Top UK lure firm seeks partner as it marks 50 years

As Eddystone Eel, one of the world’s top lure makers, celebrates 50 years of success, owner Dave Beer is looking to the future by seeking a world-class partner to grow the business further.

When Dave Beer designed the first Eddystone Eel in April 1973, he could scarcely have dreamed that it would become one of the most successful products of the last half a century.

Eddystone Eels have an enviable track record worldwide for both specimen and record-breaking fish. It has become a professional and commercial fisherman’s choice and has bass fishing fans around the globe.

Now, though, he feels the time is right to find a big-name partner to share in his success and take his products and brands to the next level.

Dave explained: “I have always run the business as a hobby but that has not stopped it becoming a global player but I am not getting any younger and, with the brand now 50-years-old, I honestly feel it’s the right time to find a major partner and move everything forward for the next 50 years.

“So I am looking for a big company to take over 50 per cent of the Eddystone Eel business. I have never really invested in the sales and marketing side of things, preferring my lures and my pro angler team to do the talking, but a world-leading tackle business would be able to bring all its skills to help it grow further. I believe sales could be huge!

“There are a lot of lures out there, many of which have followed my lead and now manufacture their own models but what they may not have are the professional and commercial anglers in that area.

“Over the years, I have had dozens of offers but only from people that have the money to ‘buy in’, or other manufacturers. Crucially, they have not had the international marketing, sales teams or outlets around the globe to take the business to where I feel it could be.”

Currently, the office and warehouse is situated in a 200-year-old freehold building in Plymouth, on the edge of a brand-new £85 million development, called Millbay Boulevard.

This has just been designated a Freeport, with all the tax relief on import and export benefits associated with it.

In addition, the brand is present in a number of countries which might provide an interesting and lucrative foothold for a partner, including Morocco, Tunisia and even Libya, among others.

Alongside his large stock, manufacturing moulds, tools and machinery – all debt-free – Dave also owns some key ‘.com’ website assets and he has just launched new sizes of his Delta Eels, which he claims will “outfish everything, as their action is far superior to anything currently out there.”

In addition, the giant 50-year anniversary catalogue has just been released, detailing the thousands of products in its inventory from both Eddystone Eel and Delta Lures, which Dave purchased in 2016.

Knowledge is key

Dave knows what he is talking about. He was the UK 1976 Westward TV champion angler, winning fishing competitions against more than 3,500 shore anglers and then winning the finals in Sweden, which featured boat, shore, river and lake fishing, with Dave winning each category!

In 1980 his Black no3 Eddystone Eels 19mm were responsible for man black fin and yellow fin tuna catches off the US coast and even today they are considered as a ‘go-to’ by many skippers.

As if that wasn’t enough, it was an Eddystone Eel lure that was responsible for a shore-caught record American Striped Bass of 62lb during beach night fishing at Martha’s Vineyard in the USA.

Over the years, the lures have been responsible for taking 10 World Line Class Records plus the British record bass, pollack, coalfish, cod and whiting, Norwegian haddock and scores of large tuna.

In 2016, keen for expansion, the company purchased the tooling, patterns and full production rights to the famous Delta Lures, which have been firm favourites since 1979 and this brand offering has been further extended in recent years.

Over the years, he has learnt how to manufacture pretty much anything, taking initial ideas through the design phase to moulding and production.

Dave said: “I guess my main asset is there is nothing I do not know regarding what is needed to catch sea fish in the way of lures, designs and mould making.

“But I am not a marketing man and now would like a big international partner to help run Eddystone. I am sure the business could be run from anywhere in the world.”

More details about the partnership opportunity are available by emailing Dave at [email protected]