Hofland brothers start Plastered Bass Lure businessEthan and Elling Hofland of Roberts took two things Wisconsin is known for—beer and fishing—and they made a business out of it. Plastered Bass Lure LLC specializes in unique fishing lures that incorporate beer bottle tops into functional spinner baits.
By: Gretta Stark, New Richmond News
Ethan and Elling Hofland of Roberts took two things Wisconsin is known for—beer and fishing—and they made a business out of it.
Plastered Bass Lure LLC specializes in unique fishing lures that incorporate beer bottle tops into functional spinner baits.
“I’m not going to say we’re the first people to ever put a hook on a beer top and start fishing with it, but my idea was the rig blade on it that makes it spin through the water,” Ethan said. “It’s a two for one. It’s a functional lure but kind of a novelty item as well.”
For about three months Ethan made the liquor-themed lures for his college friends at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. When Ethan returned home from college three weeks ago Elling, who had recently finished his semester at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, talked him into turning the hobby into something more.
“I talked him into taking it full scale,” Elling said. “I’ve done pretty much all the work other than making the lures.”
Elling filed for the patents and incorporation, set up the business bank account, designed the website, created the email account and called potential retailers, among other business and sales-related duties.
While neither has any previous experience in entrepreneurship, Ethan’s majoring in environmental science and Elling is studying computer engineering, the Hoflands say they’re getting the hang of running their own business.
They say they both like their roles in the business–Ethan loves fishing and Elling has been in sales for more than three years.
“It’s helped us market the lures to different businesses and stir up a lot of interest in the product,” Elling said.
The brothers have been in the lure-making business for about three weeks and so far business is good.
The Plastered Bass lures are currently sold at Hackman Town and Country in Roberts, Hayward Bait and Tackle, Long Lake Bait and Tackle, Big Game Bar and Grill in Shafer, Minn. and there are some other local businesses interested in selling the lures, Elling said.
The Hoflands estimate there are about 150 Plastered Bass lures on the market right now and they’ve sold about 85 lures in the last two weeks alone.
Pretty much everything related to Plastered Bass Lures is local.
The logo was designed by a Hammond man, the lure parts are made by a company out of Ellsworth and the beer bottle tops are saved from local bars.
Ethan says it takes about three minutes to make one lure and each lure is made and packaged in the Hofland’s basement.
Ethan says while he’s tested and knows that the lures work, even people who don’t fish might be interested in buying a Plastered Bass lure.
“Even people who don’t fish, the lures are something to show their buddies or put on their hat. Some people like to collect beer memorabilia and these lures are unique,” Ethan said. “They’re a great novelty product and they’re a great fishing lure.”
The lures retail for $5 to $6, which is average for a typical lure, Ethan said.
While the Hoflands are happy with success of their business so far, they’re hoping to get the lures sold in more stores and bars in the area and in other states.
They’re hoping the business will eventually make enough money so they don’t have to work while they attend college.
“It’s going well, so I don’t think we’re going anywhere anytime soon,” Elling said. “Even if we stay small, there’s still a lot of money to be made.”
For more information about Plastered Bass Lures, go to www.plasteredbass.com, email owner@plastere dbass.com or check them out on Facebook.