In Lee Sisson The Series Part 2 we look into the opportunity that Jim Bagley and Lee Sisson missed, working with lure designer Tom Seward and what became the Natural Ike series of life-like crankbaits. Bagley and Sisson didn’t know about pad-flex printing at the time and upon receiving a sample lure from Seward they knew they wouldn’t be able to make the lure with the paint technology they currently used.
Seward then went to Lazy Ike, who jumped on the opportunity and at the 1977 AFTMA show, the new series of baits won Best of Show. Bagley and Sisson knew they had to respond.
By the time Sisson got back to Winter Haven three days after the show, Bagley had not only found a pad-flex printer, he’d figured out how to use it and had a line of baits in his head he wanted to produce. But Sisson didn’t agree with Bagley on making a generic line of baits all with a standard crankbait shape.
So, off Sisson went and carved what he felt the shapes should be. He showed the models to Bagley and he agreed. From there the Smallfry series was born.
Click on the video below to hear Lee Sisson talk about that time as well as what they did in response to the Shad Rap and Lunker Lure. It’s good history and great stories.