Mark Menendez – How He Started

Mark Menendez topped a field of 137 anglers in the LBL division on Lake Barkley in 1988. Photo September/October 1988 issue of Bass Fishing magazine.

Mark Menendez topped a field of 137 anglers in the LBL division on Lake Barkley in 1988. Photo September/October 1988 issue of Bass Fishing magazine.

In today’s video feature Mark Menendez talks about how he got his start in competitive bass fishing on the Operation Bass circuit. He remembers the two gentlemen that got him started, how his entry fees the first year were partially paid, practicing out of a 16-foot aluminum boat then jumping into another angler’s glass boat – an angler usually a lot older than him – and having to convince them he was on fish. [Read more…]

Sometimes You Don’t Have It…..

Lew Childre showing the convenience of his new Telescopic Speed Stick - circa 1975.

Lew Childre showing the convenience of his new Telescopic Speed Stick – circa 1975.

Here at the Bass Fishing Archives we’ve put a lot of people on pedestals – and one of those is Lew Childre. As you know, Childre pretty much redesigned the silhouette of the casting reel, played the main role in bringing a new guide concept to the U.S. and had his hands in anything else related to bass fishing equipment – including rod development.

Some of his rod designs and concepts were off the charts.  For example, the graphite Speed Stick became one of the best selling rods in the U.S. in the 70s through the 80s. His butt ferrule and pistol grip system was brilliant and his new guide frame designs, like the 3-footed frame all guides are fashioned after today, brought the sport into new dimensions. His equipment was light, functional and it delivered high performance to the angler. [Read more…]

Lew Childre – It’s All About Speed

Lew’s Speed Merchant ad. Note the company name, Lew Childre & Sanders – not Lew Childre & Sons. 1973 Bassmaster Magazine Fishing Annual.

I was reading through the 1973 Bass Master Fishing Annual and came across an article that piqued my interest about Lew Childre. Of course he’s primarily known for the Speed Spool but he also developed a line of rods, known as the Speed Stick, that was very popular in the 70s and 80s.

This article, though, was about a product I’d never seen in full – the Speed Stick concept. Evidently Lew’s mind never stopped working. He was dissatisfied with the way rods were built and the fact that custom rods took a long time to make. He also felt there had to be something better with respect to rod guides than the heavy carboloy, agate and stainless guides that were put on rods of the day. [Read more…]