Rip Teazers part 1
Injection molded soft plastic replacement herring strips
Production infused with 100% pure herring scent
Patent Pending No.               Trademark applied
12/1/20 by Capt. John King

Raising the Bar Higher

Hello, my name is John King and I make industry leading tackle that catches fish.  In 2003 retired from the charter
business and moved into tackle manufacturing in 2004. My credentials begin with being full time (1983 thru 2003) 
year-around charter skipper (April-Oct.) and river guide (Oct.-March).  Learned a lot during my time in the trenches earning a living from the fishing business.  Every dime I made since 1983 came directly from our fishing industry in one way, shape, or form.  My world changed forever when I caught my 1st Lk. MI Salmon on October 1, 1968 due North of Frankfort, MI in West Platte Bay.

A big thank you goes out to Wayne J, Manistee, MI port regular since 1967 for his assistance with design,
advice, testing and production.  He was in on the ground floor of Project 2021.  He traveled to Frankfort,
MI for the test sessions in mid-Aug. 2020.  Started my charter career in Frankfort MI in 1983. 
So, this port was a perfect fit and a nice getaway from my place in Manistee, MI.

History was made on 8/12/20 around 9:00pm with a prototype hand-cut X-Glow green test Rip Teaser!

8/12/20 Meat King


8/13/20 ST King


Motivation to Necessity

Every year I field calls from panicked fishermen wanting to know where they can buy bait.  This problem has grown with shrinking demand due to the contraction of the Lk. MI fleet.  Making money in the bait business is loaded with risk and a very short selling season.  The bait that's being sold today lacks the quality of what we had 10 years ago.  In 2020 frozen whole green label herring was impossible to come by in Manistee, MI.  I used old bait.   Some pushing 10 years.  Showing the shelf life is almost indefinite, if kept hard rock frozen.

This pushed me to explore alternatives.  Took a clue from soft plastic baits that dominate the Bass fishing industry.  Thought? ..."hey, why not?"  At least it's worth a try to research soft plastics.  Knowing full well, several fake bait manufacturers never broke thru with a widely accepted product.  My approach was to take this further than anyone before and "go with the glow."  From years of experience firmly planted in my knowledge base.

Used my vast knowledge with colorants that make our spoons, meat heads and flashers to proceed.  This was my leg up over other's previous failed attempts.  Since 2003 spent 1000s of dollars purchasing glow & regular colorants for our tackle lineup. That's where my expertise comes in.  Then, toss in my over 6 decades of fishing on all 5 of our Great Lakes.  It makes sense to say, "I'm probably one of the few people in the tackle design industry that could pull this off.  No brag, just fact!"

In the long run, the cost factor says our tough saltwater grade Rip Teazers are far less expensive then the never ending buying and storing frozen bait.  Not to mention, the time searching high and low for bait.  I foresee our strips lasting seasons, not for maybe, a fish, or two.  Please keep this in mind: during speed tests to make sure our strips require zero tuning with our Magnum Meat Heads.  It's as simple? add water, splash and go.

Under Achievers Club

Being a life-long card carrying member, know new projects to be successful, eat up a tremendous amounts of time.  To bring Rip Teazers to the market place, several hundreds of hours were involved in a span of 6 months.  Ground breaking tackle don't fall out of the sky.  It takes diligent hard work to bring a new product lineup to the fishing public.  You just can't throw everything together and hope it works.  You have to know the concept performs at a high level before spending big bucks transitioning into production.  You have to make sure there's a zero learning curve.  For success, tackle must not be complicated. 

Under achievers are usually hoarding great ideas on one side of the coin.  And on the other side? ...the dread of the blocks of time and work that's comes with a acute case of OCD.  Putting an original idea into motion is like a snowball rolling downhill.  You can't stop it.  It only gets bigger.  Until you reach the point of no return on the time invested.  There's no plan "B."  Risk is not an option.  You have to make triple sure your brain child works.  Then, prove it with photos and videos.  Verifying beyond any shadow of doubt, you have a reel-winner.  I don't have Disney Studios access to CGI and can't fake reel-time video.

13 lb. Chubby Coho
Mid-morning meat fish

King in the 20s
1st light bite

8/12/20 ST Coho 9:42am

8/13/20 Fish Box


9/11/20 Video Test Baits used in shoot

On the Water Testing Parameters

Testing you have to have a hard-nosed stubborn approach pitting equal parts of the same equation.  There is no swapping out for other colors.  You succeed, or fail with the same color selections based on the same/equal amount of time in the water.  2 rigger test spread with our combos in FireDot and XG-Frog BTI 10" flashers with 2 fly meat rigs™.  2 divers with the same patterns, but we switched side of the boat.  Our Magnum Meat Heads were used.  But have no doubt Super Mags will work too.  This is how we set the table for Mr. Salmon for the duration of the tests.  Then, we relied on Mr. Fish to tell us the rest of the reel-story.

2 riggers, to divers split equally between hand cut prototype Rip Teazers in Magnum Meat Heads and whole green label herring in our Super Mag meat heads.  Kept to a 4 rod spread on the first and second morning of testing.  Did not mix in other forms of tackle.  Testing is testing, heads up with exact tackle versus split with two 10" BTI XG-Frog combos and two 10" BTI Firedot/sparkler 2 fly meat rigs™.   This experiment is to eliminate all doubts about action and spin rates.  Both mag and super mag heads perform at the same spin and this can be verified on my You Tube video by clicking here.

Ideal conditions for a meat program were in flux.  Started out with in the morning with temp at 90' down that came up to 65' by the evening set 2 of the test session.  By the next morning, the temp was around 35' down.  This is a long ways from prime depths attractor programs perform at a high level.  Chose Frankfort, MI, because it's far enough away from Manistee that I wouldn't fret over orders being shipped same day.  Plus, this kept my head in the game instead of yanking on brain levers to make & ship tackle orders from:

Mentioned our spread.  Two riggers did all the damage.  Our usual deadly diver program only produced one hard hit on the prototype plastic strips that was a disappointing swing and miss.  We had copper and lead core in the water for a time.  That stuff did nothing but ride.  Thermocline swings made testing a lot harder than it needed be.   Started off good, temp down 90' (perfect attractor program territory) to up high in the top 30'-40' on day two.

Low Light Winner Winner - King Salmon Dinner

Body count was 3 Kings.  2 on soft XG-Green plastic prototypes and 1 on meat.  Plus, 3 Coho on both meat and plastic.  Lines were in the water for less then 11 hours of trolling.  Low light is where the XG plastic strips shined.  We charged up the extended green glow strips with a black light.  This was the reel-shocker for me!  Having soft plastic glow strips out-fish meat?  Never did we mark that many fish, or see other boats catching much from Frankfort's harbor N to Point Betsie during the 3 test sessions (August 12 am & pm, August 13 am, 2020)

Prototype soft plastic strips we used was primitive stone age hand-cut tech.  Shape, length and weight were a challenge to get right.  Balance, or weight of plastic strips is different than reel bait.  Wanted a "no brainer" easy spin with no hook insertion into bend/tune strips.  This is necessary for longevity to get many years of service out of the same strip.  This is an absolute must before the big dollar outlay of XG (extended 6-8 hour glow pigments) colorants.  

Went into this as a skeptic.  Willing to accept 50/50 performance, as a go, to move forward.  Having the glow prototypes keep up and out-fish meat during low light was a reel-eye opener.  Will I give up fishing meat? ...the jury is still out.  But know: I'm not out gunned when using our strips compared to dealing with never ending shortages of hard to find costly frozen bait.

Low-light performance was off the charts.  Our largest Rip Teazer King was caught mid-morning pushing 10:00 am on a 10" Firedot BTI combo towing a Sparkler 2 Fly Meat Rig™. 
This 9:45 am King was in bright full-sun conditions.  This was the reel-kicker that pushed me over to top to make Strip Teazers for the 2021 season.  Having our soft plastic strips perform in full-sun to low-light conditions made moving ahead into manufacturing a no brainer!

Thanks for visiting!

Click to Purchase
STs part 1  l  STs Part 2  l  Show the Glow  l  Test for the Best  l Use and Care  l

Variety of XG-colors
New for 2021 STs

2020 Glow test strip
Hand-cut ST prototype

Finished Product
Awesome X-Glow

Black Mamba ST
2 color laminate