2015-02-28 01.44.01


Yeah, I know we just finished a Bassmasters Classic–one that sparked a single day of heightened interest on the Left Coast, which then faded into a sea of guys you’ve only sorta heard about.

In that sense, it kind of reminds me of 1992, when a guy we had hardly heard of, Robert Hamilton, Jr. became the World Champion we can barely remember.

Yes, he had his moment in the sun, catching 59 pounds, 6 ounces at Logan Martin Lake near Birmingham, AL. But what I actually remember was one of the perks I received as a Press Observer.

In the Classic show, a fishing confab not unlike the Fred Hall Show, several of the sponsors were handing out goodies. From Valeo (and all you power lifters know the name) I picked out a belt to ease the strain of a typically frantic, rough ride in the passenger seat.

still got the letter

STILL GOT the letter. Here’s my blog…

What I didn’t know I still had was the letter from Valeo asking me to send them any articles I may get published mentioning their gear. The fact is, while this one belt has eased many a butt-pounding over the years, I’m not sure I ever wrote about it.

Not a very good effort on my part–delaying 23 years before I got something out there. But the fact is, I still have that belt, and I still wear it–usually prefishing for the U.S. Open on bumpy Lake Mead. And likewise, muscling couches and other “elephant gear” when the opportunity comes to move a family’s belongings in or out of the neighborhood.

Anyway, I can safely say, I’m still almost as tall as I was back in ’92 because I’ve worn that belt. So yeah, it works.


2 Responses to “Classic benefit from Valeo?”

GK, I think this is every writer’s fear, guilt and/or problem. Meeting someone in the industry, having them give you something (sometimes with the notion you’ll write about it, other times not) and then forgetting to write about it OR, most importantly, not having a place to write about it. Been there, done that. My worst one was putting on a military event in 2009, pulling some strings in the industry that I’d be writing about the event and then having the military say, “you can’t write about this at all.” I had a boat company, a rod/reel company and three bait companies donate stuff thinking I’d be writing about it. To this day I still feel bad…..

by Michael Jones

Early on in my outdoor writing career, I started issuing a disclaimer to the various companies: If I ask you for something, I’ve got a story in mind, otherwise, don’t send your entire line of stuff. Selfishly, I only wanted to write about the good products and not have to – even indirectly – promote the heavily-touted junk. Even so, sometimes you couldn’t win for losing. At a BassMaster Classic show, a company rep began gently chastising me for not having used their products in any of my stories. I reached in my satchel and pulled out the most recent issues of Bassmaster and BASS Times where there were editorial mentions as well as photos. I reminded the guy to pick up a few past issues for more grease. He hadn’t even made the effort to read the magazines! Others would whine to someone else and, of course, it would get back to me. Generally, these were companies without the good stuff, but I never let these moments pass. I would approach the person and ask them this question: Ever wonder why you don’t get any ink? Answer: You never ask. You never tell me about an awesome bite happening with your product or hook me up with one of your pro staffers. As for Valeo, don’t feel bad Kramer, they handed those things out to everyone. Let’s face it, how do you write about a back-support belt? I’m sure you paid them back, as we all did, with photos of pros wearing them. Sleep with a clear conscience, George.