The tackle industry is competitive. In today’s world, having a small tackle manufacturing company certainly is not the norm. With that being said, there is a company just north of Baudette off of Hwy 172 that has focused on a niche of designing fishing tackle for Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River. Tom’s Tackle manufacturers, distributes and sells a variety of tackle that is geared to the stained waters of the watershed and certainly Lake of the Woods walleyes.
When you chat with anglers who have spent time in these parts, many of them realize and have learned to save at least a portion of their tackle budget until they get up to Lake of the Woods as there are lures, jigs and other fishing tackle here you just can’t find in other parts of the state. Shapes, sizes, colors and styles that absolutely are proven to catch fish on LOW but are effective on other bodies of water as well.
If you notice, the colors are geared towards stained water like Lake of the Woods, the Rainy River and other waters in the north country. Some of the lures have rattles that can be effective calling in walleyes. Walleyes have a lateral line that senses vibrations and often times will assist them in finding prey in the dark waters. Other lures simply have the right size, color or action to them. Some common names you may have heard of are pink charmer, stop sign, rock n roll jig and jig o bit.
Tom’s Tackle, Inc is a family owned business that designs and produces their own unique brand of lures and fishing accessories. The original company started in 1959 and has been passed down as a family business throughout the years. Owner operator Dave Wiersma along with his parents Dean and Shirley Wiersma have been producing Tom’s Tackle’s unique line of tackle for the last 15 years.
Dean is the man behind it all and is truly the highlight of Tom’s Tackle. Dean’s dream has become a reality, and with his ability to think outside the box and his never quit attitude, his dream has allowed this fishing tackle company to go from producing jigs in a garage to a 1,232 square foot shop that is now pushing capacity. Dean heads up the lead room and with his spin cast machines, has built Tom’s Tackle to what it is today.
Most mornings Dean can be heard saying, “Ya know, I couldn’t sleep last night and I thought about this or I thought about that”. From those thoughts, an idea is born bringing the team together to debate it, develop it and put his idea into action. Dean spins everything from jigs to bottom bouncers to sinkers. Basically, anything with lead, Dean can spin it. They even make their own molds so they can cover every step in the process from the initial idea to the finished product. It is exciting when they can get out on the lake and test one of their own ideas allowing them to tweak and modify a lure to certain specifications before it ever hits the marketplace.
Dave and Shirley head up the sales and distribution of the tackle for the company. They have grown this company by loading up a trailer and hitting the road three times a week for the last 15 years. The people in Northern Minnesota are all too familiar with the Tom’s Tackle truck and trailer as it pulls into bait and tackle stores, resorts, and local gas stations. They have literally built their wholesale business one customer at a time and always welcome new customers as they continue to expand.
In 2013 they added the snow plow line to their manufacturing business. Their plows come in three standard sizes and can also be customized to fit your needs. These plows are in many cases some of the tough plows you will see on Lake of the Woods ice pushing massive amounts of snow to open up ice roads. You can read more on the plows under the category Lake of the Woods Brand Snow Plows.
The owners and staff at Tom’s Tackle, Inc feel that their personal relationships with their customers are invaluable to the business and they are committed to continue to provide service that is second to none. Tom’s Tackle, Inc is and will always be a family owned business in an ever changing business world that is committed to personal relationships. This is the formula that has built the company and is the true foundation for their current and future success.
How did Tom’s Tackle, Inc gets its name?
It was originally started in 1959 by a Baudette resident, Tom Nichol. After just two years, Tom and his wife moved to Alaska. They sold the business to Adolph Marhula and along with his two sons, operated the business until 1969. Adolph then sold the business to Henry Sindelir who kept it going until 1998 when Dean and Shirley took it over. Along with their son, Dave, they have continued to expand the business, all the time retaining its original name of Tom’s Tackle.
The next time you make your way to the Lake of the Woods area, keep your eyes open for some cool looking tackle in local bait shops and at resorts that was custom made with LOW walleyes in mind.
Last modified: 10/30/2020