Interview with “Sarge” from Ballistic Bait Co.by Grant Pentiricci January 12, 2013
Cool-looking baits with an interesting back story: Sarge’s Ballistic Bait Co. creates some great spinnerbaits and buzzbaits that are sure to catch fish with style! The company was founded by Randy McFarland, aka “Sarge” in the early days of the FPD’s School Resource Officer Unit, which was started in 2002.
Randy is actually a Sergeant in the Fishers Police Department in Indiana and is a Public Education Officer with the FPD. Sarge’s Ballistic Bait Co. helps pay for a youth outreach program that he developed, appropriately called, Sarge’s Catch and Release Program.
For those who are less familiar with Ballistic Bait Co., when did you found the company and what inspired you to get started?
“After work one day I went fishing and while thinking about how I could use my passion for fishing to help others I came up with the idea to incorporate fishing with helping at risk kids. I wanted to do more outreach and counseling with youth and being a member of the School Resource Unit, there was an obvious opportunity. This idea was about investing time and not so much about fishing. This program teaches our participants to pay attention and enjoy the little things in life that are important.
Our program really took off in 2003 and every summer since then we have taken groups of at risk youth fishing. This gives the participants time to slow down, reflect and possibly reach out to our FPD officers for counselling or advice.”
What products do you sell?
“We sell a line of “Ballistic Battle Baits”. Our products use ammunition as the body of our baits and are produced with the highest quality materials possible. Our baits are all hand made. We produce inline spinnerbaits in various sizes as well as a line of spinnerbaits and buzz baits. Our products are targeted towards anglers who fish for a variety of species, from trout, salmon, bass, pike, musky and we have a variety of different sizes. We have 40+ lures in our ‘arsenal” available for anglers to hunt fish with!”
What’s different about your lures, and what makes them better that other stuff out there?
“Firstly, all baits are hand-crafted by me. Each bait uses real ammunition that is drilled out to produce the body of the bait. These baits are not only cool, but catch a ton of fish! Besides being totally unique by nature, another neat feature that causes fish to ‘bite the bullet’ is that many of my models (including most of the in-line spinners) RATTLE!….Rattling in-line spinners and traditional bass spinnerbaits are rare because they are mostly solid-bodied lures – I drop a few pieces of bird shot in my shell casings before re-seating the bullets!”
What inspires your bait designs, colors and names?
“I have almost as much fun naming my lures as I do catching hogs on them! There’s no real ‘trade secret’ involved, I just usually think of the most ‘testosterone-laiden’ names that I can come up with and then go with it! I have even posted a lure-naming contest on the BB Facebook Page to name my recent 38 Special jig. The winning entry? – The ‘JAW BREAKER’!!! (I absolutely LOVE it!)….I think I will do the same again real soon to help give my new musky lure a name fitting for a 50+ inch Leviathan.
Several baits are salutes to individuals and organizations who have done our country a great service such as our “Northern Nightmare” .50 Caliber inline spinnerbait. This bait is a salute to Canadian Forces Corporal Rob Furlong who successfully made a 2,675 yard shot with his sniper rifle in Afghanistan.”
What target species do your lures work best with?
“Many people think these lures are just a ‘novelty item’ without considering the fact that they are all real fish smokers! Since this past March alone, we have logged 23 different SPECIES caught on Ballistic Baits!!! I’m a big-time bass fisherman but it’s fun to see all the other fish that are being taken! My next big goal is to take a trophy Musky on my latest creation. It’s a rattling ‘double cowgirl style’ 10″ beauty built around a Hornady A-Max .50 caliber round! The silicon skirt material I use on it is out-of-this-world regarding its strength & crazy holographic flash!”
Where can American Anglers purchase your products online and traditional stores?
“Anglers can purchase our Ballistic baits online at our website: Sarge’s Ballistic Bait Co.”
What is new and exciting for Ballistic Bait Co. in 2013 and beyond?
“I really do hope to grow the business enough in the near future to open up sales to our Canadian neighbors. There are some real great trophy fish up there who would look real good with a Ballistic Bait hanging out of their jaws!
2013 goals include more & better marketing, increasing the size and scope of Sarge’s ‘Catch & Release’ Program (my at-risk kids’ fishing program), and helping to sponsor ‘Wounded Warrior’ events (or beginning one of my own by taking a few of these heros out fishing with me or with other like-minded fishermen interested in ‘giving back’ to these Sheepdogs).”
Here is my most important takeaway from the interview – these lures are NOT a novelty! They are well-made handcrafted products. I can’t wait to give them a try on some Trophy Northerns in the spring , and some small/largemouth when bass season starts!
Scroll down to see photos of more fish species caught with Ballistic Baits. Learn more about Sarge and Ballistic Bait Co. on these links:
About AuthorMore info about author
Grant is the Founder of AnglingAuthority.com. While he primarily fishes for large mouth and small mouth bass, he’s passionate about sport fishing in general and an avid multispecies angler. Learning about new tactics, gear, species and conditions is all part of what makes the sport challenging and enjoyable. Grant also loves to travel, particularly to prime fishing destinations. Grant participates in regional tournaments and is a proud pro staff member of State Apparel, Power-Pole and Gambler Lures. Grant is a member of B.A.S.S, Canadian Bass Anglers Federation and Ontario Federation of Anglers & Hunters.More by Grant Pentiricci