BASS Times: Members in Business - Dan Brovarney

Beer City Bass Casters
Milwaukee, Wis.
Brovarney Baits

When allergy sufferers need to blow their noses, they automatically ask for a certain brand of tissue paper. Wisconsin B.A.S.S. Federation Nation anglers make a similar brand name association when they look for a swim jig.

"I have sort of become like Kleenex," said Dan Brovarney, owner of Brovarney Baits. "When people think about swim jigs they think about me." The Beer City Bass Casters club member makes "Wisconsin-style hand-crafted swim jigs" and sells his creations online.

"One of the reasons I did this is the guys who know how to make swim jigs weren't making them for anybody but themselves," recalled Brovarney. The 51-year-old theatrical systems engineer tied his own conventional bass jigs for years, but his son, Casey Hewes, coaxed him into making swim jigs.

When Hewes kept losing tournaments on the Mississippi River to anglers using swim jigs, he finally secured one of the secret baits and showed it to Brovarney, who made some prototypes. "The next thing I know, he had me locked up in my basement making baits for all of his friends," said Brovarney, who started his business about six years ago and made Hewes the company president.

The online tackle shop sells swim jigs and plastic grubs for jig trailers, and it takes orders for custom hand-tied skirts made from silicone or rubber. "If they have a jig that they need a special skirt put on, I can do it," he said. "If they need a spinnerbait matched up for a tournament next week, I can do it."

The jig maker has been a Federation Nation member through various clubs for 27 years and remains a staunch supporter of the grass-roots program. "The day after the Federation split, I called up Dave Snyder [Wisconsin Federation Nation president] and asked what I needed to do to help keep us going," said Brovarney.

Brovarney has helped support the cause by donating gift certificates from his store that the Wisconsin Federation Nation raffles off to raise funds for the state team to compete in the Northern Divisional every year. "It's amazing how much money a half dozen gift certificates raffled off at a weigh-in site will earn," said Brovarney.

His business also gives away hundreds of dollars of gift certificates during the Wisconsin Federation Nation state championship and sends packages of swim jigs and other lures to all the junior clubs in Wisconsin.

Brovarney admits he won't be able to retire from the profits of his lure making company, but at least he has the satisfaction of knowing his swim jigs have helped several anglers win tournaments throughout the years.