While many fishing tackle companies have been trimming their pro staffs, the Lew's team continues to get stronger. Lew's, a great tradition in American bass fishing equipment, has been busily assembling a group of high-profile anglers to help launch their new lineup of baitcast and spinning reels and rods for 2011.
Following recent announcements by B.A.S.S. Elite Series anglers Mark Menendez and Kevin Short that they've joined Team Lew's, company owner Lynn Reeves says he is honored by the recent additions to the team. The list reads somewhat like a Who's Who of fishing and, in addition to Menendez and Short, now includes Terry Scroggins (Fla.), Peter Thliveros (Fla.) and David Fritts (N.C.).
"I am so honored to have such a great team representing the Lew's brand." Reeves said. "What makes this team special is that they approached us after fishing with our reels or hearing about the quality of the equipment we are bringing to market. We want individuals who are passionate about winning but also willing to share their knowledge with others. The late Lew Childre was known for being passionate about fishing and showed it through his mentoring ways and dedication to product improvements. To me that's what Lew's is still all about."
Of the group, David Fritts has the most history with the Lew's brand having been a primary spokesman for the Lew's name over much of his nearly two decades of tournament fishing. Fritts helped put the Lew's BB1N Speed Spool on the map through his prowess at throwing big-lipped crankbaits a "mile" and "feeling" them all the way back to the boat. Over a career that includes six FLW tournament wins and five B.A.S.S. victories, including the 1993 Bassmaster Classic, Fritts has won more than $2 million in competitive fishing.
It is Fritts who is responsible for Lew's again introducing bigger line capacity reels with low gear ratios and larger cranking handles, among their 2011 baitcast series during a time when other manufacturers are focusing on the high speed models. Lew's features 5.4:1, 6.4:1 and super-fast 7.1:1 models in their lineup.
Thliveros, known to most bass fishing fans as "Peter T," also has been fishing professionally for nearly 20 years. He has seven wins along the B.A.S.S. trail, plus an FLW win, contributing to his nearly $2 million in combined tournament earnings.
Scroggins has been fishing B.A.S.S. tournaments since 1999, recording five wins and more than $1.2 million along the way. He says flipping is his primary strength, and that the new lightweight Lew's reels with their paddle handles are perfect for what he does best. Scroggins has qualified to fish in the 2011 Bassmaster Classic on the Louisiana Delta, Feb. 18-21.
"This is a great team of quality individuals, all having proved their character over time," said Reeves. "These are the kind of guys who spend extra time signing autographs, giving seminars and making other public appearances. I'm proud to have them associated with the Lew's name."
Reeves also teased that one other well-known and highly successful angler has committed to joining the pro staff, to occur sometime before the 2011 Bassmaster Classic. "We can't tell you who it is yet, but he's a popular guy and a great fit with our company. We're looking forward to making our signing with him official and public very soon."
Late last year, fishing industry veteran Lynn Reeves acquired the Lew's name and many affiliated trademarks, including Speed Spool®, Speed Spin® and Speed Stick® from the Lew Childre family.
Today, the Lew's line consists of four series of baitcast reels, two spinning reel series and four series of rods ... all are brand new designs and models. The entire lineup will make its first public show appearance at the Lew's booth at next month's Bassmaster Classic Outdoor Show in New Orleans.
For more information, visit www.Lews.com.