Hook manufacturer VMC has added Bassmaster Elite Series pro Brandon Palaniuk and reigning Forrest Wood Cup champion and two-tour angler Randall Thap to its pro staff. Tharp has also signed on with one of VMC's sister companies under the Rapala umbrella – Trigger X soft plastics.
“Not only are VMC hooks extremely sharp and extremely strong, the company is extremely innovative,” Palaniuk said. “They’ve got a lot of hook designs that a lot of other hook companies don’t have. They take things into consideration that a lot of the other hook companies don’t. I think that attention to detail sets them apart.”
Said Rapala pro-staff manager Dan Quinn: “After working with Brandon over the past few years, and having his promotional support for Rapala, Storm, and Terminator, it is clear that Brandon is at the top of his game and one of the very best in the industry. Brandon is the kind of angler we want representing our brands in the field, and adding VMC to that list was an easy decision. Brandon’s passion for the sport and his desire to use the best products available is clear, and that is the ideal scenario when growing a pro-staff relationship.”
Tharp, meanwhile, joins fellow Cup champion Jacob Wheeler on the VMC and Trigger X staffs.
"I talked with Jacob quite a bit about a lot of the hooks and baits,” he said. “I’m very fortunate at this stage of my career that I can pretty much pick and choose the companies that I want to be involved with, and VMC and Trigger X were definitely at the top of my list. I’m excited about their product line-ups and by the opportunity I have with those companies.”