FORT SMITH, Ark. – PRADCO Outdoor Brands, the world’s leading manufacturer and marketer of fishing and hunting brands and products, has acquired Bandit Lures of Sardis, Mississippi.
Bandit was founded in 1976 by Jim Winter, who launched a series of spinnerbaits at that time. In 1980, Bandit exploded onto the crankbait scene with the 200 Series, which has evolved into one of the workhorse crankbaits in competitive and recreational bass fishing. Bandit eventually launched other famous models such as the 100, 300 and Footloose series.
Chris Ross, the owner of Bandit for the past 21 years, will remain on board as a brand manager for Bandit and will report to Bruce Stanton, Vice President and General Manager of the Fishing Division. Ross will continue to live in Mississippi and will help lead product and brand development.
“I’ve lived and breathed Bandit for the past 21 years, and it’s an extremely important part of my life,” Ross said. “I’m very excited that it’s becoming a part of the PRADCO family. I look forward to working with the new team and feel very good about the future of Bandit. PRADCO has proven over time that it cares deeply about historic fishing lure brands such as Heddon, Arbogast, Bomber and many others.”
The Bandit brand will now be sold and represented by the PRADCO Outdoor Brands Sales Group. As part of POB, Bandit lures will be shipped to customers along with POB’s entire portfolio of brands from POB’s distribution center in Calera, Alabama.
“We can now ship all of our hunting and fishing brands from the same facility on the same P.O.,” said PRADCO Outdoor Brands President Ron Ten Berge. “This is a major benefit to our customers and consumers.”
The Bandit operation in Sardis will be shut down immediately, and the business will be operated from POB’s Fishing Division in Fort Smith. All product development and marketing functions will be managed in Fort Smith.
“Bandit is an iconic brand with a strong crankbait product set for bass fishing,” Stanton said. “Chris Ross has done a tremendous job with product development – particularly colors – and will be an important part of the brand going forward.”
PRADCO Outdoor Brands is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. It operates hunting brands such as Moultrie, Summit, Code Blue and Knight & Hale and fishing brands such as Booyah, Yum, Rebel, Lindy and Bomber Saltwater Grade.