FORT SMITH, Ark. – PRADCO Outdoor Brands, a leading manufacturer and marketer of fishing and hunting brands and products, has acquired War Eagle Custom Lures, formerly of Rogers, Arkansas.
War Eagle Custom Lures has operated in Rogers for the past 21 years. Keith Brashers started the company in his garage and built it into the No. 3 brand of spinnerbaits in the U.S., according to the 2016 Annual Anglers Trends Report by Southwick & Associates. Brashers will continue to be involved in the operation after selling to PRADCO.
War Eagle Custom Lures commanded 9.3 percent of U.S. market share in spinnerbaits in 2016, according to Southwick. Its best-selling model is the Screamin' Eagle, which is a weight-backward spinnerbait designed to be "burned" in clear-water situations to entice strikes from fish. War Eagle Custom Lures products have been credited with numerous top-level, national bass tournament victories and countless regional and local tournament wins. In addition to spinnerbaits, War Eagle offers a full line of jigs, buzz baits, jigging spoons and jig heads.
"Thanks to successful tournament anglers across the nation, 21 years ago, an idea and a passion for fishing left the garage and became War Eagle Custom Lures," Brashers said. "I am confident with the marketing and distribution resources PRADCO Outdoor Brands has to offer we can take War Eagle to the next level. As I look back, I want to give a big thanks to my friend Gene Vandever. Without his partnership and help at the beginning, War Eagle wouldn't be where it is today."
The War Eagle Custom Lures business will be operated from PRADCO's Fishing Division in Fort Smith. All product development, marketing, accounting, manufacturing and purchasing functions will be managed in Fort Smith. Brand Manager Chad Warner will have responsibility for War Eagle.
"Keith Brashers has built an amazing brand and an extremely loyal consumer following," said Bruce Stanton, Vice President and General Manager of PRADCO Fishing. "He looks at everything through the eyes of a fisherman. And he is an outstanding fisherman. He has always wanted to solve the problems he faces as an angler and has had the ability to provide solutions through his War Eagle Custom Lures creations. We are very proud to add this dominant spinnerbait brand to our portfolio."
As part of PRADCO Outdoor Brands, War Eagle Custom Lures will be shipped to customers along with POB's entire portfolio of brands from PRADCO's distribution center in Calera, Alabama.
"We have long admired the way Keith Brashers has grown War Eagle Custom Lures into a premium supplier of fishing lures for serious anglers – especially their hugely popular spinnerbaits and buzzbaits," said Robert Schoenvogel, PRADCO Outdoor Brands President. "When the opportunity arose to partner with Keith and bring War Eagle into the PRADCO family of brands, we absolutely jumped at the chance. We look forward to supporting War Eagle's continued growth through investments in design innovations, broad distribution and customer support."
PRADCO Fishing employs approximately 230 employees at its Fort Smith facility and features a three-shift, 24-hours-a-day manufacturing operation. The go-forward, production plan for War Eagle Custom Lures is to continue U.S. production through its current supplier base in Arkansas.
PRADCO Outdoor Brands is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. It operates hunting brands such as Moultrie, Summit, Code Blue and Knight & Hale and fishing brands such as Arbogast, Bandit, Bomber, BOOYAH, Cotton Cordell, Creek Chub, Heddon, Lindy, Norman, Rebel, Smithwick, Thill and YUM.