Recently I found myself in the sunshine state of Florida; home of Disney, oranges,and Classic Fishing Products. Most Bass fisherman know Culprit worms as the classic ribbontail plastic worm that has caught Bass coast to coast. Classic Fishing Products owns Culprit as well as Riptide Lures, it’s saltwater fishing sister company. Thus when I got an invitation to visit the factory and get a behind the scenes tour, you can bet I drove right over!
Beth Calvacca and Damon Albers operate Classic Fishing Products and after introductions, Beth showed me around the shop. I was able to view the production line and witness how the Classic worm is made.
First and foremost, the plastic is mixed with the proper color.
Then the mold operator sprays a release agent onto the circular mold cavity. Each mold holds upwards of twenty worms. The operator then closes the mold lid and the plastic is forced inside the mold.
Seconds later, the operator opens the mold lid, sprays the release and peels that series of worms out of the mold cavity.
Those worms are then placed on a rack and the process is repeated.
Most of Classic Fishing Products are made in the horizontal circular mold, but some are produced through a vertical mold.
Once the worms (or other lures) have finished the production run, that batch is moved into another portion of the plant where the lures are hand inspected, counted and packaged.
All Classic Fishing Products are hand crafted, visually inspected by human eyes and hand packaged with care to ensure maximum performance.
It makes no difference if the product is a worm, frog (pictured) craw, swimbait, or creature bait. The process is similar in each lure.
There are dozens of colors in the Classic Fishing lineup. So many it’s literally a buffet for fish and fisherman alike. Solid colors, core shot colors, and combinations where the top and bottom sides of the plastic lure are contrasting colors like the Incredi-Bug below).
I was also fortunate to catch a glimpse of a couple new prototype baits that may be found in next year’s Culprit lineup. I took an oath of silence, so don’t bother asking! Rest assured that product development is always underway via the company’s professional anglers and support staff.
I was amazed at how much all the plastic lures were hand crafted and inspected by hand. In this age of automated production and high tech, high speed assembly, it’s reassuring to find some products are still produced with quality in mind.
Text and photos by Tom Cannon.