With Lew's back in its birth state of Alabama this week for the 2014 Bassmaster Classic, the rod and reel company has planned a party to celebrate the occasion.
Lew's booth activities will take place at the Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo held in the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex Friday through Sunday. The Lew's booth is located in the convention center's lower level at the base of its escalator.
A fully restored 1975 Ranger bass boat will serve as the landmark for the Lew's booth. The boat will be outfitted with Lew's tackle of the era. It was in 1974, one year earlier than the Ranger on display was built, that the Lew's BB1 Speed Spool was introduced with a number of industry firsts. Among them were the reel's low-profile design, disengaging level-wind and palming side cover. As a result, the new baitcaster forever changed the way people fished for bass.
Also featured in the Lew's booth will be a glass-enclosed display with many other vintage items that the brand's late founder, Lew Childre, developed when the company was first located in Foley, Ala. Among the showcased items are Lew's reel prototypes, frog gigs, fillet knives, hooks, advertising and an assortment of the company's earliest baitcast and spinning reels.
Former Bassmaster Classic champion David Fritts, who helped make the BB1 famous originally and was also instrumental in its recent redesign, will be among several Lew's pro staff members making appearances in the booth throughout the Classic. Other Team Lew's pros include Kevin Short, Peter Thliveros, Glenn Browne, Marty Robinson, Mark Menendez, Michael Simonton and Mark Rose.
The professional anglers will be available for autographs and photo mementos, plus will assist with Lew's daily contests for prizes that include the all-new BB1 Pro baitcast reels and the just-introduced Fritts Speed Stick Cranking Series rods, Speed Spin reels, aluminum fishing pliers, hooded sweatshirts and more. The daily drawings start over each day and registration is free with no purchase necessary. Prizes will be awarded at 2 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and at noon on Sunday. A Lew's T-shirt toss will also take place each day at those same times.
Lew's has 10 pro-staffers competing in the Classic – Stephen Browning, Jason Christie, Mark Davis, John Murray, Terry Scroggins, Patrick Bone, Richard Howes, Chad Morgenthaler, Rick Morris and Paul Mueller.
The Classic Outdoors Expo is open to the public and admission is free. General admission hours are: Friday, Feb. 21, noon - 8 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 22, 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Feb. 23, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. CST.