January 3, 2013
Veteran professional bass fisherman Jay Yelas recently announced the signing of four new sponsors. The two-time Walmart FLW Tour Angler of the Year and former Bassmaster Classic champion has agreed to terms with Yamamoto Custom Baits, Kistler Custom Fishing Rods, Lew's Reels and Punisher Lures. Yelas said he's excited to work with smaller, growth companies that are managed by fishermen. "I've known Gary (Yamamoto) for 25 years and I've fished his baits as long as I can remember, so that was a natural fit," said Yelas. "As most people know, Yamamoto baits are of incredible quality. Their Senko is by far the best soft plastic stickbait on the market and nobody will ever duplicate it." The Corvallis, Ore., pro said he's in the process of designing a signature 7-foot casting rod as part of the new KLX series for Kistler. Likewise, he's working with Lew's on a new high-end spinning reel that will debut at ICAST 2013. "I'm also really excited about working with Punisher," he added. "They're a real small company out of Tennessee near Dale Hollow (Lake). The owner, Stephen Hendrick, is kind of known as the smallmouth guru. But they're trying to grow from a regional company to more of a national company; I'm going to be designing a signature flipping jig and a few spinnerbaits for largemouths." Yelas will once again run a Chevy-wrapped boat and truck in 2013.