SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (Jan. 24, 2013) - Lew's, a legendary fishing brand credited with many innovations found in today's baitcast reels, has announced that FLW Tour professional bass anglers Mark Rose and Jay Yelas have joined the Team Lew's pro staff.
Rose, of West Memphis, Ark., has earned more than $1.6 million in winnings along the FLW trail over his 14-year career.
He had two wins last year, a FLW Tour Opens title on Alabama's Wheeler Lake, and a BFL victory on Kentucky / Barkley Lakes.
Rose won a FLW Tour Majors event in 2011 and took the FLW All American Championship in 2009. Rose also has two other FLW wins to his credit.
Yelas has been fishing professionally since 1989, spending most of his first 15 years on the B.A.S.S. tournament trail. He won the Bassmaster Classic in 2002 on Alabama's Lay Lake, and was the B.A.S.S Angler of the Year in 2003.
Yelas has been fishing the FLW Tour for 11 years. He was FLW Angler of the Year in 2002 and 2007, and has added more than $800,000 in FLW earnings to his $1.3 million from his B.A.S.S. tournaments. He lives in Corvallis, Ore.
Both anglers have a history of being able to adapt to changing conditions during tournament days. Rose's favorite technique is cranking, which is also the technique that Lew's helped make famous when it first introduced the low-profile, long casting BB1 back in the 1970s. Lew's recent introduction of the all-new BB1 still offers the same 21 inches per turn and the multi-stop anti-reverse of the original BB1 as a model option, which is the combination many anglers prefer when fishing with deep-diving crankbaits.
Yelas is just as adept with finesse gear and a drop shot rig as he is with heavy gear and tossing a jig. Yelas will be one of the anglers helping Lew's broaden its spinning reel lineup for 2014.
"We know that today's bass anglers have many tournament options, from local to regional to national, and both Jay and Mark are excellent examples of how working hard on and off the water can pay off in a history of successes, most recently along the FLW Tour events," said Gary Remensnyder, Lew's president.
"We especially like the fact that both men are good role models for our brand and for the sport of fishing everywhere they go. After all, they spend a lot more time preparing for tournaments, and traveling to and from them, than actually fishing. It's during these times that they have many quality interactions with the public, and that's just as important to us in their representation of the Lew's name."
Rose and Yelas will be joining many fellow Team Lew's members in the company's booth at the Bassmaster Classic Outdoor Expo being held in Tulsa, Okla., Feb. 22-24. Also in attendance will be David Fritts, Tim Horton, Kevin Short, Stephen Browning, Mark Menendez, Gerald Brown and Andrew Upshaw, plus Mr. Crappie himself - Wally Marshall.
Lew's pros Terry Scroggins, Mark Davis, Cliff Prince, Marty Robinson, Jason Christie, along with B.A.S.S. Federation angler Jared Knuth, have qualified for the Classic and will be among its 53 contenders.
"The Bassmaster Classic provides an excellent opportunity to meet and visit with the greatest names in fishing, old and new. And I'm confident you'll find all of Lew's guys to be approachable, friendly and ready to talk fishing. We hope you will visit them, and us, at our booth in Tulsa," added Remensnyder.
The Lew's brand got its name and start from the late Lew Childre more than 60 years ago. Childre's original BB1 introduced features never seen before in baitcast reels, including the disengaging levelwind and palming side cover. He had a significant role in rod development too, and his Speed Stick bass rods dominated the market in the early years.
Lynn Reeves acquired the Lew's name and trademarks from the Childre family in 2009. He and his team have since developed an all-new lineup of rods and reels, but all the while have stayed true to Childre's original vision for "lighter, faster and stronger" products through continuous innovation.
Today's Lew's product line still uses many of the original product names and trademarks, including the BB1, Speed Spool, Speed Spin, Laser and Speed Stick.