Fishing & Boating News

Keepin' It Real...and Local

Keweenaw Tackle Company lends a hand so others can achieve their full potential 

by: David Rose, Traditions Media

(Apr 10, 2015 - Traverse City, MI) When you look up the word “business” in the dictionary, one definition says: The practice of making one's living by engaging in commerce.
 
Even for some of the smallest of companies in the fishing industry, business is, well, business, and amassing the all-mighty dollar often wins out over all other motivations.

But let’s go behind the scenes of the production of Keweenaw (KEE-wi-naw) Tackle Company’s Fin-Wing. You know: “The Lure that Swims”, which was created in the heart of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula’s “Copper Country’s” Keweenaw Peninsula in 1948.
 
What’s so unique about this bait besides its wide-wobbling, fish-attracting, spoon-meets-swimbait action? The fact that the entire bait was not only developed in, but remains manufactured and assembled right here in the good ol’ U. S. of A. – start to finish.  
 
First, let’s talk about the snipping and stamping of its high-quality steel. The so-called blacksmithing takes place in Minnesota, the Land of 10,000 Lakes. And then there’s the craft of applying topnotch coats of classic-hue paints. Yep, the same state’s where that happens, too.
 
Now, here’s where the plot thickens – the assembly of the split-ring and high-grade hook, as well as packaging and shipping.
 
Not a big deal?
 
Well, let us introduce you to the “Goodwill Industries of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan Inc”. Their mission: Helping people achieve their full potential through the power of work.
 
Here in Calumet, Michigan, just a few miles from where the Fin-Wing was first forged, people with disabilities get paid, receive vocational training and other benefits all while contributing to commerce. Not only do the employees here earn cash, they build pride and confidence while being part of a highly productive team. And trust that this spills out into the Calumet community in a positive way.
 
“There are so many benefits from employing the dedicated staff at Goodwill,” says Keweenaw Tackle’s President, Dale Elliott. “Fin-Wing has a perfect profile to provide growth in an area that, overall, is considered depressed. It’s a win-win.
 
“Besides that, the Fin-Wing was invented in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and it makes sense that it is made there.”
 
So what are the duties of the folks employed by Goodwill Industries of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan Inc? Receiving Fin-Wing customer orders and then computer assembling, packaging, and shipping.
 
“It’s a great opportunity for folks with non-defined motor skills,” says Keith Stenger, manager of the Calumet’s work center. “There are so many diverse jobs on so many different levels. And we can match the skills needed to the person at hand.
 
“This work could have gone anyplace other than the community of its roots, but Keweenaw Tackle kept it local...literally right where it was invented. And the company is very committed to what we are doing here, as well as dedicated to our cause.”
 
Made in the USA and assembled in Michigan. That’s what Fin-Wing is all about. Oh, and they catch fish, too.
 

ABOUT
A symbol of American ingenuity and hard work, the Fin-Wing® design has been catching fish of all stripes since 1948. Today, the lure is the pride of Keweenaw Tackle Company; built in the Copper Country to the same rigid standards as the handmade original, using only the highest-quality materials and superior long-lasting finishes.