The legendary scene set in 1937 is known far and wide: teenaged Berk Bedell, of tiny Spirit Lake, Iowa, labors over a small table in his familys home creating hand-tied hair flies to sell to the local hardware store. For his efforts, young Bedell earned spending cash for some weekend fun. Now, 75 years later, we appreciate how the high school students dedication to building quality flies became the genesis of the worlds most influential fishing tackle company.
Berk Bedell flies were so popular that neighbors were hired to help fulfill the orders. Three years later, Bedells customers conveyed to the young entrepreneur another fishing product need - steel leaders - so the fly-tying young man created Steelon Leaders. Soon, ski rope and Hula hoops were added to the list. In 1959, the fishing industry experienced a quantum leap in product innovation with the introduction of Trilene monofilament fishing line, the worlds most popular and recognizable fishing line.
Young Berk Bedell began making flies to sell in his local hardware store in 1937. 75 years later, the company he founded is one of the largest tackle manufacturers in the world. Photos: Pure Fishing; Texas Fish & Game; Dargel Boats
Of course, the growth of the Berkley Company, as it became known, would continue as new rods, reels and baits were added to the family. Berkley product names became synonymous with fishing: Trilene XL and XT, Lightning Rod and PowerBait which led to FireLine, Gulp! and, most recently, Havoc and NanoFil.
Berkleys 75-year legacy will be celebrated throughout the summer 2012. The party kicks off in June via facebook and in Spirit Lake, Iowa, with festivities to honor the families and friends that have committed so much.
To learn more about the very roots of Pure Fishing, Berk Bedell and scheduled celebrations go to Berkley-Fishing.com.
Fishing Tackle Unlimited Opens Huge New Store
From May 3-5 Fishing Tackle Unlimited (FTU) celebrated the grand opening of its new location at 8723 Katy Freeway in Houston.
With 44,000 square feet of space, the story physically dwarfs the old location two blocks away and allows for greatly enhanced presence of product.
Fishing Tackle Unlimited's new 44,000 square-foot location on I-10 (Katy Freeway) in Houston.
"We are proud to move into this new building and offer a full line of tackle, kayaks, trolling motors, a full service fly shop, plus much more," said Joey Meyer who along with this brother Dan founded FTU more than 30 years ago.
The celebration included clinics, giveaways and opportunities to meet the pros like popular television host/redfish tournament pro "Cajun" Phil Broussard.
"This is an awesome store and is the kind of place an angler can get anything he or she wants," Broussard said.
One of the most interesting elements of the grand opening was the display of Jim Wallaces legendary record-setting Baffin Bay speckled trout mounted with the actual Corky he caught it on. Wallace signed copies of his certified record certificate for anglers during the celebration.
"That is an important part of Texas fishing history and we thought bringing him in was a fun way to celebrate our grand opening," Meyer said.
Chester Moore interviewed FTU owner Joe Meyer about the new store. See it at www.FishGame.com/videomain.php
The new store is a one-stop shop for not only saltwater fishing gear but has a full line of lures and other equipment for freshwater anglers as well.
"We have not only incredible saltwater fishing nearby but some of the best bass fishing in the world so we are ready to serve freshwater anglers," Meyer said.
With plenty of parking and easy to find store-within-store for Simms, Shimano, Daiwa, Guy Harvey, Tommy Bahama more the grand opening at the end of the day was a celebration of fishermen and FTUs solid reputation in the community.
"Weve always tried to stay ahead of the curve and know what angles wanted and needed to best give the opportunities to enjoy their time on the water. We couldnt be more proud to have this new, greatly-enhanced location to serve their needs," Meyer said.
This June 29th and 30th Dargel Boat Owners will converge on South Padre Island for the annual tournament and appreciation dinner in their honor. The 2011 tournament ended with 79 boats and over 300 participants taking home over $25,000 in cash and prizes. More impressively the tournament raised over $12,000 for Operation Spots 4 Tots! The charity is dedicated to awarding scholarships to dependents of fallen heroes. The generosity of Dargel Boat Owners is truly remarkable.
This years tournament promises to be bigger and better! Plans are underway for the event slated to return to the South Padre Island Convention Center and includes two catered meals, raffles, silent auctions, side tourneys and much more. With the help of McClain Trailers and Evinrude E-tec, Dargel Boats is raffling a 2012 136 Dargel Skooter powered with a 60hp ETEC and sitting atop an aluminum McClain Trailer.
This 136 Dargel Skooter will be featured in a special raffle drawing.
To honor customer loyalty and tournament participation the Skooter giveaway is exclusively available to tournament participants. The drawing will be held during the Saturday night awards dinner and the winner must be present to win.
Dargel Boats focuses on the family fun in boating and offers 3 divisions for prizes. The main adult tournament is for the slot redfish with the most spots and offers a payout of $3000 for 1st place. ($1250 for second, $500 for third and $250 for fourth place)The junior division (new for this year) includes youth anglers 13-17 years old pays out a $1000 savings bond for first place and $500 savings bond for second place. The kids division for youngsters 12 and under also awards a first place $1000 savings bond and second place $500 savings bond. All tournament divisions combine luck with strategy for the win. Ties for the number of spots will be broken by the first fish weighed in. The spot tournament offers the novice the same chance as a guide to take home some big money. Last years winning fish sported seven spots. Returning weigh-master, Texas Fish & Game Saltwater Editor Calixto Gonzales ensures fair placing.
The tournament is open to all Dargel, Explorer and Bayquest boat owners. Adults who register by May 25th will receive a free raffle ticket for the Skooter Giveaway. Tickets will also be available at the captains and awards dinners for $25 or 5 for $100. All proceeds from the tournament and raffle tickets will benefit Operation Spots 4 Tots. Many generous sponsors have already committed to make this event even more profitable for this charity.
For more information regarding the tournament or Operation Spots 4 Tots, contact Miriam Ford at 956-464-2263 or Miriam@dargel.com.