In the late 1920’s Drew McGill and Stan Wright formed the Wright & McGill Co., for the tying of high grade fishing flies. Drew was on the upper Colorado River pursuing his favorite sport, fly fishing that magnificent stream.
It all happened when he stopped to light his pipe and take a short rest.
The morning’s fishing had not been as good as it could have been, for it seemed that even though the rainbows and native Trout were rising, they were difficult to hook. While thinking of this and the ways that he could improve his fishing techniques, he watched the lazy circles of two large eagles. As he sat quietly enjoying this wilderness scene, one of the eagles slowly spiraled downward and landed beyond him in the top of a dead cottonwood; the tips of the bird’s talons lightly gripping a weathered bare limb. His thoughts turned to the penetrating power of those lethal claws, and then to the penetrating power of the fishhooks he was using.
As the powerful bird took to the air, Drew took his fly and holding it by the tiny leader pulled it across the leather of his fishing creel. The point scraped along the leather, but did not penetrate. Using his fishing pliers, he changed the shape of the hook by slightly curving the point. He tried the fly again and found that, this time it would penetrate. He quickly modified several flies and was back on the stream. The results were encouraging, and he eagerly tested shapes and sizes until driven from the stream by an afternoon thunderstorm.
Returning to the fly factory in Denver, Drew started working to produce a fishhook design with greater penetrating power. A hook that would exert this power in the direct line of pull of the leader. From this research came a fishhook that had sweeping curves and sharper points. It was forged for strength and was double offset for greater hooking qualities. The hook’s point was in direct line of pull and shaped like the talons of that mighty bird.
The rest is history.
This design quickly swept the country, for it offered the first improvement in fishhooks in hundreds of years.
When Drew and Stan sat down to name their new product, what else could it have been except Eagle Claw? That’s how it all happened, and that’s the story of the bird that built a fishhook business.
In 1946, Wright & McGill Co. created a separate company to build and sell fishing rods, since the demand was high for recreational products, due to the end of World War II, and a market was open for fishing rods. Wright & McGill Rod Co. was formed with Drew McGill being a strong influence and president of the newly-formed company. He succeeded in leasing the entire operation of the Goodwin Granger Co., which was well established, and had a very high reputation for the building of bamboo rods. It was believed that because of the already well established manufacturing operation of Wright & McGill Co., they would do a better job maintaining the Granger reputation for quality than other competitors.
Wright & McGill Co. acquired the Granger building on Grant Street, the inventory of rods, blanks, raw bamboo, and other rod components. During the first year of production, Wright & McGill Co. produced its first and only catalog under this name. Later, the rods were incorporated into the general tackle catalog.
The Wright & McGill Co. no longer manufactures the Granger line of bamboo rods. Rods today are manufactured with graphite and fiberglass materials. Wright & McGill markets many models and styles of rods and reels under the Eagle Claw brand name and has continued to use the tradename Granger in their rod line. In 2004, a signature line or professionally endorsed rods was introduced. The Skeet Reese signature series of S-Curve rods became one of the hottest rods in the industries history. These rods also opened up the door for other anglers such as Rick Clunn, Trevor Storlie and Tony Roach to create a line of professional grade rods at a reasonable price to the consumer.
Lazer Sharp Fishhooks were introduced in 1985. Lazer Sharp fishhooks are ultra sharp, ultra smooth and ultra strong. This was considered to be the most important development in fishhooks since the invention of steel. Over the years this process has been improved and perfected giving anglers a fishhook that is consistently sharp and strong making Lazer Sharp the best hook for every fishing application.
In 2002 the Wright & McGill Co. purchased the assets of Laker by Jadico and named the new company Laker Fishing Tackle. Laker Fishing Tackle is based in Camdenton, MO and specializes in importing a wide variety of products including rods, reels, tackle accessories and many products for private label programs with major retailers throughout the United States.
Also, in 2002 the Wright & McGill Co. started marketing a full line of Terminal Tackle products. This product line currently features over 1,500 items, such as fishing line, floats, swivels, sinkers, nets, scales, cricket tubes, tools and many other terminal accessories. Under the brand name of Eagle Claw, it is the only brand name in Terminal Tackle!
In 2003 the Wright & McGill Co. purchased Lightning Bait of Red Bluff, CA. Lightning Bait manufactured a line of bait and scent products under the brand names of Crave and Nitro. The bait line was part of the overall product mix until 2011 when it was phased out.
Lazer TroKar was introduced by the company in 2009, and was touted as the world's first Surgically Sharpened fishhook. Created with technology out of the medical supply field, Lazer TroKar quickly garnered the recognition as being the sharpest fishhook in the world.