Today, the glue is seen on television every time Roland Martin (who needs no introduction) needs to repair a soft plastic bait, or stick it to a hook, or stick it to a jig head, and it’s seen and discussed on the instructional videos produced by Mike DelVisco, a Bassmaster University instructor, Bassmaster touring Pro, and the producer of BassBytes.tv.
Rice remembers the early days as uncertain and filled with work. “Sometimes, the success of a product doesn’t depend on the product as much as it depends on the marketing. I was trying to make sure that the product’s success hinged on the product itself because it works as advertised, and it works well.”
Even today, with their association with Roland Martin, Mike DelVisco’s BassBytes.tv, WesternBass.com, and other promotional outlets, the company remains a hands-on effort on the part of Rice and his Pro Staff. They maintain a presence in fishing shows and other gatherings of anglers from tournaments to group camping trips.
Anecdotes of anglers running to stores after a TV show notwithstanding, Rice learned early on that anglers are not easily swayed to a new fishing product. “This is a demonstration intensive product,” Rice said to a new Pro Staff member in 2003. “You watch how these folks respond at a show when you show them how it works, hand it to them and then ask them to test the results themselves.” Indeed, the crowds proved him right, as they would stroll by the PRO’s Soft~Bait Glue booth, watching with a weather eye. After a demonstration of gluing an O-ring back together, and nearly pulling an observer into the booth with it, or sticking parts of plastic baits heavily laden with salt together (and that with a flexible joint, not a hard one typical of existing cyanoacrylate products), well, seeing IS believing, and the point was made.
Most of the anglers were not interested in the tennis shoe repair capabilities, or the capability to repair other items around the house (often, their escorts were), but they were captivated by the glue’s ability to stick plastic baits to other plastic baits, or to repair plastic baits, or to stick plastic baits to hooks and jigheads, all without being affected by water. While the glue cures remarkably quickly (about 5-10 seconds in most common applications), curing time is even faster in water.
The word began to spread, first by the company’s involvement in the RiverSmallies.com website, then by word of mouth. Anglers would come to fishing shows in the winter and buy multiple bottles or ask questions first, and still buy another year’s supply.
The product’s usefulness is not limited to the widely publicized bass fishing industry of tournaments and television shows, either. As a matter of fact, Rice’s primary fishing is for Striped Bass in the Chesapeake Bay, and it was repairing the large shad type plastics used in that pursuit that first got Rice thinking about his glue. He wanted something that would stay flexible, so as to not affect the action of the plastic bait, while being a sure attachment that cured quickly enough to not hold things up if the action was hot and heavy. Working with chemists, he developed glue that would do just that, but, as often happens; the other uses of the glue became important, too. Fly tiers, for instance, find that it is a stellar glue for starting a fly and for finishing the head. Since the glue is about as viscous as water, capillary action draws the glue deep within the head wrap, securing the thread in a way not formerly possible.
The same capillary action is employed by bass anglers when texas rigging a plastic bait by applying just one drop of the glue to the point where the line enters the “head” of the plastic. The result is a plastic bait glued to the hook, a knot glued solid, and line glued to the hook eye. Careful and moderately experienced use of the product allows anglers to glue the bullet weight to the bait, as well. It comes to bear again to glue grubs, etc to jig heads, since the glue’s capillary action does not require the glue site to be open for application, followed by the rapid restoration of the normal position of the plastic, as was formerly required (and often found unsuccessful) with the existing products.
Today, anglers seek Rice and his Pro Staff out to relate multiple uses of PRO’s Soft~Bait Fishing Glue, from anchoring boat bumper strips to re-sticking boat carpet when the original glue fails. One Pro Staff member recorded 34 largemouth bass in one day on one (just one) Yamamoto Senko, re-gluing it as necessary throughout the day. “I would never have believed it until I used the glue,” one customer replied during a 2005 fishing show, when he was told of the Pro Staffer’s success, “but I got a bottle last year, and it just doesn’t surprise me to hear that, now.”
Rice believes that the future holds great success for his product, but he understands that it will come as angler confidence grows, and that appears to be a function of how often and how many anglers correctly use the product. He appears to have the patience of an angler, as seems appropriate, for that day to come.
For more information about PRO's Soft~Bait Glue, visit www.Prosoftbaitglue.com or call 1- (888) 433-3644.