BD’s Zane Hinrichs got a chance to catch up with the founders of West Coast Bait Wraps to see what all of the buzz is about.
Q:Who are the principals or owners, partners, etc?
A: Rich Whitaker, Billy Egan, Brian Sanford and William Ting. We all own 25% of the company.
Q:Where did the idea come from?
A: Billy Egan started wrapping swim baits for freshwater bass back in 2008. Rich Whitaker met him by coincidence and asked him to teach him the process.
Q:How long have you been in business?
A: We have only been in business for about 6 months
Q:What are your top-producing colors?
A: Red squid, purple squid, scrambled egg, mackerel patters and sardine patterns have been the most popular along with our version of scrambled egg.
Q:How much do they cost?
A: New complete irons are $20.00 Reworked jigs are $15.00
Q:Can you recount stories of when they really seemed to produce better than stock lures?
A: They fish extremely well. Nothing in the market matches the natural forage better than our jigs do. We fished the San Pablo area on the way back from my 14 day trip this year and our jigs were bit on just about every drop by everyone using them, myself included. I made 6 drops and caught 6 yellows prior to stopping to take photos. My videographer saw all of it and asked me to do it again and we got the whole thing on video from start to finish.
Q:Some lures are better at catching fisherman, than fish. In fact something like 83% of all lures sold, according to industry figures, never actually see the water. These are truly eye-catching, but why would you say these will fall in the 17%?
A: Our jigs definitely catch fisherman. They are gorgeous but they also catch fish as good or better than anything I have ever used. Our irons are an exact replica of the forage our game fish are chasing in the wild. I would say our product falls in the 17% because fisherman will have confidence using a jig that matches the natural bait better than anything else in the market.
Q:How were these lures received at the Fred Hall Long Beach show?
A: The response and feedback at the Long Beach show was unbelievable. Some people were skeptical about the durability, but fortunately I brought a few used irons to show. One had 11 yellowtail caught on it and only showed light scratching. Another iron caught a 75 pound yellowfin and was in its mouth for 45 minutes. The wrapped side held up great whereas the painted back was worn all the way through to the bare metal.
A: We are hoping to have the do it yourself image kits available by the Del Mar show. The entire Bait Wraps team is working towards meeting that goal. We are also in the process of building our website that will allow the consumer to purchase the kits directly from us. We have not decided on the PCS or Day at the Docks events yet. We wanted to use the Fred Hall events to judge the response from the market and the viability of our company. It will be quite a bit of work to get ready for two more events but from the response we are getting from the industry and the public it looks like we should attend both of those events as well.
Check them out on Facebook