Leavenworth-based ProTuff Baits set for grand opening

Josh Rouse
Topeka Capital-Journal
ProTuff Baits.

A northeast Kansas crappie tournament angler is set to begin selling his own brand of crappie lures online this weekend.

Dalton Thomas, of Leavenworth, has been making lures for more than a year as a hobby, but recently incorporated his business, ProTuff Baits, and purchased a domain name to begin selling his lures online. That website is tentatively set to go online Sunday at Protuffbaits.com for people to begin purchasing his crappie plastics. The ProTuff Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/protuff will post an update when the website goes live.

"My real desire as a bait maker was to make a bait more durable than the store-bought baits," Thomas told The Topeka Capital-Journal. "Had several reports of my baits boating over 100 fish when paired with our wire-keeper heads we offer."

The website will have two main plastic offerings: a paddle-tail Swimmerz swimbait and a Stryker, which are stinger-tail baits.

He offers the Swimmerz in 2 inches ($5 per 10-pack) and the Strykers in 2-inch ($4.25 per 10-pack, $8 for 20) and 2.5-inch ($5 per 10-pack, $13 for 30) varieties in packages of 10, as well as a package of "Crappie Crumbs" — a Crappie Nibble alternative infused with garlic and designed to last longer — for $4 for a bag of 60.

In addition, there will be a Frank's Top 5 Kit available for $28, and Thomas does custom colors, as well, but requires a two-package minimum purchase for those.

Besides plastics, the website will feature jigheads from MAD Crappie JIGS (Aberdeen hooks) and Bammes Jig Company (sickle hooks) after it launches in multiple sizes. There will also be apparel for sale.

A ProTuff Stryker crappie jig in white and orange catches the eye of a white crappie at Perry Reservoir last spring just ahead of the spawn.