Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Voices from the Past: Jim Bagley (1973)

The following article from the May 1973 issue of The Fishing Tackle Trade News details a big expansion Bagley was undergoing. It also illustrates the strange pay schedule tackle makers were on at the time, a difficulty that could sometimes imperil a firm's future. It's a cool little article and I hope all the Bagley fanatics will enjoy it.

Bagley Adds 10,000 Square Feet For Production, Expands Sales Force

Bagley's big expansion for 1973.

Unquestionably, the tackle industry is in a period of unprecedented growth, and in the midst of an all-time record setting year. It seems that everywhere you go, in every part of the country, tackle makers are expanding.

So it is with Jim Bagley, owner of the Jim Bagley Bait Company, Winter Haven, Fla. He, like most of his competitors, is enjoying a record sales year, and like most of his competitors, has fallen behind from time to time this Spring, in filling the tremendous influx of orders.

Jim is already planning for next year, with an addition to his manufacturing building, and double-decking in certain production areas, to provide 10,000 additional square feet of working space. More employees have been hired, and as his increased sales force, headed by sales manager, John Blue, rants and raves for delivery, Jim is taking the steps necessary to meet the demand.

He has added several new lures, among which is the Big B, a hot new balsa wood bass-killer.

Jim willingly volunteers that it wasn't always like this-demand exceeding the supply-at Bagley Bait. There were lots of growing pains. They have not stopped, but things are going smoothly now.

Note the liberal use of tomato crates in the Bagley factory.

A bugaboo with Jim is the "dating problem" which our industry is geared to. The manufacturer makes the product in the summer and fall--ships it in January and doesn't get paid until April, if he's lucky. Then he has to be ready with fill-ins, which he will be paid for in July, if he's lucky. There is a constant finance problem that Jim and his fellow tackle manufacturers wish they could eliminate.

-- Dr. Todd

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