FLW pro Jay Yelas has signed with an assortment of new sponsors for 2013 in the wake of his departure from Pure Fishing after a 20-year stint with the company.
The former Bassmaster Classic champion with three career Angler of the Year titles to his credit has agreed to deals with Lew's (reels), Kistler Rods, Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits for soft plastics and Punisher Lures for jigs and spinnerbaits.
“I’ve got some great new partners that I’ve been thankfully able to sign with over the past few months,” Yelas told BassFan today.
He still hasn’t secured new hard bait or line sponsors, but is confident deals can be made.
“I’m trying to be patient and wait for the right deal,” he added. “I don’t expect to have all six categories filled instantly, but I was real fortunate to get four of the six filled as we go into 2013.”
He’s already hard at work on a signature series jig and spinnerbait with Punisher, a Tennessee-based company, and is also working on a signature series rod with Kistler.
“It’s a neat opportunity to get to work with some smaller companies that are growth companies,” he said. “Lew’s is making a comeback with a bunch of real high-quality reels. Gary Yamamoto has been a friend of mine for years and I’ve fished Senkos and some of his Hula Grubs for years and years so it was kind of natural to get with him.
“After you work for a certain company for 20 years, there’s a little bit of adjustment after you leave, but I am really excited to be working for these new companies. They all have great, quality products. There a lot of different opportunities to work with these companies in some growth areas and work on some new products.”