wo families have been on the cutting edge of fishing products since the inception of
modern tackle. Wade Cunningham and Bill Buchanan are the names behind Cousins Tackle, and they’ve been associated with just about all the top tackle companies such as Sage, Seeker, Sevenstrand, Fenwick, Berkley, Spiderwire, Stren, Abu Garcia, Abel and Shikari.
It was in the 1960s that two family patriarch brothers-in-law—Buck Buchanan (Bill’s father) and Bill Cunningham (Wade’s father)—purchased the sportfisher Buckwheat , which also became the families’ new on-the-water office. A couple years and a few fishing trips later, the families came together to start making some of the first proprietary vinyl offshore lure skirts. This would change the way people would troll forever.
Sevenstrand/Fenwick was so impressed with the skirts and components, it purchased Republic Plastic Molders and relocated its plant to Westminster, where Bill Cunningham and Buck Buchanan became division managers. Bill handled the production of Fenwick Rods and Buck handled the Sevenstrand Wire and Lure division.
It didn’t take long for Bill and Buck to bring their sons into the mix. Wade began heading up quality control, specs and engineering while Bill Buchanan became a production supervisor in the Fenwick Rod factory. At the time Fenwick was building more than 1,000 rods per day. This was where Wade had a hand in building the first High Modulus Graphite tubular style rods ever built. These are the precursors to the modern rods we fish with today.
In the late ‘70s, Sevenstrand was purchased by Buck Buchanan with an investment group that consisted of Charlie Davis and Les Eichorn. This was the year that the company relocated its home to Huntington Beach, where it would take Southern California’s tackle manufacturing into the future.
Wade has been an icon in modern rod building and blank design and has been involved designing and building rods for numerous brands. He built the first rods Sage ever displayed for Don Green, proving that he had what it took to make and design the finest rods on the market. Wade also founded and launched one of the most well known names in fishing: Seeker Rods . He built the factory and designed the blanks for what would become an iconic West Coast brand – still going strong.
Bill and Wade’s collective vision and dreams also brought them back to the hometown of these historic tackle companies, Huntington Beach, to form Cousins Tackle . They’re committed to bring you the highest quality rods, blanks, skirts and lures, all made right here in the USA. Bill brings years of lure and skirt design experience while Wade brings rod and blank design expertise to create the perfect match. Cousins Tackle products are all made by hand and one at a time to ensure quality. When Wade and Bill came together to build this company, they knew the vision was to bring jobs to our local economy. Heck, they’ve even brought original employees from past companies back on board. In essence, they got the old team back together to repeat history and bring on innovation. Employing more than 40 workers, Cousins Tackle has a full staff rolling blanks, finishing rods, pouring skirts and making lures.