My first interview was with Allen Hackert, a plastics expert from Kentucky. He runs a business called KLK Baits. This guy is passionate about plastics, and is constantly improving his lot through trial and testing efforts. Here is the first of this series of interviews with the “lure makers”!
What first drew you to creating and molding lures from plastic?
It looked simple to do, and looked like a great way to custom-make a lure to my specifications to suit my needs on the water. After I started, a few friends started picking up on what I was doing. It was then that I started custom producing their baits for various uses.
Do you remember the first plastic lure you made?
The first lure I make was a beaver-style bait. And after seeing how nice they came out, the addiction started. I started looking at other molds, more designs and colors.
Do you mold lures for a living or pleasure?
A little of both. I enjoy making lures. It's also a way to keep my costs for fishing down. I was twenty when I started making baits, and it was just a simple way for me to connect with others.
We noticed you have a variety of plastic lures. How are these used, and what type of equipment do you recommend?
My baits can be used for drop shotting, flippin’, punching mats, shakey heads, swim baits, and many more applications. For drop shotting, I like a Dobyns “SS703 SF” rod paired with a Lew's “Speed spin” reel, spooled up with braid & a 10lb fluorocarbon leader. For everything else, I throw a Dobyns “735C” paired with a Lew's “Tournament Pro” & 15lb fluorocarbon line.
KLK Baits Fighting Shad
Have you ever fished from a kayak?
I haven’t fished out of a kayak, but I’ve been thinking about it some.
Where is your favorite place to fish?
I grew up fishing Kentucky lakes, and I still fish them today. My favorite way to fish is deep water and offshore ledges.
Where are you located?
I'm in Clarksville, TN. I’m close to both Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley.
How many years have you been molding plastic lures?
This February will be my third year.
Tell us about the best plastic you ever created?
The best one I have made would probably be where I took three colors and put them all into one bait, similar to how crank baits are patterned.
Do you see fishing from kayaks growing as a sport?
I do. Kayak anglers have the same love for the sport & tournaments. They need baits for their style of fishing, as well.
Did someone teach you or did you learn to mold on your own?
I had a friend that told me some, but not too much. There was a lot I had to figure out on my own by trial and error.
KLK Baits 5" D-Shot
Do you get quite a few kayak fishermen who purchase products from you?
I've had a few. I see it growing as time goes on.
Where would your “dream fishing trip” take place?
I'd have to say either somewhere in Texas or Florida. It'd be interesting seeing what I can do with my baits on water that I’ve never fished.