Storied Fishing Tackle Company Acquires Rippin’ Lips

Coralville, IA  – It comes as no surprise to America’s 7-million catfish anglers, but the ‘Whisker Nation’ is growing in size and scope. Never mind the fact that catfish remain the most abundant, accessible and delicious sportfish in the country. Or that catfish tournament circuits have sprung up all across America. Or that thanks to progressive companies like Rippin Lips, high quality, affordable cat-gear continues to improve with each fishing season.

For all these reasons and more, Iowa based Custom Jigs & Spins recently acquired the up-and-coming catfish company, with plans to enhance, expand and deliver a comprehensive catfish product line. Under the guidance of owner and fishing tackle industry veteran Bob Gillispie, expectations include an expanded retail presence of Rippin Lips branded catfish rods, bait, tackle and specialty products, such as scent and scent elimination.

“About a decade ago, we recognized many of the same things happening in ice fishing as we’re seeing in catfishing today,” noted Gillispie. “Back then, excitement for ice fishing was bursting at the seams, yet great tackle and gear for this segment of the sport was sorely lacking at retail. With companies like Custom Jigs & Spins leading the charge, anglers now have multiple aisles of ice tackle to meet their needs.

“It’s pretty exciting to see the same thing starting to happen in catfishing right now,” Gillispie adds. “Catfish anglers are passionate about their sport. They’re hungry for quality tackle at affordable prices. We recognized in Rippin Lips one of the top catfish-specific product lines in the industry—and an outstanding opportunity to help meet this energized, yet largely underserved customer.”

At home in the heartland of eastern Iowa, Rippin Lips’ new headquarters lies close to countless catfish waters—and inside the borders of one of several states where catfish rank #1 in abundance and popularity. Gillispie notes that throughout this classic catfish region—from the Dakotas down to Kansas, to points south and east—sales of Rippin Lips branded products have grown noticeably during the past year.

Gillispie, who’s Custom Jigs & Spins brand maintains a major presence with tackle retailers, anticipates the catfish tackle-trend to spread nationwide, Rippin Lips assuming a leadership role in newly expanding markets.

“These are exciting times for catfish anglers,” Gillispie asserts. “We’ve got more fish available in more places, as well as more truly giant catfish now than I can ever remember. The tackle and gear is improving, advancing and expanding in availability. Rippin Lips looks forward to helping grow the sport and outfitting anglers with the gear they need to catch more catfish.”