Building a Fishing Lure and Fly Tying Business

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I thought I would take a few moments to share the beginnings of Village Tackle LLC. Many of the local friends and family have marveled over the growth of this little hobby turned full-time small family business. The truth is if I can do it so can anyone else.

What is Village Tackle LLC?

At the core of our business, we make dressed hooks and fishing lures. Over the years we, our little family of three, have grown into other areas of the fishing business. Let me first tell you about the very first start at making and selling handmade fishing tackle.

Selling on eBay

In the late winter of 2002, December to be exact. I had this little fishing lure making kit that my fiance’ had given to me while working cable construction in South Dakota earlier that fall of 2002. It wasn’t until December that I decided to put it together and start making fishing lures. After completing the entire kit I decided to sell them on eBay.

eBay back then was different than a modern day today. If you put something on the selling platform, it sold. Immediately those fishing lures sold. I decide to buy another kit from Cabelas website. More lures were put together and then sold in an auction format. The growth kept going until one day I decided to buy components in bulk. Building them was a wonderful way to pass the time and to bring in a little extra “fun money” to the household.

In 2006, I decided to get a little more serious in making fishing lures and added tying fishing flies to the product mix. Ebay became a great way to grow to the next level. After seeing the potential of what eBay had to offer I decided to find other streams of sales.

Building a Website

Putting all your eggs in one basket on any marketplace platform is very dangerous. I always wanted to have given this business a title and name of some kind. After thinking about what to call it I decided that I like the concept of micro business that resides in small communities. The passion of small community leads me to the word, “Village”. The combining of fishing “Tackle” made sense.

The purchasing on the website domain was made and business paperwork was filed with local county officials. Village Tackle became the business and the start of a small family business brand.

Store Front Brick and Mortar

The year of 2008 through 2010 was a storm of thoughts of opening a brick and mortar in my hometown of Cadillac, Michigan. The issue of what stopped this revenue stream was the economy was tightening up as well. The thought of having higher overhead and the possibility of sinking in business became a very big concern. 

Our town already had two full-time bait and tackle shops. Not to mention other larger retailer big box stores in our community. The competition was looking pretty tough in an already specialize niche’. Coupled with the economy failing, we decided to look at other revenue streams.

Live Bait and Tackle Vending

We had a six button LB170 VendNet live bait machine in our community since the late 1990s. I always thought it was a great concept and idea. The wonderful aspects of this machine service were it was 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Another beautiful side of this concept was the lower overhead business side. I have always wanted to add live bait out our product mix but was reluctant to do so because our business was more focused on the world wide web.

In 2011, I decided to set out to acquire more information on live bait and fishing tackle vending. On a business model I was sold but as a conservative investor, I knew it was important to do some homework.

Researching Live Bait and Tackle Vending

The information was pretty limited and required some deep poking around on the internet. I discovered that there was a couple of companies that offered this type of machine. They seemed to be exclusive and a small niche’. The small niche’ was appealing to me and from a business aspect side, it made sense. The cliche’ of “the riches are in the niches’” kept going through my mind.

I was sold on the concept and worked to acquire my first live bait and tackle vending machine. There was an issue, how do I buy one of these machines and from which supplier. Remember, there was only a couple of them. The thought of coming up with my own from a used candy snack machine came across my mind too.

Buying a machine would be the easy part from a financial aspect. Make some money selling fishing lures and flies on the internet and pay for the machine. I could finance the machine through some kind of finance company and pay it off over time. (more about the pitfalls of this in a later post.)

Pulling the Trigger

Selling online our fishing lures and fly fishing flies has built in great security of business growth. Knowing that this type of revenue stream could only grow bigger year over year. Knowing that having a brick and mortar storefront would be a larger risk I decided to pull the trigger on live bait and tackle vending machine.

In 2012, taking a leap of faith, I took on my very first machine. It was super exciting to be able to sign those papers and start the process of acquiring my very first vending machine. Having a vending machine would allow the business to grow in a larger compacity and distribute more of our products locally.

The fun begins of this unique way to expand the Village Tackle business and brand. In a later post, I will explain the wins and losses of the live bait and tackle vending machine business. Stay tuned for the later post.

Full Circle Summary

Anyone can build a fishing lure and fly fishing fly business in today’s modern technology. Given what the internet can reach in an audience of buyers anyone can make a business mark. I was blessed with being an early adopter of selling through eCommerce and marketplace platforms, such as eBay. The power of taking a passionate hobby and turning it into a full-time business is very real in today’s market.

I can’t wait to share more of this journey with you and allow you to get to know us as a small family business here at Village Tackle LLC.

*In addition to our website we sell on eBay Marketplace. Prices will vary as well as product selection from this website. 


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