They got the patent from
relatives in Croatia.
By ANDREW GAUG
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
A first-place award at an international fishing trade show has two brothers hoping their line of fishing lures will land on store shelves.
Though Jim and John Mocker are both vice presidents at Lally Pipe & Tube in Lowellville, fishing always has been one of their favorite hobbies. It became much more than that after relatives from Croatia gave them the patent for a new line of fishing lures, called Rollo Lures, in 2005. The relatives, who owned the patent to the lures, told the brothers to see if they could market them in North America.
Their efforts got a big boost last month when they were awarded Best of Show for a hard lure from one of the biggest fishing trade shows in the world, the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades, held in Las Vegas.
Award in hand, the brothers are anticipating offers as fishing companies look for new products for 2008.
They recently opened an office in Struthers to store the products until they get the right offer. The lures are made by a Croatian company.
“We have to be ready to go if this thing takes off,” said Jim, who lives in Canfield.
What comes next
The brothers aren’t sure whether they would like to see their products at big stores such as Wal-Mart or at smaller, specialty stores.
“We have to wait and decide,” said John, who lives in Kentucky. “We’ll see where it goes.”
It took two years to get to this point where marketing the lures seems feasible.
After receiving the patent, the brothers formed a business partnership named after the original spelling of their last name, Makar Bros. LLC. At the time, they weren’t sure how they would market the line of lures.
“We just thought it was kind of a fun, family thing; something we can do together,” John said.
Jim said he was surprised at the creativity of the lure and how it worked. After testing in areas such as the Balkans, the bayous of Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico, he said other people he asked to try it were impressed as well.
The lure is geared toward catching mainly toothy fish, such as northern pike. The wire leader, used to prevent the fish from chewing or cutting through the fishing line, is hidden inside the lure so the fish won’t be scared away by it.
“Fish are very suspicious of a leader,” Jim said.
It is also designed for use in both salt and fresh water, so it won’t corrode or rust, the brothers said.
Surprisingly, Jim said, the idea for the lure has only been used in Europe.
“The concept is so good, I can’t believe this hasn’t made it to the states,” he said.
Trips to ICAST
The brothers took their first trip to ICAST in Las Vegas in 2006 to learn how people market their products.
“We gathered buckets of information then we did a mailing blitz [to fishing product companies],” Jim said.
When Jim and John returned to ICAST in 2007, they were prepared. They combined booths with Emmett Stacey, owner of Inventors and Investors, a fishing product marketing company from Spring, Texas. Their efforts caught the judges’ attention.
“One of the [people] from a TV network said he’d never seen anything like it,” John said.
They were up against 150 other hard bait lures, and judging was done by a panel of sports writers, fisherman and other fishing professionals.
“If you don’t catch their eye, they’ll just keep on walking by to the next thing,” John said.
John said the award comes from people who know fishing, so it gives their product a lot more credibility.
“It’s from people that are really fishermen,” he said, “It’s an unbiased award.”