WEST OCEAN CITY – A new fishing brand founded in Ocean City is bringing style and function to the masses.
Last year, owner and founder Brendan Hanley partnered with Quiet Storm owner Bill Dreibelbis to introduce a new brand of performance gear and casual attire called Pure Lure RFG, which stands for Reel Fishing Gear.
“It’s born and bred right here in the White Marlin Capital of the world,” Hanley said, “one of the best fishing communities in the entire U.S.”
Since testing the product at one of Dreibelbis’ stores in Myrtle Beach, S.C., Pure Lure has grown to include jackets, sun shirts, T-shirts, lightweight shorts, swim trunks and hats, all designed with anglers and boaters in mind.
Hanley said the product has had an incredible following right out of the gates and is selling on pace with brands such as Billabong, Salty Crew, Patagonia, Avid and Salt Life.
“Bill and I had some conversations about doing a brand together,” he said. “Bill is a tremendous retailer and he is someone that loves a challenge. We talked about some things and before I had come on he said he could do a product and a test store. The product did really well. We formed a partnership and now what I’ve done is created an entire collection.”
Hanley said the Pure Lure brand features a broad range of products such as performance walk shorts, reversible board shorts and sun shirts that are UPF 50 and anti-microbial.
“I came out and also did some stuff that’s a little different from the traditional fishing brand,” he said. “It’s my dock collection, which is what you would put on if you want to take mom out to dinner.”
Hanley said nothing has been overlooked in the creation of the Pure Lure brand. He noted that products were tested and supported by watermen in and around Ocean City.
“When I designed all the products, down to every detail there is a reason for it,” he said.
For example, Hanley said all zippers are reverse-coil and feature hood covers to prevent watermen from scratching a boat or getting caught on anything. In addition, all shorts are four-way stretch, lightweight and quick dry.
But Hanley said Pure Lure does not sacrifice style for practicality and comfort. He noted the blue color on waistband tabs found on the brand’s walk shorts can also be found in the stitching. The clothing also comes in a variety of colors and patterns.
“Product is king …,” he said. “If you go to a restaurant and the service is great and the parking is great and the building is great but the meal is not good, you probably won’t go back. For me, this is the product and I want to serve the ‘best meal’ we can so people will want to come back.”
Dreibelbis and Hanley are no strangers to the retail industry. The two first worked together in the late 1980s, when Dreibelbis was a representative for several retail brands on the east coast and Hanley was his sub-representative.
Today, Dreibelbis is the owner of Quiet Storm, a successful retail store with nearly a dozen locations in five states. Hanley, who spent years working with some of the nation’s top brands – including VonZipper, Billabong, Huk and Under Armour, to name a few – is now using his expertise to build the Pure Lure brand.
“We know the fishing market and clothing business,” Dreibelbis said, “and we are really excited to get it started.”
While Pure Lure operates from West Ocean City, apparel can be found in any of Dreibelbis’ stores, as well as M.R. Ducks.
“We will look to open between 30 and 50 specialty accounts for 2020 as well as some limited door distribution with possibly Bass Pro Shops and Dick’s Sporting Goods,” Hanley said.
Hanley said he also has plans to introduce women’s apparel next year. Some products will be available by the Poor Girls Open later this month.
“We will always use best-in-class factories, and we are looking to do more product in the USA as we grow the brand,” he said. “One of the things I don’t want to do is grow too fast … We are going to make great product, tell a really good story and back it up with the best customer service that we can.”
Hanley said all Pure Lure apparel found in stores can also be found on the brand’s website, www.purelurefishing.com.
The owners of Pure Lure, a sponsor of this year’s White Marlin Open, have also collaborated with tournament organizers to offer limited-edition Pure Lure/White Marlin Open apparel at www.wmoapparel.com.
“To do these collaborative efforts and drive business to them as well is outstanding,” Hanley said.
He and Dreibelbis encouraged everyone to support local business and try the Pure Lure brand.
“We are excited about our new brand,” Dreibelbis said. “Come check us out.”
For more information, visit www.purelurefishing.com, or the brand’s Facebook page and Instagram account.
“We want to be an authentic brand to this community,” Hanley said.