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Heartland Outdoors

Surfing through a new world of custom lures

Wed, March 25, 2015

Lure mad from a man soft plastics

Man of age 16 from green bay wisconsin hand painted lures


Scrolling through my phone one night as a member of the Facebook group Bass Baits Buy Barter & BS’ing, instantly Hoffmann’s Lures kept popping up in auctions. Let me describe.

What a lot of guys do is put their baits up for 24-hour auctions. You type in a bid, you win and you send them your e-mail. They then send you a PayPal invoice (yes, even I have PayPal status). You pay PayPal with your credit card and they ship baits to you.

Nobody really wants to talk on the phone. They all want to do messaging through the computer or phone. But I’m persistent, sometimes you really do need to talk to the person.

So after I won a few baits, I messaged Brent Hoffmann of Hoffmann Lures that I wanted to talk to him. Brent said he had been doing this a few years and I told him I loved his style of painting. That’s when he hit me with, “I am 16 years old.”

I told him he painted baits as well as any grown man on Facebook.

Well, he’s done more baits for me than anybody and gave me a set price instead of having to auction-buy them.

He paints on any bait you want. My collection are on Vision 110 blanks, jerkbaits, some 2.5 KVDs and – coming soon – the top-water collection.

This kid paints some amazing stuff you will not find in a tackle shop. What you like in bait colors, Brent will do for you.

And when’s the last time you asked Strike King to paint you up some custom colors and they said, “Yeah, will do.” Brent will.

That’s why he’s my No. 1 pick in my new world.

1. Hoffmann’s Lures

Awesome lures. And here’s the rest of my top picks.

2. Hang Outdoors

Kevin Frazier of Flat Gap, Ky., paints in a totally different style than Brent. The bait I got from him is in My Camo pattern, a bubblegum spotted, white jerkbait. This is what caught my eye, because you know fat chefs are suckers for bubblegum.

He paints a great variety of baits in great custom colors that are moderately priced, just a few dollars more than at a big box store.

So check him out.

Lures made by a man soft plastics

3. Twisted Customz

Kenneth Rollston’s baits are sold on eBay and to get baits you message him. He offers a third different painting style that is a little bit more on the wicked-looking side – as in the picture above right of the black-and-blue baits.

Kenneth’s baits are a little pricier, but a great addition to any Fulton County tackle box. I am looking forward to throwing this at the Giant Goose Ranch and at Captain Ralph’s.

4. Trey Harpel

Trey is the first Facebook bass bait buy I made. His wake baits in the Smally Smasher and Chartreuse Shad pattern took some of my money.

Trey does the PayPal thing and customizes baits, paints lures, tunes and cleans reels and fishes tournaments. Jeff was at his booth at the Let’s Go Fishing Show in Collinsville and liked what he saw.

His wake baits have a skirt off the back and are really nice. The Fulton County fat girls have not seen a bait like this yet, but they are fixin’ to.

Heartland Tip: Check out Trey’s bluegill pattern on a wake bait, soon to be in the mail to my house.

5. Fishing Frugal Lures

Jig maker Nick Preskitt is on Bass Baits Buy Barter & BS’ing all the time with auctions every day. From what Nick explained to me, he pretty much makes his full-time living off making jigs. He is from Richmond, Va.

I really like his jigs, like the one below right in Sexy Jig. So of course I bought some peanut-butter-and-jelly and some tater tot in the finesse-head jig style.

He makes all type of jigs for smallmouth and largemouth. And all makes of jigs come in custom colors.

You need to check out his stuff and I assure you it will be tested this spring at The Rock – home of the real heavyweight fat girls.

lures from choked custom baits

6. Draper Plastics

Owner Doug Melcher is from Springfield, a local boy, who is blowing up the soft plastic world. Some people have a term from farm to table. Well this is what I call from local lure maker to my tackle box.
Doug makes a variety of different baits, killer-looking frogs, war-craw jig trailers, a triple-tail shimmy shad swim bait (pictured at right) and crappie baits (called Boss Fry).

All of Doug’s baits are very reasonably priced, hand-poured, hand-painted and scent-enhanced. Dude, just take a look at his frogs when you find him on Facebook and you will know.

So from Spring Lake to Newton Lake, Draper Plastics will be needed in your box. This is my No. 1 pick of a new plastic company. And you can’t get any more local than Springfield.

Plus, Doug is a fisherman.

7. Prager Custom Painted Cranks

Richard Prager paints every type of lure, from jerkbaits to Rat-L-Traps to top-waters to square bills.

I like his topwaters and square bills. All of his models of lures are $15 with shipping included. Orders can be made by messaging and paying via Pay Pal.

He has lots of styles to choose from and can paint on any lure you want, for a set price. Look him up on Facebook. His baits are another good addition to any Fulton County tackle box.

Here are my honorable mention picks for lure makers: Kaos Tackle (www.facebook.com/kaos.tackle), Choked Custom Baits (www.facebook.com/pages/Choked-Custom-Baits).

This is just a sample of what I have come across while watching World Fishing Network on my 50-incher. Until next time, keep PayPal loaded.


Camo made in the USA

Wed, October 23, 2013

DEARBORN, MI - Carhartt, America’s premium work wear brand since 1889, today announced an extension to its camo apparel partnership with Realtree ®, the world’s leading camouflage designer, marketer, and licensor. Two titans of workwear and camo have teamed up to create a line of camouflage apparel that will be made exclusively in Carhartt manufacturing facilities in Tennessee and Kentucky. Realtree’s new Xtra® camo pattern will be used on popular Carhartt styles and will be the only Realtree camo line made in the USA.camo pants

“This partnership with Realtree will give outdoorsmen a one-of-a-kind camo product because it combines an industry-leading camouflage pattern with tried-and-tested outerwear,” said Deb Ferraro, vice president, product design. “Carhartt has a long, rich history of manufacturing in the United States and we’re proud to be the only Realtree camo apparel made in the USA.”

“The Carhartt/Realtree partnership has been going strong for many years now,” said Realtree VP of Licensing, Brad Schorr. “Of course, that’s largely due to the fact that many of Carhartt’s large and loyal consumer base love their camo Carhartt gear! This new USA Camo program is only going to make that relationship between Carhartt and its fans that much stronger. We are thrilled to be involved.”

The new line of Carhartt Realtree apparel includes five items: Thermal-lined Duck Active Jac, Quilted-Flannel-Lined Duck Active Jac, Dungaree, Duck Bib Overall and Quilt-Lined Duck Bib Overall.

All five items will feature Realtree’s new Xtra pattern, which blends perfectly year round in a variety of habitats. It blends best from the leaf change of fall through winter, then again in early spring before green-out. Using proprietary printing technology, Realtree layers sharp foreground elements over a progressively ghosted mid-ground and very soft background. The versatile new camo design includes tree trunks, large and small limbs, leaves of many types and colors, and large open areas.
The Carhartt Realtree Xtra line of apparel is available online at http://www.carhartt.com and select stores beginning this fall. The camo line continues Carhartt’s strong manufacturing presence in the United States. Currently, seven of Carhartt’s most popular products are manufactured exclusively in the United States from materials that are sourced in the United States. Carhartt is the largest producer of workwear made in the United States.
About Carhartt, Inc.
Established in 1889, Carhartt is a global premium work wear brand with a rich heritage of developing rugged apparel for workers on and off the job. Headquartered in Dearborn, Mich., with approximately 4,400 employees worldwide, Carhartt is privately owned and managed by the descendants of the company’s founder, Hamilton Carhartt. For more information, visit http://www.carhartt.com.

About Realtree
Realtree is the world’s leading camouflage designer, marketer, and licensor with over 1,500 licensees utilizing the Realtree camouflage brand. Thousands of outdoor and lifestyle products are available in Realtree camouflage patterns. In addition, Realtree is committed to supporting individuals and groups that work to ensure our outdoor heritage, the conservation of natural places, and the wildlife that resides there. Realtree promotes its products and relationships widely on television, as well as through http://www.Realtree.com and many other outlets.



Tue, October 01, 2013

Plano, IL (October 1, 2013) - Other outdoor gear usually doesn’t adapt well to hunting waterfowl because of the constantly wet, muddy and cold conditions. Tenzing’s engineers know that, and that’s why they have designed the Tenzing TZ WF13 Waterfowl Bag specifically for the purpose. 

First of all, the bag is roomy at 2,830 cubic inches and has lots of pockets, 27 in all, for keeping and organizing all items so you’ll know exactly where they are on each and every outing. Second, the bag is built to deal with the real conditions waterfowl hunters face.

The bag has a rigid and waterproof EVA base so it can be set down in a muddy and wet environment without fear of what will be soaking into it from the ground up. The rest of the bag is constructed from 600 Denier polyester with PVC waterproofing and DWR coating.

Additional protection to the bag and contents comes from its having two tops. One is zippered to keep gear in and elements out; the other is a storm shield cover that fully envelops the bag’s openings. The storm shield closes securely with DuraFlex buckles.

The bag’s main compartment features adjustable/removable dividers that allow for easy customization to take care of what’s being carried. Plus there’s a specialty pocket to organize a full collection of choke tubes.

Also included is a pull out fleece-lined hand muff fitted with an internal pocket for placement of hand warmers. The muff can be attached to waders or worn by its neck strap. The front of the muff has six elastic loops for holding shotshells near the hands for quick access.

Another well-thought-out convenience is the bag’s cell phone pocket. This is located on the back of the hand muff to make it easy to check with just a glance when shooting hours begin.  It has a clear cover for viewing and remains accessible while suited up for the cold.

For carrying convenience of the bag, as well as your birds from the hunt, there’s a padded shoulder strap that has six bird loop straps. There are three on front and three on back. The bird straps are contained in nifty little pockets sewn right into the shoulder strap. The bag also has a comfortable-to-grip heavy-duty handle located right on the top of the storm shield cover.

The TZ WF13 is available in Realtree Max-4 camo pattern and retails for around $199.99.

For more information about the TZ CF13 and all Tenzing products, visit www.TenzingOutdoors.com.


Prois Now Offers Mothwing Mountain Mimicry Pattern

Sat, August 31, 2013

It’s time to talk big game. It’s time to hone your bugle, grunt and rattle because it’s that time of year - and not surprisingly, Próis Hunting and Field Appearal for women is talking big game! Próis has the perfect piece of hunting gear that will help you bag that buck this season- the Próis Pro-Edition Jacket, providing all the field-proven performance features you need along with a fit you will love.

Yes, the Prois Pro-Edition Jacket is that good. It’s chosen by serious women hunters across the globe for it’s fit, form and function. Now even more women hunters will find the Prois Pro - Edition Jacket a must have. Prois has announced that it is now available in Mothwing Mountain Mimicry.

The Próis Pro-Edition Jacket is a big game hunter’s dream, and offering it in the coveted Mountain Mimicry pattern makes it the number one choice for high alpine, sheep and goat hunts. It keeps you warm, dry, concealed and prepared. The creative team at Próis has constructed this jacket with compressed, three-ply bonded high performance fabric that stops wind and wetness, but leaves the bulkiness behind. Lined with the company’s signature nylon tricot, the form-fit design is made for a woman, but allows for plenty of room for movement and layering -making it the perfect jacket for big game hunts.

The Prois Pro-Edition Jacket also features a three-panel removable hood,  a spacious lumbar compartment designed for easy access storage of lightweight gear or hand warmers that can be advantageously placed across the flanks, and scapular drop pockets which are located between the shoulder blades and are designed to hold activated hand warmers for those chilly mornings. Carry your hunting essentials like calls, licenses, phone or other unmentionables in the assorted arm and deep-set zippered hand pockets. The Próis Pro-Edition Jacket in Mountain Mimicry is sheer big game hunting bliss.

In big game hunting, silence is golden and Próis ensures the only thing that animal will hear is that final shotgun blast. Utilizing our soft tricot shell, snap down zipper sliders and magnetic closures on the arm pockets -this jacket will keep noise to a minimum.

The Próis Pro-Edition Jacket is machine washable- line-dry only. Available in sizes XS-XL. and is also available in Realtree AP and Advantage Max1. MSRP $229.99.


Winchester Super X Black Shadow

Fri, August 23, 2013

Deer hunters can now take to the woods with the new Winchester® Super X® Pump Black Shadow® Deer. New to the SXP line, the Black Shadow Deer features a 22” rifled barrel and 3” chamber.

The Black Shadow Deer model includes a black synthetic stock and forearm. The receiver is drilled and tapped for optional mounts that allow you to easily install an electronic or optical sight. The rotary bolt features four massive lugs that provide a solid lockup to the barrel. The bolt and other components have black chrome protection that lasts longer than traditional bluing.

The Speed-Plug system allows the plug to be easily removed without tools. A drop out trigger group allows for easy cleaning. A TRUGLO® fiber-optic front sight and adjustable rear sight are also featured.  Suggested Retail, $519.99.

For more information, please visit www.winchester-guns.com.


Hunter Safety System Introduces Tactical Bag Storage System

Tue, May 21, 2013

DANVILLE, Ala.  (May 20, 2013) – Hunter Safety System, the leader in treestand safety, is now offering its new ultra-versatile three-pack Tactical Bag gear-storage system for Hunter Safety System harnesses. Originally designed to provide extra storage space for the company’s Ultra-Lite and Ultra-Lite X-Treme safety harnesses, the Tactical Bag’s MOLLE-spec attachment system allows them to be used on any harness or vest with up to 2-plus-inch webbing.

Constructed of durable reinforced nylon with a sound-wicking tricot shell, the HSS Tactical Bag set features Realtree AP camouflage on the front of each bag for concealment. With three sizes—the large bag measures 6 3/4 X 6 1/4 X 3 inches; the medium bag measures 5 X 6 X 2 inches; and the small measures 4 X 5 ½ X 2 inches—the Tactical Bags allow the easy storage of just about any gear you want to have on you in the treestand, from a binocular to a rangefinder to a treestrap or even your smart phone. With cubic-inch spaces of 126.5, 60 and 44 respectively, you can attach one or all of them, depending on how much extra gear you think you’ll need in the field

The Tactical Bags’ MOLLE strap-and-snap attachment system allows use on safety harness leg straps or on any MOLLE-compliant vest or gear system on the market. Super-quiet nylon zipper systems at the mouth of each bag ensure your gear will be safely secured while still at the ready when you need access.

The new HSS three-pack Tactical Bag system is available at retailers nationwide or online at http://www.huntersafetysystem.com

  for a suggested retail price of $19.99.


Rage 125-grain broadhead

Thu, May 16, 2013

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. (May 16, 2013) — At last year’s ATA Show, Rage introduced the most lethal broadhead to ever hit the market, the Rage X-tremeÔ. This year, Rage has expanded the line to include a 125-grain broadhead for those bowhunters who prefer a heavier broadhead.

Designed like its 100-grain counterpart, the 125-grain features a ferrule with a very low ballistic coefficient, a 2.3-inch cutting diameter and a sweeping blade angle that maintains kinetic energy longer and penetrates deeper than any other broadhead. The X-treme produces huge entry cuts, devastating wound channels and massive hemorrhaging for even better blood trails. The leading-edge blade at the tip of the X-treme is honed to surgical sharpness for exceptional bone-busting and tissue-slicing penetration on any game.

Designed with the recently patented Shock CollarÔ blade retention, the Rage X-treme broadheads are designed for dependable blade containment and optimal deployment at all times. This new technology ensures that your blades will remain in place until you are ready.

The new X-treme 125 broadheads are easily recognizable by their black ferrule. Rage X-treme broadheads were designed for use with bow draw weights greater than 55 pounds for best results. The X-treme 125-grain broadheads are available now at retailers nationwide with a suggested retail price of $49.99 for a 3-pack.


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