For Adam Yeagley, fishing has always been the fabric of his life. Growing up in Eastern Howard County his fondest childhood memories centered on plying the waters of Wildcat Creek and adjoining Kokomo Reservoir. “I had a flat bottom boat I would launch in the creek with the help of a riding mower,” said Yeagley, now 40.
With each passing year his passion only grew. Currently residing in Mulberry, Indiana he continues fishing for pleasure and also taking part in as many competitive bass tournaments as time allows. But one thing was missing. Like all fishermen he was looking for a magic lure, something a cut above all the rest. He would constantly find himself tweaking new tackle. “Every time I would buy some new baits I would take them apart and make them better by adding different hooks, skirts or paint,” he explained.
Yeagley began doing very well in tournaments. “My wife asked what I was doing different than everyone else.” He explained how he’d been using the artificial lures that were modified. “That’s when she suggested I start my own business and it seemed like the perfect progression.” A few short months later CYC Lures was formed.
The business moniker was derived from the names of his two children Colton, 12, and Chloe age six. “Not only do they love to fish they are also my partners during bass tournaments,” he added proudly.
For some, its human nature to value the creative spirit and Yeagley was no exception. Although the garage or basement workshop makers of custom lures represent a very small part of the fishing tackle industry they are quickly becoming widespread.
Before offering his unique style of lures to the public, Yeagley had reservations. “I wasn’t sure if I wanted to give away my secrets,” he added with a laugh. “But since then there have been several people win Angler of the Year in their respective clubs using my lures and that’s a proud feeling seeing others do well with items I’ve made.” He now finds great pleasure hearing the many stories and seeing pictures from those who have seen success using his products.
Handmade items are unique. Most fishermen don’t like using the same thing most others do. One small deviation can mean the difference between a good day on the water and a great day. Plus, when purchasing items that are handmade you are supporting local, small businesses.
Currently, Yeagley builds custom jigs primarily used when fishing for bass. He begins by melting lead then pouring the liquid metal into specially designed molds where the hook is added. “I use Trokar hooks because I think they are the best,” he explained. The jigs are powder coated instead of painted because the coating is much more durable. Once that is complete he deftly ties on colorful skirts made of either premium silicone or living rubber. “They provide the best action,” Yeagley said.
One of the most difficult aspects of his business is what he calls “Research and Development.” Each style is tested before it leaves his shop. The hardest part is coming up with various head styles, hooks and skirts that work perfectly together. “It’s harder than what many would think,” he explained.
CYC Lures offers various types of jigs from 1/8 to ¾ ounces in weight. But in the future Yeagley plans to expand his business and begin making lures suitable for panfishing. “I also want to start producing spinnerbaits and buzz baits,” he added.
We live in a world where almost everything is mass produced, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But people are also embracing special handmade items built in small quantities because they are crafted in an environment of pride, honor and respect. And that’s something hard to get from a machine.