TULSA, Okla. — Gene Larew Lures, makers of Gene Larew soft plastic bass lures and Bobby Garland crappie baits, announces the completion of a several-month expansion project that increases the company’s manufacturing capabilities by 70 percent.
Four new custom-built soft plastic injection machines are now in place and operating at the Tulsa-based manufacturer’s facility located along historic Route 66 on the city’s northeast side.
The additions will provide welcome relief for the company and its customers, and especially for the retailers who cater to crappie anglers, as Larew has struggled of late to keep up with the ever-increasing demand for its Bobby Garland panfish products.
“By simple math, adding four machines to the six we already had is an increase of about
70 percent. But from a true production standpoint, I can assure you the resulting boost is a lot greater than that,” said Larew owner Chris Lindenberg.
“Now we can run multiple molds of our highly popular Garland Baby Shad baits without having to compromise production of other needed lure styles, sizes and colors, which are the kinds of tough decisions we’ve had to make in recent times. This expansion is a big deal, and I’m confident our retailers and anglers will be as happy with the results as we are.”
Lindenberg acquired Gene Larew in late 2006, and then the Bobby Garland crappie brand in early 2007, putting the names of two legendary soft plastic pioneers together under one roof. The company has experienced double-digit sales growth annually while under his ownership, with successful new product introductions in both the Larew and Garland brands contributing to the company’s widening distribution across the country each year.
“Baby boomers like me remember Larew for its Salt Craw, but now old and young alike think of Larew as being Biffle Bugs and Biffle HardHeads, and we’re proud of professional bass angler Tommy Biffle for establishing the newer recognition.
“And while Larew will always hold its own among the mix of soft plastics’ brands in bass fishing, we’re also delighted that Garland sits alone at the top of the crappie baits’ category. The research we’ve commissioned, along with the number of imitations in the market now, clearly reveal the Bobby Garland Baby Shad represents the most popular name, body style and colors of crappie baits among today’s enthusiasts for that species,” Lindenberg added.