of passing on a bit of wisdom here or there... As the small shops disappear - in no small part from our own buying habits - we're losing that knowledge and those skills.  While all of that is happening we're going to the sales at big box stores or hitting the 'net for a better price...

    And so it goes....  
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • Lake-LinkerLake-Linker Junior Member Posts: 184 Deckhand
    edited November 2018 #7
    I'm up nort in Wisconsin...I have friends who make tackle for sale....One friend is handicapped. He ties flies (walleye streamers) and bucktail jigs. He ties all winter whenever he's physically able - sometimes 12 hours at a crack - and does custom orders during the spring and fall 'runs". He's discovered that folks like his quality but would buy stuff from a less conscientious competitor to save $.25.

    I think he said he made around $10K last year. he credits that money with saving his house from foreclosure.

    Another friend puts together quick strike rigs for sucker fishing for muskies. Imagine a wire 2-treble hook harness for large mullet for fishing any toothy critters. He's already dropped his bucktail jig line because the money wasn't worth the time. For the sucker rigs he's began paying his mother and brother to assemble them because he doesn't have time.

    I make bucktail jigs for walleyes. I tie streamers. I pour and paint my own leadhead jigs. I don't do it to save money. I don't make them for sale. I do it to get a superior product for myself and my occasional "pro bono guiding"....Manufacturers have discovered that not enough people are willing to pay for "the good stuff" so it's just not readily available - even online. For profit,quantity beats quality hands down.

    The friend who ties streamers sells to stores. I talked to the store owner about guys like my buddy - people who make stuff in their basements that she buys. They all seem to have a few things in common: They'll talk forever. They drive crappy vehicles. They have some health problems. They're older... And they're single.
  • 10kman10kman Senior Member Posts: 970 Officer
       Lake linker,there are a few differences between Wisc.and to what we are discussing.One,our fishing is year
    around,whereas mostly summer.Yes,I am aware
    of ice fishing but never saw a bucktail jig used ice fishing.
      Second and only a observation,Fla.fishermen seem to
    pay more for their gear than in the Midwest.You don't
    have fish like snook,tarpon,permit or sharks in the Midwest.
        And I speak from experience having fished up there for
    40 years and love to fish smallies and salmon.Third,salt
    water will quickly ruin cheap reels down here, only
    fresh water.
        So if you paid $350-400 for rod/reel combo,why buy
    something if a quarter less?
  • kci-miakci-mia Senior Member South end of MiamiPosts: 273 Deckhand
    10kman said:
       Fla.fishermen seem to pay more for their gear than in the Midwest.You don't
    have fish like snook,tarpon,permit or sharks in the Midwest.
    I guess you never met trout fishermen using $4,000 split bamboo fly rod.
    My nephew out west repairs and restores old split bamboo flyrod and price on some of those rods are ridicules. 
  • Lake-LinkerLake-Linker Junior Member Posts: 184 Deckhand
    10Kman - My observations on our local "industry" kind of echoed those posted here as far as how much money homegrown tackle sales will generate. The regional/seasonal differences may not be as different in terms hours spent per acre of water per year? Ever seen the boats below an upper Mississippi river dam in late February?... I was only referring to lures when it comes to folks being "cheap". Not rods/reels....("You want $4 for that? it's only 30 cents worth of hair and a hook?"). I suppose to be specific my comments on streamer and bucktail sales primarily apply to the Peyton Place that is one 15 mile stretch of one particular river in southern WI. Human nature/fishermen are different here (or in S FL?) than anywhere else.

    Lemay's "the way to make a small fortune is to start with a large one..."...I've heard the same exact comment on our locally made stuff. I'd guess the same applies pretty much everywhere.

    Maybe I'm wrong but I sensed a defensive tone to you're post....I have the same observation regarding the topic as what others posted others but in my case it's illegitimate? OK. I'll try to remember to keep my comments to myself on this site. 
  • 10kman10kman Senior Member Posts: 970 Officer
      My opening comments simply said there are some areas
    one easily get into and out of as relating to fishing.But if
    you look at the problems before you look at the opportunties
    it probably it is not for you. 
  • Lake-LinkerLake-Linker Junior Member Posts: 184 Deckhand
    Well then,10K,I'll apologize for my negative tone. You're right - it's not for me. I have enough familiarity with it to know I'm better off financially in my own industry.

    I WILL say that I'd forgotten about a rod/lure building supply place in Milwaukee. Most his business is now via internet sales but he still has a brick and mortar store. He's made a ton of money - way more than most folks suspect - but he's ready to retire and nobody is seriously interested in buying the business. It has taken up 6 days per week (7 during busy seasons) for 40 years.
  • JSTickumJSTickum Senior Member Golden Gate Estates ,FLPosts: 412 Deckhand
    10kman all you need to do is look on google or just get around ,,,, I put my business out in front 3 years ago here in Naples and I am doing well ,,,, go to and follow the links ,,,, ohh and Lemay I am still look for the molds I spoke to you about 3 years ago.
    Tight Lines ,
    Captain Jim
  • Mr.SnookMr.Snook Member NaplesPosts: 91 Deckhand
    I've seen so many smaller bait and tackle shops go under here in SWFL since I moved here in 1991. Many would offer rod & reel repair some made their own lures and or flies as well. Angler's Answer, Capt. Pete's, Complete Angler, Walcott Marine, Tall Tales, and I know there's a bunch more I'm forgetting. I just don't think they can compete with the larger stores or even the online market anymore. As for reel repair I just don't think there's enough of a demand down here to keep someone busy enough.

  • 10kman10kman Senior Member Posts: 970 Officer
     Mr.Snook the former operations you list illustrates one of 
    the problems,your not going to rent retail space in Naples
    and stay in business.Start in your home,garage or the
    commercial part of Naples.If you start in your home
    and business does not work out.Your not tied down 
    with leases and other issues.
  • Mr.SnookMr.Snook Member NaplesPosts: 91 Deckhand
    True but many people may not want to run a business out of their home (or may not be able to depending on if they have an HOA etc) and have strange people knowing where they live in this day and age. I know it's kind of a sad state where you may not want some stranger coming to your home where your wife and kids are anymore as you just never know who they are. As for commercial space it can still get pricey if they business isn't flowing through the door on a regular basis as you're still looking at least $1.00 per sqft a month for industrial/ warehouse space in naples plus utilities, licenses, taxes, etc. So even a small space would run at least $600 a month. The last time I had some reels repaired the average cost was like $35 per reel. You'd need to do a bunch of reels just to keep the lights on. Also I think if you are making jigs with lead there's also more than likely some EPA and OSHA regs to follow as well as I remember a story years ago about a guy who used to make his own jigs and sell them and he eventually died from lead inhalation. 

    I'm not knocking the idea but I really think this would need to be something a retiree or something that someone looking for a little extra income on the side could do if they were able to run it out of their home as I think renting a space wouldn't work financially.
  • JW_YakAnglerJW_YakAngler NaplesPosts: 301 Deckhand
    A buddy of mine here in Naples got into tying flies a couple years ago and recently started selling them. Serenity Bait in Naples now carries his flies, and he has a few regular customers in Texas who place big orders. 
    My YouTube channel: JakeW KayakFishing
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