What was once Thomas Hatcher’s solution to the supply chain shortage has since grown into a business out of his Brush Prairie shop.
Hatcher thought of opening Salty’s Spinners when he and other fishermen on the coast of Washington decided to build their own spinnerbait lures when they couldn’t find any on retail shelves.
“I got a buddy who built some of the bumpers, and I built some spinners, and we went fishing right during the buoy 10 fishing season, and that sparked my interest in doing this,” Hatcher said. “I’ve been making them ever since, and they just keep getting better, and we just keep catching more fish on them.”
Hatcher has been building the spinnerbaits, designed for catching salmon in multiple waters. He builds them from locally made products to ensure everything is “made in the USA.”
The spinnerbaits lure salmon with the spinner blades, which have a revolving blade that flash and create vibrations while in motion underwater.
Hatcher has used his spinnerbaits for fishing in Ketchikan, Alaska, and added that they have been used in California as well. Hatcher has spent the majority of his fishing time mainly off the coast of southwest Washington where he has called the buoy 10 fishing season the “coastal fishermen’s Super Bowl.”
As his business grew, Hatcher created his website, saltysusa.com, to sell the product that he makes in a shop on his Brush Prairie property. From there, he needed a place that would sell his spinners in the Long Beach area, he said.
The Spawn Fly Fish store in Ilwaco first put Salty’s Spinners on the shelves, Hatcher recalled. Now Salty’s Spinners products can also be found at the Englund Marine and Industrial Supply store in Ilwaco.
“It never set out to be like that, but because of the interest, I was kind of blown away,” Hatcher said of when he first saw his product hit the shelves.
Hatcher added that locally, Salty’s Spinners products can be found at Angler West in Woodland, which has brought Hatcher’s product some great publicity, he added.
Expanding on just the spinnerbaits, Hatcher has started to build hoochie lures, which mimic the appearance of a squid.
The lures that Hatcher makes have been specifically designed to hold up while catching fish, he said.
“Everything from the wire is upgraded. It’s a little bit stronger than you see on most spinners that you would troll with behind the flash,” Hatcher said. “My design is made to carry a chunk of bait. And to make use of the squid skirt, we put a little bit of scent underneath it, and the spinner blades are UV coated and they don’t chip. They’re built for the saltwater. Saltwater tough, I call them.”
He added that they’re great in the freshwater as well. Hatcher encourages people who own one of his lures to hold a UV light over it to see the eyes of the squid skirt glow.
“I feel like I have something that’s maybe a step up from what you can buy on the shelf, and the price is competitive,” he said.
Hatcher has partnered with local fishing-rod builder Richard Bowers to host rod-building classes at the Salty’s Spinners shop at Hatcher’s Brush Prairie property.
“After interviewing a few rod builders, I met Richard [Bowers] who teaches this and teaches kids how to do it and teaches fly fishermen. But he hadn’t made an offshore or salmon fishing rod to our scope,” Hatcher said. “So, this was new for him, and it turned out to be great, and so I have a sign-up on the website, and I’ve returned a few emails now for people interested in doing it.”
In the class, people learn how to build Lamiglas’ Kenai Kwik rod in a modern XCC stance. Rod builders get to choose their thread colors and decals that can be added, as well as including their name on the rod. For more information, visit saltysusa.com/store/c11/ROD_BUILDING_SUPPLIES.html#/.
“It’s something that you can do with your dad or loved one or buy a gift certificate and give it as a gift,” Hatcher said of the rod-building classes.
On Hatcher’s website, people can order more than just Salty’s Spinners products. The website also features flashes, fish-kill bags and more. Visit saltysusa.com.