Each year hundreds of up-and-coming anglers dream of joining a tackle company’s pro staff. If you count yourself among them and plan on reaching out to a fishing company, be warned. You’ll be facing a lot of competition.

It takes more than just a few big fish to help you stand out among the competition though, and today we’ve got a few tips to help you get an edge in the sponsorship race.

Actually Use the Company’s Products

One question you’ll see on a pro staff application form is “Which of our baits have you fished before?” What does this tell you? Don’t apply for sponsorship if you’ve never actually used their products. It helps to actually believe in a company’s product before you make a commitment to represent them on the water professionally.

Have a Good Pitch

Most tackle companies receive hundreds of emails from hopeful anglers looking to represent them. You can imagine that after a while, most of those emails start to look the same. Having a short, unique pitch that quickly explains why you are different will help distinguish you from the others. Zero in on what makes you special as an angler and learn how to communicate it effectively and quickly; you only have a few seconds to grab someone’s attention.

What’s Your Fishing Resume Look Like?

Many companies will ask for a list of your fishing accomplishments. For instance, if you already have sponsors, conveying what you’ve done for them to a new company will make a huge impact. Have you won any tournaments using another product that earned you a photo op or an article? Have a list of your accomplishments handy and focus on your key deeds.

Don’t Reach Out to the Competition

It’s probably not smart to seek sponsorship from a company when you’re already sponsored by one of their direct competitors. When they see that on a resume, you can be sure they toss it right out. As a rule, you should only have one sponsor per tackle category—line, reels, rods, terminal, hard baits, soft plastics, etc.

Brush Up on Your Spelling and Grammar

Nothing will get your application tossed in the trash faster than horrific spelling and poor grammar. Grammar may not catch fish, but if you want to represent a tackle company by being part of their pro staff, make sure to represent yourself as such. Always proofread your emails and if you want a second opinion, don’t be afraid to ask for another set of eyes.

Photo credit: Flickr CC