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Being from the WI side of the lake, it seems a little harder to get on pro staffs. I was on the Raider Spoon pro staff for a while and even designed a bunch of spoons for them. After Josh sold it, that kinda fell by the wayside. I was just wondering if getting on a pro staff is completely professional, or if its about who you know.

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I think it is more about who knows you. While it helps to know the right people when people know who you are the right people will find you. From a business viewpoint Pro Staff is either part of your R&D or advertising so you either want guys testing your stuff or you want people to know the really good guys are using your stuff. I don't Pro Staff for anyone Don and I have a number of sponsors for our Tournament series and I do work to help promote their products but I am still independent which helps me remain objective. Don and I made up our minds when we started that we would not have sponsors just to have sponsors it had to be products we believed in since neither of us are any good about telling people to use things we don't use and like ourselves. One thing you will also find on our boats is we not only tell people to fish with our sponsors stuff we also actually use it. I have not weighed a fish in the B4K charity tourney in 3 years because we either did not get to fish or did not fish the Dreamweaver lure pack. Last year we had boat problems at 5 am so we swapped boats but left the lure pack in my boat so no legal fish. This year the crew voted to not fish the lure pack so we DQ'd ourselves at the dock and went fishing and had a nice day but no legal fish to weigh. The point is our sponsors know we not only promote their products we actually fish them all the time.

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I guess I am fortunate as I am by no means a professional fisherman. I am however a very passionate fisherman and spend my free time plying the waters of southern Lk Huron fishing waters that many claim are void of fish. I catch plenty of fish out of these waters and also am an avid promoter of fishing these waters. A couple years ago I came upon some lures and gave them a try. To me these consistently outfished the other lures I ran. Unfortunately they were not readily available in our area. I had contacted and met the owner on numerous occasions and well the outcome was not only being put on the Pro Staff but also a sales rep for them. So I believe in my situation it not only shows that Pros can promote and catch with their products but also you avid local fishermen can too.

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All of that is true as well most companies want people to use and promote their product and not just give product to guys because they are supposed to be good. When I talk to sponsors about our tournaments one thing I have heard is many of them are tired of giving a bunch of stuff to the event only to have it all go in a cooler to one guy who often sells it. There is however a difference between field testers and Pro Staff the Pro Staff guys have to do more than just use the product like Bill said you become part of the sales team working the local bait shops and winter shows.

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In my case it has been strictly professional at first and then ending up being friends. I have landed some very good companies that make very good products that I use, and am more than willing to promote, every chance I get.

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There are just some guys that take the pro staff thing wayyyyyyyyy too far.

Agreed :thumb:

I think we refer to those guys who take it too far as "tackle whores" :lol:

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too much "promoting " can sometimes be perceived as ramming it down your throat sometimes and do more harm than good for the company you represent

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:thumb:

too much "promoting " can sometimes be perceived as ramming it down your throat sometimes and do more harm than good for the company you represent

Yes, quite annoying IMO! post a legit report, and that in itself will do the selling......:thumb:

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In todays society if you aren't on a pro staff or posting numerous videos you must not be a real outdoorsman, I'm sure its justthat I'm 53 years old and don't feel the need to prove myself to anyone some people just need the reassurancethat thier life wouldn't be complete without bragging.

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I think it is more about who knows you. While it helps to know the right people when people know who you are the right people will find you. From a business viewpoint Pro Staff is either part of your R&D or advertising so you either want guys testing your stuff or you want people to know the really good guys are using your stuff. I don't Pro Staff for anyone Don and I have a number of sponsors for our Tournament series and I do work to help promote their products but I am still independent which helps me remain objective. Don and I made up our minds when we started that we would not have sponsors just to have sponsors it had to be products we believed in since neither of us are any good about telling people to use things we don't use and like ourselves. One thing you will also find on our boats is we not only tell people to fish with our sponsors stuff we also actually use it. I have not weighed a fish in the B4K charity tourney in 3 years because we either did not get to fish or did not fish the Dreamweaver lure pack. Last year we had boat problems at 5 am so we swapped boats but left the lure pack in my boat so no legal fish. This year the crew voted to not fish the lure pack so we DQ'd ourselves at the dock and went fishing and had a nice day but no legal fish to weigh. The point is our sponsors know we not only promote their products we actually fish them all the time.

IMHO, that's very well said Jim.

Pro staffers are after a piece of the pie that companies allot for advertising, shows and other promotions. Companies that really pay attention to their pro staffs consider just how many impressions they are getting for their buck by supporting an individual with product, tournament entry fees or a retainer and how many sales those impressions lead to.

Many moons ago I used to buy ads for Starcraft Marine and handle the company's pro staff. We had six boats in the hands of different walleye fishing teams, and really only one of the guys did enough with magazines and TV shows and other media to put himself ahead of what the cost of the boats would have brought us in ads.

These days pro staffers can earn their keep by promoting in forums and social media, but the danger is losing credibility by gushing too much about the products and the benefits. Sort of like what Champ is talking about maybe.

Dave

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I always wondered what company's, like spoon/fly makers as an example, thought of guys that suck up and try to be thier friends for some free spoons/flys, insider tips, hot spots and stuff. That tackle whore crap has got to get old real fast. I suppose with social media you can do alittle promoting of the product online or if your a charter captain with your clients. Bet they see that kind of stuff coming a mile away.

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People with only there hand out wont go that far if you are on a pro staff only. Its not like we get everything free with outdoing anything, we work multiply show, instore displays, seminars, doing hot boards in tackle stores, posting online ect. on our own dime, for alot of weekends when we are not fishing Some of the company's that we work is more then a business relationship, its a family atmosphere. You have to believe in a product and already run the product before hand, that show your loyal beforehand.

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Another issue is being sponsored by companies that do not advertise on the website your on or even worse compete with website sponsors. The primary reason I maintain a website for the MSCST is to keep our sponsors and stuff separate from this and other sites and Mike and the other site owners do want want to give away free advertising neither do I it costs actual money and takes up your time to have a website. Heck even though we don't have much traffic on the MSCST site i am still on it several times a day mostly booting spammers LOL. This however is only fair to other sites rather than pushing competing products on them.

I don't use any of our sponsors stuff exclusively but I do use it nearly ever trip out but I bought and paid for nearly all of it some things I get a discount on which helps but other than prize packages I have won all the stuff I use I paid for.

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I'm not on anybody's pro staff but I have received a lot of free lures over the years from things like the WMFL and I have always been sure to use anything I have received and give it a fair test. I don't fish as much as a lot of other guys but I still go out of my way to run and review anything that has been given to me. In talking with different lure manufacturers over the years it's easy to see that testing is very important to them. That's where I think amateur pro staffers are better than charter captains for lure makers. There is a lot more pressure for charters to put fish in the boat and they may not be comfortable running new lures that they aren't confident in. Either way, if you earn a reputation as a good fisherman who gives an honest review I think that manufacturers may seek you out or if you can consistently have good finishes in tournaments they may notice you. Contacting people and asking for free stuff probably isn't the best route to go, though. I have so many lures I have been thinking about going the other way and pairing them down to a smaller selection of lures in different sizes and just running them. I have way to much stuff!

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People with only there hand out wont go that far if you are on a pro staff only. Its not like we get everything free with outdoing anything, we work multiply show, instore displays, seminars, doing hot boards in tackle stores, posting online ect. on our own dime, for alot of weekends when we are not fishing Some of the company's that we work is more then a business relationship, its a family atmosphere. You have to believe in a product and already run the product before hand, that show your loyal beforehand.

Very well said. I was trying to stay out of this conversation but agree whole heartedly with everything Matt stated. Most of us have so much more involved then just putting a sticker on our boat. There is also definitely a difference between what many refer to as "tackle whores" and true pro-staff. "tackle whores" embarrass everyone and really give anyone who considers themselves professional a bad name. I think most people know who is who in their own ports. I also believe there may be a confusion to some between pro-staff and being "sponsored" and paid.

As far as fishing reports and internet postings - you have to take it for what its worth based on who its coming from and your own personal feelings. Hopefully anyone truly representing a company actually believes in and uses their product. This in turn, of course, going to show directly in a persons postings. I understand that too much product dropping can be a turn off, it is for me too, but honesty also goes a long way. I am a firm believer in paying attention to details and catching fish. There may be a huge difference between a blue dolphin spoon and a specific size and brand of a blue dolphin. There is a fine line to balance. Sometimes vague fishing reports come off as bragging reports to me and not really helping anyone out.

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Guys that think they can just go up to a booth and tell the vendor how great they are and get a bunch of free product are crazy. I drive all over the state to the shows for silver streak. Hours before and after helping set up and take down the displays spending weekends out of town helping at the shows. Going to local tackle shops and nicely asking them to consider stocking them on and on and on. I do it cus i love the product. Lots of guys on this site have fished with me and know how much i like he product. Get on my boat and I gaurantee 90 percent of my spoons are streaks. And are what I run 95 percent of the time. I agree that there are "tackle whores" but I know from experiance that there are guys that put in way more than what they get becouse they love to do it and run what they represent

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My two cents on this topic take it or leave it..

We don't hand out as much as I use too, This being said ,there are a lot of great people on the pro staff and off, but for every good one there are two that I wouldn't give the time of day to .

I have learned over the past few years, that some people out there are only out for the big WIN and there are others out there willing to help out and try the new samples or new items that we offer. And post or give us feed back on what is working and what is not.

I had gave a large amount of spoons and flies out to a tourny this year and only asked for a t-shirt in return just so I could have something to show off ,but oh sorry that didn't happen,(I know what your thinking ) But the items that I gave away didn't even go to that tourny . I found out they got split up between a small club outing. I'm not sure what to say ,I am willing to help but if your going to take what we have given you and not put it towards what it was intended for why ask in the first place.

It is very rare that we say no to someone if it is for a good cause,the vet outing was one we were proud to help out with,and there were others like it.

we are a growing company and enjoy the sales and the following of friends and some really honest fisherman out there along with the supper tackle shops that have gave us a shot we hope to become that go to company some day.

sorry if this offends some people ,we have never pushed our product or even our stickers with our logo on any one ,if they are out there it is because people have asked for them.

That's my two cents take it or leave it. This is a great site and I am glad there are a lot of good honest people on and running it.

Luremaker BBL

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Are these guys the ones that get lures from companies one year, then go to another company the next ? I would never say that I was using something that I was not. Yes I do use the products of the people that I pro staff for. Yes I do wear there clothes and post reports of what works ( even if it is another brand):eek: I use the companies that support me 95 percent of the time where applicable so it happens that way. I am just trying to figure out what irritates people so that I don't do it. And always ask me for a catalog;)

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You pretty much got it Matt there are guys who use what little name they have to get as much free stuff as possible. Then there are the guys who get free stuff use it or not and then sell it. Some of the bass guys are the worst offenders as soon as they can't get a new boat for nothing they switch boat companies.

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Don and Matt pritty much covers it, I go all over the state with silver streak all winter long on my own dime. Put a very detailed report up every time I'm on the water,good or bad.and go talk to local store owners to try and carry product. Its becouse I love the product and totally beleive in it. And as Matt said, I do this becouse these guys have become more like family,not becouse its part of the obligation of being prostaff. And the shows I will say are probly the funniest part of the entire deal.

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I do it cus i love the product. Lots of guys on this site have fished with me and know how much i like he product. Get on my boat and I gaurantee 90 percent of my spoons are streaks. And are what I run 95 percent of the time.t

We have pictures to say different don:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:.....not saying anything about Mrs.KC1 at the GR show

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We have pictures to say different don:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:.....not saying anything about Mrs.KC1 at the GR show

That was a good one. I tried to get out of the booth when I seen her heading my way but they blocked all exits. Good times. Good people:thumb:

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We have pictures to say different don:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:.....not saying anything about Mrs.KC1 at the GR show

I can be called as a nuetral party witness.....for the right price of course!

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