Most innovative tackle is hatched from a simple plan to build a better bait. It usually starts on the water with the discovery of some connection between fish-feeding behavior and forage. Then it’s to the garage, basement or lab where sketches and carvings are made, followed by CAD drawings, molds, and prototypes. On-the-water testing reveals further tweaks and, hopefully, in the end a new contender is born.
Consider New York-based EVOLVE Fishing Co., founded in early 2012 by Derek Carr; a smart, diehard angler who has been designing baits for his own use since he was kid, pond hopping small, bass-filled waters.
“From inception, EVOLVE’s goal has been to bring extremely high-quality baits to serious anglers. We’re aiming for the level of craftsmanship and design in both our softbait lineup, and pending hardbait line, as you’d see in JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) products. We also try and keep production of key product lines domestic, to maintain top quality standards and support our workforce,” says Carr.
EVOLVE’s dedication to originality and peak performance didn’t go unnoticed, either. Traditions Media staffers were already throwing EVOLVE soft plastics with tremendous success long before there were any business discussions.
“First and foremost, before we even consider representing a brand, the team has to be onboard from a product performance standpoint,” says Traditions Media president Noel Vick. “The guys said we should talk to them, so we did. And let’s just say the relationship quickly evolved.”
Although a newcomer to the tackle business, Carr’s EVOLVE has already developed a cult following with discerning anglers across the globe. His first bait, the U.S. manufactured VibraGRUB, is a soft plastic that defies categorization. A razor thin tail undulates with the slowest retrieve, creating something that draws no comparison in the tackle world.
The best way to describe it is cuttlefish-like. Suffice to say, the bait’s action is unprecedented and transcends species, drawing strikes from bass to walleyes to redfish, panfish and trout. Everywhere there are fish, it catches fish.
But EVOLVE is no one-trick pony. They offer a full complement of soft plastic contenders, including the DarkStar Swimmer, KOMPAK Craw, Mad Mouse, Fluid Worm, as well as the Nervous Walker hollow-body frog.
The brand’s evolutionary processes also translate into the soon-to-be-launched Soul5 Tackle Labs subsidiary, which Carr says “aims to bring a new level of hardbait design, engineering, and performance at a $7 price point.” Four models are schedule to launch this month, with more baits anticipated in late 2013 and early 2014.
Image courtesy EVOLVE Fishing Co.