Tommy Harris, President, Tommy Harris Custom Painted Blades
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This profile was last updated on 11/13/09 and contains information from public web pages.
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President

Local Address: Kenosha, Wisconsin, United States
Tommy Harris Custom Painted Blades
 
Background

Biography

  • Spinner Blade Manufacturer Takes a "Different Approach"
    
    
    
        Tom Harris has earned a reputation as one of the best walleye harness blade manufactures in the country. This Racine native, who now resides in Kenosha and prefers to be called Tommy, is ...
Web References
Tommy Harris   Spinner ...
www.tommyharrisblades.com, 18 July 2009 [cached]
Tommy Harris   Spinner Blade Manufacturer Takes a 'Different Approach"     Tom Harris has earned a reputation as one of the best walleye harness blade manufactures in the country. This Racine native, who now resides in Kenosha and prefers to be called Tommy, is a custom painter who competes in a crowded marketplace against large fishing lure manufactures. I learned of Harris' work while fishing with guide Dave Duwe, who was surprised, that someone as lauded and well known as Harris would not have come to my attention sooner.
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That changed this last week, when I got the chance to meet Harris and talk about his custom blades. Harris' affinity for custom painting was on display as youngster when he painted model cars as a hobby. His work was so good it earned him awards at model car shows. "I was shooting (painting) metal flake on model cars back in the 7th grade," said Harris.     In the late 1970's, Harris started molding and painting floating fishing jigs. While people could buy plain colors such as yellow or green from stores, he wanted to do something different with his jigs. "Back then it was limited what (colors) you could buy in the stores, but I was doing tricked out colors," he said.     About 20 years ago, he started painting the blades that are used by walleye fisherman for their crawler harnesses used for trolling. There were very few blade producers who were doing detailed work and Harris saw it as untapped market. Harris began to reap the benefits especially as walleye tournament pros began to use his blades and word of his work spread throughout the dedicated walleye angler ranks. According to Harris, many pros use his blades and buy directly from him, but they prefer to keep the information quiet in order to try and have an advantage in the highly competitive tournament world. The blades start life in Canada where they are cut from metal sheets by a stamping company that Harris owns. The blades are then shipped to Harris so he can perform his custom work on the product.     Most of his products are sold at outdoor shows and through "mom and pop" stores. "If you want basic stuff, go to the big box stores," he said.     Harris finds inspiration for his work not in the outdoor industry, but in the custom automotive and motorcycle world. Every year he attends a huge specialty auto show out in Las Vegas to view the latest paint products that he can use for his own work. Harris also takes tours of custom paint shops to get ideas for his blades. Harris' spider web graphics and paint designs would seem to fit more on motorcycles being built by Orange County Choppers than on something made to catch fish. However, judging by the popularity, his holographic and flashy designs seem to be catching people and fish just fine. "This business is like the jewelry business, the more bling the better," Harris said laughing.     Harris is constantly looking for ways to improve the product and produce designs that will meet the needs of his customers and keep him at the front of the industry. "It's better to be a leader than a follower in this business. I am always looking for ways to improve" he said. A casual browse through some walleye website forums shows that Harris is considered by many to indeed be the leader in walleye blades. One user on a popular forum said that Harris is, "At the top of the food chain when it comes to blades. And, I don't see anyone in the business getting even close to him. In the end, Harris says it's the high quality of his work and the different approach he takes to his designs that sets him apart from his competitors. "I have always been different. I am not normal," said Harris with a big smile. To see Tommy Harris custom painted blades, please visit our product page and place an order there. Spider Blades ™ Spider Blades ™ Spider Blades ™ Spider Blades ™ Tommy Harris Phone 1.262.697.0018
Tommy Harris creates unique ...
www.tommyharrisblades.com, 18 July 2009 [cached]
Tommy Harris creates unique designed blades for the walleye fisherman. The blades are used globally by professional and amateur anglers. Tommy Harris uses a special formula of paint that is high gloss and chip resistant.  All the  products listed below are painted on copper plated blades.  Size: #5 Colorado Blades Tommy Harris Product Line 2009
Tommy Harris ...
www.tommyharrisblades.com, 19 June 2009 [cached]
Tommy Harris Phone 1.262.697.0018
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