Giants of the Industry: Strike King Lures

Since the beginning Strike King has stood to be a company that brings quality lures at an affordable price. Now, they have been doing this since 1966, but aren’t you curious about the history of what is now the premier company in competitive bass fishing.

In 1966 Charles Spence purchased a small garage lure making operation, thus Strike King was born. Not long after that Ray Murski made his first call to a small store chain in Arkansas, this chain was owned by a Sam Walton. As the year progressed the bass tournaments started to kick-off, especially the BASS series. Charles Spence and Ray Murski went out to prove that their lures can and will work in bass fishing, Ray landed in the top 5 anglers in the 1967 Beaver Lake Event.

With the success at Beaver Lake Ray made his first sales call on behalf of Strike King Lures to one of Sam Walton’s buyers, this helped to get the lures out to the general public. Throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s Strike King grew along with the competitive bass scene, this was caused by effective marketing and anglers simply falling in love with the Strike King line-up. During the early 1980’s Strike King built on their success by becoming known for their quality jigs, spinnerbaits, and their big bass favorite, buzzbaits. As if that wasn’t enough, they added polarized sunglasses to their product line-up in 1984 which allowed the company to grow even further.

During the early 1990s Strike King expanded even further, this time to encompass pork baits, pushing them to become the 2nd largest producer of pork lures in the industry. Seeing the success Ray decided to pony up and purchase Strike King Lures from Charles Spence in 1995. Ray Murski had already been selling Strike King Lures since 1968; this means that Ray can be heavily credited for the early successes.

Moving up to 1998 we saw 400 products being introduced, many of which became staples in the industry. Working side-by-side with their elite pro-staff Strike King came out with their angler ready crankbaits. Not only did 1998 bring crankbaits, it also brought some of the now industry standard soft plastics. In the late 2000s Strike King came out with the RageTail products that were designed by our good friend, Steve Parks. Not only did they unleash the fury that is the RageTail products, they also gave us the KVD 1.5 and 2.5, which is now must haves for any tournament angler.

Not only does Strike King have some of the most notable gear in the industry, they also have some of the most notable pro-staff in bass fishing. Strike King employs great anglers like Greg Hackney and the legend himself, Kevin VanDam. Possibly the best thing about Strike King though is their ability to work with their All-Star team to come up with tackle that is geared for people who seriously want to catch fish, and really, isn’t that what we all want?

With a past that is full of successes it is no wonder that Strike King sits as an icon in today’s industry. The thing we are curious about at this point is this; where will Strike King go from here? I suppose we will see in a few weeks at the 2011 ICAST.

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