Art of Fishing: Violet Talley brings art and craftsmanship to fishing goods

The art and craftsmanship of Violet Talley propelled her to the pro staff of Daiwa.

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Violet Talley with her Tatula reel stand.


A year ago, Violet Talley created a reel stand for John Moy at Lee’s Global Tackle for the Schaumburg Show. Moy bought 40 of them, and Talley worked his booth at the show.

‘‘He put his reels on top of the boxes,’’ Talley said. ‘‘So I asked if he minded if I put them on the reel stands.’’

Little things in life pay off.

Greg Johnson, the sales manager for Daiwa, stopped by the booth to see whether Moy needed anything.

‘‘Where did you get those reel stands?’’ Johnson asked. ‘‘I want to order those.’’

Talley went home that night and came up with something to show him. She eventually made a stunning reel stand tied visually into Daiwa’s Tatula reels.


Violet Talley’s Tatula reel stand.


‘‘Technically, I am the only reel-stand maker in the world,’’ Talley said.

The idea of reel stands came from Rich Bartz, fellow member of the bass club Midwest Castaways.

Talley, a photographer/designer, and her husband, Adam, started Fire & Earth Photography & Design years ago. Her creativity got her on the pro staff for Daiwa.

I first met Talley through her underwater videos, which had a professional quality to them rare in the fishing world, and did a column about her a couple of years ago. Those videos were an entry into the fishing business for Talley. With her entrepreneurial bent, she has kept going.

At the Tinley Park Fishing Show, I was chatting with Jim ‘‘The Crappie Professor’’ Kopjo when I spotted a stark artwork of a crappie within a crappie on the wall of his booth.

‘‘Violet did that,’’ Kopjo said. ‘‘You know her.’’

‘‘Now guys are asking me to make largemouth or other fish,’’ Talley said.

She has been working on making a sake bottle holder for Daiwa. At the Schaumburg Show this year, she came up with stands for Westin’s frog lures overnight.

Speaking of it all, Talley said: ‘‘I am having a ball with it. I am a super-passionate entrepreneur and angler.’’

More information is at


Violet Talley’s crappie-within-crappie artwork.

Dale Bowman

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