Two families have been on the cutting edge of fishing tackle since the inception of modern versions. Wade Cunningham and Bill Buchanan are the names behind Cousins Tackle, which has been associated with just about all the top tackle companies such as Sage, Seeker, Sevenstrand, Fenwick, Berkley, Spiderwire, Stren, Abu Garcia, Abel and Shikari.
It was in the 1960s that two family patriarch brothers-in-law—Buck Buchanan (father of Bill Buchanan) and Bill Cunningham (father of Wade Cunningham)—purchased the sportfisher Buckwheat, which also became the families’ new on-the-water office. A couple years and a few fishing trips later, the families came together to start making some of the first proprietary vinyl offshore lure skirts. This would change the way people would troll forever.
Sevenstrand/Fenwick was so impressed with the skirts and components, it purchased Republic Plastic Molders and relocated its plant to Westminster, where Bill Cunningham and Buck Buchanan became division managers. Bill handled the production of Fenwick Rods and Buck handled the Sevenstrand Wire and Lure division.
It didn’t take long for Bill and Buck to bring their sons into the mix. Wade began heading up quality control, specs and engineering while Bill Buchanan ended up as a production supervisor in the Fenwick Rod factory. At the time Fenwick was building more than 1,000 rods per day. This was where Wade Cunningham had a hand in building the first High Modulus Graphite tubular style rods ever built. These are the precursors to the modern rods we fish with today.
In the late ‘70s, Sevenstrand was purchased by Buck Buchanan with an investment group that consisted of Charlie Davis and Les Eichorn. This was the year that the company relocated to its home in Huntington Beach, where it would take Southern California’s tackle manufacturing into the future.
Wade has been an icon in modern rod building and blank design and has had involvement in designing and building rods for numerous brands. He built the first rods Sage ever displayed for Don Green, proving that he had what it took to make and design the finest rods on the market. In between projects, Wade founded and launched one of the most well-known names in fishing, Seeker Rods. He built the factory and designed the blanks to what would become an iconic West Coast brand that is still going strong.
Back in the day, the two cousins had a vision to bring consumers the finest rods, blanks, skirts and lures available. The idea back then was called Harbor Pacifica, which was the inspiration for what is now called Cousins Tackle Corp.
They came back together in the hometown of these historic tackle companies, Huntington Beach, to bring you the highest quality rods, blanks, skirts and lures, all made right here in the USA. Bill brings years of lure and skirt design experience while Wade brings rod and blank design expertise to create the perfect match. Cousins Tackle products are all made by hand and one at a time to ensure quality.
When Wade and Bill came together to build this company, they knew the vision was to bring jobs to our local economy. Heck, they have even brought back on board original employees from past companies. In essence, they got the old team back together to repeat history and bring on innovation. Employing more than 25 workers, Cousins Tackle has a full staff rolling blanks, finishing rods, pouring skirts and making lures.
Take a tour of the COUSINS Factory with Phil Friedman Outdoors.
You can reach Phil at Phil@PFORadio.com.
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Schedule as of September 6, 2013
2pm LIVE; Archived upon completion of LIVE Show
Mondays- The SURF FISHING SHOW
Tuesdays- The BAJA NOW SHOW
Wednesdays- THE FRESHWATER SHOW
Thursdays- THE SALTWATER SHOW
Friday's- AL Aire Libre; Pescando con Felipe (Our Spanish Show)