Fishing can be an escape from the hectic work lives we live. Fishing was my entrance into this new passion I found. For years, I watched baitfish swim in the areas I fished and knew about them because of my course studies in school. I always wondered how I could replicate that movement using wood and plastic without looking unnatural.
I decided to do some research about lure making. There is nothing better than catching a fish on your own creation after all. Armed with a wealth of knowledge acquired from my collegiate years, I was unprepared for the task of imitating life at its finest. Some of my course studies included body shapes, pattern characteristics, migratory behavior and physics behind their movement. I picked a general shape then carved models out of wood and tested them in both fresh and saltwater. Some worked and most did not. I had to learn how to airbrush, after realizing that aerosol paint cans were not capable of replicating any detail work no matter how you tried! The whole lure building process was frustrating because it’s not easy creating something from a simple concept and vision. I knew one thing for sure, I wanted to be different.
I spent countless hours sketching designs, trying different wood blanks, changing shapes, and balancing the lures until one day, I had a breakthrough. That happened in March of 2011, almost 16 months after my first concept. Fellow fishermen and select friends helped with testing the prototypes, giving me valuable feedback on action, pattern and weight. Then all of a sudden, the lures started catching fish, the ultimate feedback!
The lures today feature very intricate scale patterns, just like real fish. To date, I have specific scale patterns inspired by Ballyhoo, Sardines, Menhaden and more.
I am constantly creating new designs and patterns based on customer feedback. Each area of the world has a favorite prey species and I do my best to represent that on the lures. From New Zealand Blue Koheru, Pacific Saury, Japanese Blue Mackerel, Australian Fusiliers, Wahoo, Sardines and Clownfish, I enjoy painting new patterns and love seeing the final result. If I can get a good picture of the fish being requested, I can probably paint it!
My name is Merv and I am here to provide the best custom lures made in the U.S.A. for Strategic Anglers by a strategic angler.