Whip Em Baits started like many other successful businesses started, an idea in our basement.
Matt and Henry found an unusual design spinnerbait blade that someone had stamped out. We were both members of a B.A.S.S. Club at the time and built about a dozen baits to let our members try. The only problem was it was the middle of winter in Western Pennsylvania and in the winter of 2009 there was no open water to try them out.
During February of 2010 Henry went down to South Carolina and took the bait with him to try out on Santee Cooper Lake. Henry tried the baits in a small inlet near a launch on the lake. This part of our story is like a picture forever painted in Henry’s mind. A green and white Stratos boat came in and pulled up on shore next to where he was casting the spinnerbait. The fishermen came over and asked what type of spinnerbait he was throwing. Henry showed him the bait and he offered him $10 for the bait. Henry declined the $10 but gave him the bait and told him to try it out. It was at that moment that Henry realized he spent a lot of money on bass fishing for the past 30+ years, maybe now was the time to try to start making money by starting a fishing lure business.
On the 10 hour drive home Henry had time to put a plan together including the name which luckily his Son-in-Law Matt thought was a stupid name. In about an hour Matt came back with the name, a logo and our catch phrase. Whip Em Baits and the catch phrase of “If you can’t beat em Whip Em”.
We continued to have people test the baits for more than a year and modified the product based on feedback from many fishermen. On February 24, 2011 we officially formed Whip Em Baits LLC. We had a 5 year plan on how we wanted to grow the business. As we built the baits in our basement we soon found that our plan was wrong because in September of that year we out grew the basement and moved to another building on our property. We did not plan on growing that quickly.
Our next plan was adding plastic baits and the continued development of new products. That is where Matt excels. He has a whole new vision of products that he built that found were different and worked great. He came up with a blade in blade buzzbait which has received many accolades on how well it works and catches bass.
In 2012 we met a young man at a Columbia store in Grove City. He asked about Whip Em Baits and he became our first Pro Staffer. In 2013 he won the Bassmaster Northern Open Co-Angler Championship. We are proud to have him represent Whip Em Baits. We have added many excellent Pro Staffers since, but we are happy Destin is still part of the family.
Our next big break came in February 2013 when Bassmaster.com featured our Fire Tiger Spinnerbait on their home page including a great review. Orders began pouring in. We began attending outdoor shows and reaching out to dealers to carry our products. In 2013 Henry made a “Southern Tour” of many tackle shops throughout Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. When the year started we had one dealer and when the year ended we had 14 dealers. We now have a dealer in Australia and are working with a dealer in Spain and also Nova Scotia.
Our philosophy of getting our products into dealers is meeting with each dealer face to face, show them our product, offer them competitive pricing and ask them to help us grow our family business and to be able to compete with the large manufacturers. We are doing it one dealer at a time.
We never forget our community too. We have helped support up to 15 different charities and for two years we sponsored a benefit bass tournament for the Western Pennsylvania Wounded Warriors. This has become a very special project for us. These veterans have given so much so we wanted to do what we could to help them too. Our philosophy is you have to give in order to receive.
Thank you for taking the time to read our story. We hope you will help us continue to grow and tell your friends and your tackle stores about us.