It was one of those ideas that just flashed into my mind and the more I thought about it, the more I thought it might work.
For years I had been fishing for walleye using the same spinner blades that had been around for 30+ years. Sure a different paint color, but the same design. Then one morning while getting ready for work I had this idea.....what if a spinner blade could change shape and cover up some of the beads as it rotated through the water. As the speed changed, the amount the blade would elongate would vary (kinda spring loaded or shape-shifting). I bet that would catch a fish.
With snow on the ground and hard water, I started testing prototypes in my basement bathtub. After what seemed like a few hundred variations, I finally had a design that would elongate and rotate at a variety of speeds causing lots of vibration, flash and action. It was harder to do than it sounds. It took just the right cut design matched with the right plastic thickness to get it to all work properly. Change one little thing and it would act totally different.
With open water in Montana I could test my blade....Would my spinner blade actually catch a fish, specifically the "picky walleye" in the lake closest to me - Canyon Ferry outside of Townsend, MT. Sure enough it did and right off the bat! Now the real test. Would it work in other lakes around the country? Could it catch other species of fish? I sent a few of my "scissor cut" prototypes to a good friend, Jim Hanley for him to test while guiding clients on Lake Erie.....figured that would be a good test for the blade. A week later I got an email. "Send more blades, orange if you have them. We are catching them like crazy with your new blade. What are you calling this thing anyway?"
Good question, I had been calling the it the Spiral Spinner Blade but Jim had a better suggestion. He said, "You're from Montana, why not call it the 'Montana Blade'."
Fast forward to today. Things have changed. I no longer cut them out with scissors (the die cutter does a way better job). The plastic, printing, reflective tape and die cutting are all done in the USA. BEST OF ALL, people from all over the US have caught all kinds of fish with the Montana Blade from walleye, trout, perch, salmon......you name it. I guess that is the best thing of all, getting pictures from people that have put fish in the boat using my little idea.
Thanks for the support,