It was the late 1950s and Harry Ehlers, an avid fisherman and advertising executive at Solo Marx (better known as Totes, makers of rubber rain boots) observed a boot mold being dipped into plastic. He had the idea to create a fishing lure using the same method. As with many fishing lure businesses, Snag Proof started over the kitchen stove. Mr. Ehlers combined his knowledge gleaned from working at Totes Rubber Company with his love for fishing and created a soft, hollow-bodied frog lure for catching big bass from weedy farm ponds.
Encouraged by fellow outdoorsmen at Solo Marx, Harry began working at night developing the lure and a machine that could produce a number of lures at once. Advertising in the classified section of Field & Stream and Fur Fish & Game soon brought in the orders to make Snag Proof a full-time business. Harry hired Richard Patmann to help in the production while Harry's wife Vivian assembled the lures and kept the books. Soon the company outgrew the Ehlers’ home and moved for a short time to a little “hole-in-the-wall" site before moving to the present 7000 square foot location in the northeast suburbs of Cincinnati, Ohio. At the time Harry wondered how they would ever fill the building. Snag Proof is now busting at the seams!
Employing 13 people on site with 7 in production, 1 in shipping, 4 in packaging, 10 who assemble the lures in their homes and Richard Patmann as plant manager. The core employees-Lynda Sturgill, Lexie Branham, Peggy Simpson and Darlene Martin have all been loyal Snag Proof employees for at least 12 years and Richard for about 40 years! Harry's son & daughter, Harry Ehlers Jr. and Connie Ehlers Fuller are co-owners, and with Mom, Vivian, and the team effort of all employees, are growing Snag Proof and producing over 1 million lures annually. Harry Sr. , probably wouldn't recognize the place! (Sadly, Harry Sr. passed away in 1984. )
Snag Proof produces 23 different styles of fish-catching weedless lures ranging from “critters" such as Frogs, Mice, Leeches, Lizards, Worms, and Craws to Crankbaits, Buzzbaits, and Poppers. Best known for Frogs, Snag Proof offers a wide variety of them from the Original Frog, to the Skirted Frog, the very popular Tournament Frog and the biggest frog on the market- FROGZILLA!
The basic concept; a soft hollow body with a double hook hugging the sides allows the lure to slide through weeds, moss, over lilypads and other structure without snagging. This lets the fisherman access areas on a body of water where most gamefish hide and feed and where ordinary lures can't go. The soft, hollow body also feels more natural to the fish and the fish will actually turn the lure in his mouth and begin chewing it, giving the fisherman more time to set the hook.
The lures are very effective and, fun to use! The excitement of a big bass or pike blowing up through the weeds or lilypads to get at the frog is terrific! Tournament pros in the world of bass fishing use them to consistently up the weight in their live wells during tournaments such as the B. A. S. S. Classic. This type of lure is also good for beginners since they won't be hanging up in the weeds and cleaning weeds from the lure-more time to fish!
Branching out into the saltwater market under the trade name Sea Bay, offerings include the Twitchin’ Shrimp, Crippled Crab and Sea Demon. These lures sport special cad-tinned double hooks and holographic glitter bodies. Ideal for inshore and flats or pole fishing these lures attract trout, redfish, snook, and many others.
New products are introduced annually and current lures are updated as the market changes. Snag Proof also produces private label lures.
Snag Proof and Sea Bay lures are distributed through wholesalers and dealers worldwide. About 1/4 of production is exported through agents to Japan, Italy, Spain and Russia as well as countries in South America.
Catalogs and brochures are available for Snag Proof and Sea Bay lures and are distributed at trade and consumer shows and seminars as well as through consumer requests.
So, if you're planning to fish in a weed-choked lake or river, your best choice of lures is in the Snag Proof line of products. They're 100% weedless and guaranteed to get more strikes and catch more fish, -and that makes fishing much more fun!
Bobby's Perfect Frog
Tips from Bobby –
“Walk the frog” like the pros. Here’s how: Point your rod tip down straight to your feet aimed at the frog. Twitch from 8:00 to 6:00 with enough slack at the end of your rod to make a “C” — not a straight line. If the line is straight, the frog will move straight. Repeat this process and the frog will move left and right, left and right. Anglers will now be able to “walk the frog” like the pros. The big difference is in the elimination of the “thighs” of the frog. This allows the nose of the frog to move more freely. Believe it or not this frog will walk easier and tighter than any other frog out there.
For open water frog fishing, it's very important that you use 30 to 50 lb. braided line. The smaller the diameter of the line the easier it is to walk the frog. Heavier braided line won't work in open water. For heavy, matted vegetation, use 50 to 80 lb. braided line. Thinning and feathering the legs gives the frog, at rest, a bird or dragonfly silhouette. To thin the legs, clip the skirt where it leaves the rubber band inside the frog.
To “feather” the legs, hold the frog upright, cut straight up the outside of the skirt. Evaluate the intensity of the strike before you set the hook. If the strike is a subtle slurp, allow the fish to load the rod a bit before you swing. If the strike looks as though someone threw a large boulder in the water, then swing immediately. Grab a stout rod 6'6" to 8’. Get some 30lb. + braided line and a new “Perfect Frog”in your favorite color. You are now ready to tangle with the biggest bass in the pond.
Sponsored by: GYCB (Yamamoto), Okuma, Delaware Tackle, TTI-Blakemore, and Ambush Lures.
Steve is the owner of reeltime Anglers Guide Service in Wilmington, Delaware, Anglers Radio in Delaware and New Jersey, Reeltimeanglers, Bass Lure Review, and Delaware Tackle in Delaware. He also is a tournament angler and freelance outdoor writer. He has over 40 years of fishing experience in the Northeast, 5 years exp.in California. He has fished freshwater and saltwater since 1962, and has devoted to freshwater only since 1989. http://www.reeltimeanglers.com