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The Best Intro to UPC Codes for Tackle Makers

The Best Intro to UPC Codes for Tackle Makers 1

What are UPC Codes?

UPC, or Universal Product Code, is a unique string of numbers expressed as a barcode that identifies your product as unique, with GS1 being the main supplier of UPC codes and acts as the database for all unique products.

Why do I need one?

Truth be told, you probably don't need a UPC unless you are planning on selling in a retail store. If you want to get into your local tackle shop or major retail chains like Walmart, Bass Pro Shop, or Academy, these companies will require you to have a UPC. At the very least your products will need a SKU, or Stock Keeping Unit, a unique code that identifies your product, so when you purchase your item at the register, your item will appear on the system; a UPC will accomplish the same. Any reasonable shop online or in-store will require you to have codes on your products, even major online selling platforms like Amazon and Ebay require UPC codes.

How many do I need?

One thing to keep in mind with UPC codes is that it also identifies the variety of product you have. For instance with the TechnoFrog lure, it comes in various colors, such as Watermelon, Black & Blue, and Green Pumpkin, all of these different colors need UPC Codes, so bare that in mind when you're purchasing UPC codes. Even items like apparel need unique codes depending on the style on the shirt. For instance, if you have a custom shirt, and you offer it in six colors, with three different sizes, you'll have eighteen unique UPC codes.

Where can you get UPC codes?

You can purchase codes from online services, even UPC codes that have been used before! However, it's best practice if you avoid purchasing a used UPC code because if you place your product on Amazon or another online selling platform, it could get confused for another product with the same UPC. The correct way to obtain a UPC code for your product is to head over to the GS1 website and go in and purchase either individual barcodes or bulk barcodes.

We purchased ten and the total was ~$450, a painful purchase considering you're just purchasing numbers. When you make the purchase you can receive a prefix, it's essentially a set of numbers that your codes with all adhere to. Personally, not a big issue of the numbers on your barcodes for your products don't have matching prefixes, it would just be for internal consistency purposes.

scanning upc codes

Does EVERYONE need UPC Codes?

If you're only going to sell your products online, you don't need codes for your product, it's not technically a requirement. However, if you want to sell into retail organizations, typically they will require UPC codes for your products. However, you can get a code in a matter of minutes.

If you're looking for GSO apparel for your next fishing trip, click here to browse our exclusive online collection. Take care, tight lines!


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So you want to start a fishing lure business?

So you want to start a fishing lure business? 2

Today we're going to talk about why your lure business may or may not be successful and the path forward that gives you the best chance to be successful. In an industry that is super crowded and hard to compete in.


Alright, quick background, I've never worked in the lure industry business before, however, I built a couple of companies in the enterprise software and cyber security space mostly on the product side. The last one I built was WhiteHat Security, which sold for 250 million dollars, however, the principles are all the same when building your business. Whether you're selling enterprise software or soft plastic lures, your business has to offer your customer and your prospects something unique that they can't get anywhere else. if you're selling Cinco just like the other competitors selling the same product, the only thing you have to compete on is price and location. The one other kind of caveat that you have is developing some sort of production system that makes producing this lure many times cheaper than the competition. So let's quickly touch on the three ways that you can build up your soft plastic lure company.

Method One: Order baits from a large producer

The first way is you can go to a producer of baits like D&J Plastics. They're a huge producer of soft plastic baits in the U.S, they do a lot of soft plastics, so you can get their catalog and browse the various colors and molds that they offer. However, this comes at buying in at a minimum, around 10,000. They can also slap on your logo and include whatever color you want. That's nothing unique to you, the only way that I generally see this makes sense is if you own a tackle shop and you want to do kind of a store brand, where you can cut out the middleman. You can order them directly from D&J, package them in your bags, and sell them at your shop for cheaper than the name brands. It’s not practical to sell online however due to shipping costs & competing with D&J.

Method Two: Buy a mold and pour yourself

The second way that I see people building or attempting to build a soft plastic lure business is by buying a mold from a company that produces soft plastic molds like Epic Bait Molds, Angling AI, or Ultra Molds, they all make fantastic molds with absolutely amazing craftsmanship. You can order one of their molds, practice pouring yourself, select the color you want to get for your plastic lined up, and from there you can start cranking out molds. You can have a unique lure if you have some kind of artistry like a one-of-a-kind pour, craftsmanship, or quality. However, the issue with that is you would have to be able to sell your product in a market that is filled with more cost-effective lures. This method could work for you if you can capitalize on pour techniques, craftsmanship, and quality and sell enough to see a return from purchasing your mold and enough to cover the initial production run.

Method Three: Have your own unique designs

The third way to start a lure business and I think the best way is to have your own unique designs because then you have something that no one can get anywhere else. No one can get a TechnoFrog anywhere else, and maybe you don't want one but at least we have a sustainable competitive advantage and uniqueness in the marketplace because you can't get our lure anywhere else. No one has that lure that's unique, so as long as you can convince someone to buy it, and keep buying it, you'll have a competitive advantage against everybody else in the marketplace because it's just your lure. Now, you still need to have craftsmanship, colors, and uniqueness to stand out in the marketplace.

Unique Designs are the way to go!

The chances of your lure business being successful in any field are very small, not a lot of businesses succeed. Owning your own unique designs is the only way I see to be successful in this industry long-term. So will this work? I have no idea.
I do know if we don't try to do something different or bring something different to the market, the chances of our success I would say almost zero right but producing a unique lure, producing more unique lures, getting them in the market faster, listening to customer feedback and ramping out quickly on new designs, new feedback, new prototypes, that's something that not a lot of people can do and it's a fairly unique position at least for a small bait maker, so if we can do this quickly we can out-execute the big boys and might just maybe have a tiny chance of succeeding. For more, click here.

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How to Catch Carp in Brays Bayou

How to Catch Carp in Brays Bayou 3

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to catch carp in Brays Bayou.

1. Grab some Ned Rig hooks.

Catch carp Ned Riggs

2. Pick up some wonder bread.

Catch Carp Bread

3. Cut a quarter piece of bread for the hook.

Catch carp bread

4. Fold the bread on the hook and smash it to attach. 

Catch Carp hook

5. Go to Brays Bayou and cast a line.

Catch Carp casting

6. Catch a carp.

Catch carp

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Houston Urban Fishing Adventure – Big 8lb Carp!

Houston Urban Fishing Adventure - Big 8lb Carp! 4

Urban fishing in Houston has a lot of advantages, with access being the biggest one. I only had a few hours between errands around Houston today so I decided to hit a local urban pond. This pond has produced fish in the past but never one quite this large.

catching eight pound fish urban fishing houston

The colors on this carp are incredible, and he is absolutely humongous at what appears to be at least eight pounds. My next fish ended up being yet another huge fish, this time a catfish, but it looks like something about this ned rig is working! For this time of year, I assumed most fish would be hunkered down but this has been an incredible day for fishing. My third catch of the day was a pretty hefty catfish, proving that this spot is definitely worth returning to in the future. This was a really nice run for the suppressor and I can't wait to try it out on the saltwater.

The gear I used today was my brand new Old18 Suppressor Light Action Rod paired with my Shimano Stratic 1000HG. This combo is super lightweight but still has enough power to haul in some large fish. I can't wait to get this out and tackle some redfish! When I'm working with my ned rig, I usually take a piece of bread and then pop it through the hook then mash it on the base. Leave the largest piece at the top, and today I'm using fairly old bread so it might not cooperate fully or pop off along the way.

If you want to see another great Houston Urban Angler check out Wild Lifes Youtube channel. He is the master of catching large fish around Houston, especially Braes Bayou. And as always to find more amazing content like you just saw, be sure to like and subscribe to my channel!