Dreamweaver Lures puts a local spin on the fishing industry

June 25, 2014
Left, Brad Klimaszewski, product designer and Shane Ruboyianes, Dreamweaver partner stand in front of some newly painted Spindoctors, which are rotating flasher lures used in Great Lakes trolling.

Left, Brad Klimaszewski, product designer and Shane Ruboyianes, Dreamweaver partner stand in front of some newly painted Spindoctors, which are rotating flasher lures used in Great Lakes trolling.

Locally Made.

By Kate Krieger. Senior Correspondent.

As a native of Ludington, I thought it would be a great idea to feature many area businesses that I had either grown up with or businesses that I had become familiar with in the more recent years of my life. I wanted to promote what the businesses had to offer the local area in a series I call “Locally Made.”

Seeing that I was a local, I figured I probably already knew a lot of what these places offered to locals and tourists alike. Boy, was I wrong. Being a local doesn’t mean much unless you really take the time to get to know your own community, so I’m finally taking the time to get to know my community and what it offers the rest of the world….

PERE MARQUETTE TWP. – I surely do not claim to be an “outdoorswoman” in any way, shape or form. To be honest, most people who know me would probably laugh if I told them that I do enjoy the occasional fly-fishing venture. Growing up in Ludington and around Lake Michigan, I feel like I know a decent amount about outdoor activities, just from living here, so that leads me to believe that I probably know who and what companies offer the different accommodations for those activities, yeah, I don’t have a clue.

I have heard about Dreamweaver Lures from many different people in town, either some who have worked there, relatives of employees or fishermen in the area, but all I figured was that it was some tiny little company that produces a few different types of fishing lures. Again, I was wrong.

Since I have been writing these Locally Made stories, more and more people have contacted me with companies to feature. Shane Ruboyianes, partner at Dreamweaver Lures happens to be the husband of a long time friend and former classmate of mine, who contacted me to possibly check out the company. Of course, I was quick to contact them and head out to see what they actually do in this unmarked building set back on Johnson Road in Pere Marquette Township.

Dreamweaver did not start as Dreamweaver, in fact, the company was originally owned soley by Roger Bogner under the name Pentwater Lures. Roger purchased the company in 1985 and established many working relationships with charter fishermen and outdoorsmen in the area, which lead him to his current business relationship with Shane. Shane’s father, Pete Ruboyianes, owned a charter boated named “Dreamweaver” and in 1992, Roger changed the company’s name to Dreamweaver Lures as a result of his ongoing business relationship with the Ruboyianes family. The company manufactures and distributes fishing equipment used for trolling. Shane says that the majority of the products are sold in the Great Lakes, but they also sell to people on the east and west coasts, Europe and Canada.

“From spoons to rotators, we are pretty much a one stop shop for anything Great Lakes trolling related,” Shane says. “We offer 10 different product lines.”

Shane says the product called the “Spindoctor” was the product that really put Dreamweaver on the map. The rotating flasher product was introduced in 2001 and Shane says it is probably the company’s most widely recognized product that they sell.

After graduating from Western Michigan University in 2003, Shane joined the business full time, although he had been working for the company during summers since 2001. His father had grown up in Ludington, but Shane was raised outside of Lansing. His family would summer in Ludington and eventually Shane relocated to the area to work for Dreamweaver.

Currently the company employees eight to 10 people and they do all the paint, assembly and shipping from the business, except for certain products that are either completed in Shelby or Grand Haven. The entire company is based out of west Michigan, with the majority of it right out of Ludington.

“Anything we can compete with, we try to do it here,” Shane said. “Of course there are certain things we just can’t do here, so we have to send those out.”

All the design work dealing with different paints and tape is also completed by hand at the Ludington location.

Gander Mountain, among other retail fishing supply companies is one of the customers of Dreamweaver. Shane says the majority of their business is based upon establishing good relationships with businesses and fishermen to hear what they what or what they think would work out on the lakes and then Dreamweaver tries to accommodate those requests.

“Someone has to make them a cut rate spoon,” Shane says. “It might as well be us.”

Dreamweaver’s business is 80 percent commercial and 20 percent individual and they do stem a lot of business from their website.

“We sell to a lot of the Captain Chuck’s of the world,” Shane says. “We have about 300 to 400 dealers we work with currently.”

When the employees aren’t working, they are usually out on Lake Michigan fishing and a lot of the employees also work in the charter fishing industry. Many of the customers and relationships that Dreamweaver has is based upon the charter fishing industry and being a part of that has really kept the company in the up and coming trends in Great Lakes trolling.

“We’ve been able to stay on top of the trends because of our wide network of charter fishermen,” Shane says. “I think it’s one of the reasons we can stay successful. We listen to the fishermen and to what the guys want.”

The Dreamweaver name is well known up and down the lakeshore and many of the fishermen will showcase Dreamweaver stickers on their own boats to show their loyalty to the company and its products.

“It’s really great to meet people from all over the world,” Shane says. “I really enjoy working with people who do what they do because they love it.”

Shane credits his staff for helping to make Dreamweaver Lures what it is today and he said that they all bring great new ideas to the company.

Dreamweaver sells over 100,000 products each year and is a true competitor in the Great Lakes trolling industry.

I am just amazed that this huge fishing lure company, not only resides in Ludington, but started basically in a garage and now can barely fit in its current office space. So much time and detail goes into each one of the lures Dreamweaver sells and I just am so impressed that they can produce so many products with so few people. The staff at Dreamweaver definitely loves fishing and it shows in their lures and their ability to offer some of the newest and innovative designs that are being sought after currently in the outdoor world. They are just another example of some of the great products that can be found locally made, yet internationally known.

 

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