Stewart Bros. Tackle Co.: fishers and friends

By Kate Hayden,

The three Stewart brothers enjoy fishing, so it wasn’t a surprise to Nick when he received a text from his older brother, Ryan, about lures.

“We’ve loved fishing for as long as we can remember,” Nick said. “Toward the beginning of the summer, end of the school year Ryan texted me, ‘Hey, I have an idea.'”

By the end of July, Ryan, Nick and Adam — all graduates of Charles City High School, in 2011, 2014 and 2017 — launched their new online business, Stewart Bros. Tackle Co. The brothers create colorful and custom lures out of Ryan’s home in Rochester, Minnesota, for customers.

“Over the course of the whole summer we’ve been planning everything. Some things took a little longer than we thought, but it’s been a big summer idea,” Nick said.

Currently, the brothers offer three types of customizable lures through their Facebook and Instagram pages, both @StewartBrosTackleCompany. “Clean” lures have no hair and retail at $6; “Dressed” lures have a single color of hair at $7; and “Deluxe” lures can have multiple hair colors and retail for $8.

All the lures have other customizable pieces, and can be shipped from Rochester, where Ryan assembles them, for an extra $3. Soon, they hope to offer different sizes and a few more styles.

“This would be a lure that I would say works best on a lake or a river, fishing for bass, crappie or walleye,” Nick said. “You can catch a lot of different things on it — it’s not a trout lure, but you could catch trout on it.”

“Anything that can really get a fish’s attention is what you want, so we have spinners that flash color and reflect light, different hair with different colors, beads that move around and rattle,” he added. “It does help with fishing.”

The business effort is spread equally among the three: while Ryan secures parts and assembles orders, Nick manages finances and incoming orders — he’s the brother customers message through the business profiles.

Adam manages the business photography and design, and worked with friend Michael McKenzie to create the Stewart Bros. Tackle Co. logo. Once initial costs are covered, the three are hoping to offer gear such as T-shirts or stickers, which Adam will also manage.

“I feel like I’ve been doing the most fishing out of the brothers to test them — every fish we’ve caught on them has been mine,” Nick joked.

The company is based exclusively through Facebook’s business profile template instead of having a separate business website, and the lures can’t be found at neighborhood bait and tackle shops yet, although someday the three would like to explore that with shop owners.

“I would honestly consider it more of a hobby,” said Nick, who is studying finance at the University of Northern Iowa. “It’s fun to get to do with my older brother and my younger brother.

“Over the course of the summer, we’ve been talking about what we could do, and planning a fishing trip we could use the lures and get pictures with the fish,” he said.

Working with brothers will give the three some flexibility once the school year starts again for Nick and Adam, who will be a freshman studying biology at Iowa State University, Nick said: “I think we’ll be able to find time to keep inventing new lures and working with people.”

“We’ve even been texting, ‘what if we don’t sell anything?'” Nick said. “Well, we got to say at one point we opened a fishing company with our brothers and we had a cool logo with our name on it.

“It’s a hobby we get to do with our brothers. We’ve never made anything like this.”