The international company a former Iowa congressman started in his childhood bedroom is now part of a merger with Newell Rubbermaid.
Former northwest Iowa Congressman Berkley Bedell started Berkley Fly Company in 1937 when he was a teenager in Spirit Lake. The company, which was sold eight years ago, is now known as Pure Fishing. It’s the world’s leading producer of fishing tackle, and the company still has a production facility in Spirit Lake.
Pure Fishing has been owned by Jarden Corporation since 2007. Newell Rubbermaid, known for its brand name food containers as well as producing Sharpie pens and Elmer’s glue, is buying Jarden. The deal is expected to close sometime in the spring of 2016.
Jarden moved the headquarters of Pure Fishing from Spirit Lake to Columbia, South Carolina in 2008. In 2013, a distribution facility in Spirit Lake was closed and relocated to Kansas City, Kansas.
Berkley Bedell started his business in Spirit Lake during the Great Depression, fashioning dog hair into trout lures. Bedell was first elected to congress in 1974. He did not seek reelection in 1986 after contracting Lyme Disease.
Jarden — the company that has owned Pure Fishing for the past eight years — owns other big brands like Yankee Candle and Coleman camping gear.