By Ray Schelble
One of the things I really like about Brad Cutler is that he is always up for trying something new. He constantly has his eyes open for something different - better fishing equipment, a new lure or a more effective technique. So in November, 2006, when he gave me a couple of packages of soft plastics to take down to Lake Powell, I started fishing them right away. As it turned out, I didn't fish anything else the whole trip. My daughter, son-in-law and I caught crappie, stripers, smallmouth, largemouth and even a few catfish, all of us using the lures that Brad gave me. The lure was called a Maniac Minnow, made by a company called Maniac Custom Lures.
After Brad had a ball in February on Arizona's Lake Roosevelt catching crappie up to over two pounds on Maniac Minnows, he did a little research on the company. It turns out they are located just outside of Brigham City, Utah. On Friday, March 2, 2007, Brad and I set out to pay them a visit. On the way we stopped to pick up Jim Morkin in Uintah.
The owners of Maniac Custom Lures, James and Sheri Bradshaw, are
genuinely friendly people who are obviously very excited about what
they do. As it turned out, Jim and James knew a lot of the same
people in the northern Utah bass fishing community, and spent quite a
bit of time catching up.
James gave us the 50-cent tour through their operation and patiently answered a lot of questions. The biggest lesson for me was learning all that goes into making these soft plastics. I really had no idea how much work and skill it involved, not to mention the tens of thousands of dollars in equipment. We were all impressed by the quality and care that goes into Maniac's products, right down to the colors and the details in the molds. In addition, we learned that Sheri has another business embroidering logos on hats, shirts and jackets. RMAs always have a need for that, and we'll be looking into it. The product line of Maniac Custom Lures includes Maniac Grubs, Maniac Minnows, Maniac Salt Sticks, Maniac Paddle Tails, Maniac Cut'r Bugs and the Maniac Ice Cut'r, which is designed for ice fishing but looks like it should work well for any kind of panfishing. They have a good selection of colors, and you can order a custom color if you need it.
In the Wasatch Front area, Maniac products are available at Fish Tech in the Holladay/Cottonwood area, Sportsman's Warehouse in Midvale, Smith and Edwards in Willard, Anglers Den in Riverdale, and they will have a booth at this year's International Sportsman's Expo March 15 through 18, 2007. You can find Maniac on the web at www.maniaccustomlures.com, or you can call at 435-279-9900. Their website includes a pdf that has instructions on rigging and presentations for Maniac products. Maniac Custom Lures is a great combination of a Utah company and lures that really work!