The Shredlife with Jason Kapperman
BC365: Who was Jason Kapperman before Shredlife Fishing?
Jason: I was born and raised in Spring Lake NC, lived there until I was 15 and moved to Waynesville MO. Pretty normal kid I guess. I enjoyed the outdoors from a young age. My brother and I would cover a lot of “off limits” land in the search for a little adventure. I remember my first boating experience. My brother and I hijacked my dad’s old Jon boat. We obviously had no vehicle so we grabbed the tongue of that trailer and drug it down the highway to a local pond. I bet we were turning some heads that day! Can you imagine that sight, 2 kids, probably 9 and 13 sweating bullets, dragging a boat and trailer down the highway? Mission success though, we launched the boat in our local pond and still made it back in time for church. We ended up sinking that boat and got in some pretty bad trouble but looking back on it now, definitely no regrets. My brother and I also spent a lot of time on the ocean pier fishing for whatever would tug the line. Our parents would take us on summer vacations to the coast and drop us overnight at the local pier. We fished from sun down to sun up and always managed to bring back lunch.
I moved to Missouri after my freshman year of high school. Since then I’ve always played in a band of some sort. I spent a lot of time trying to master the world of percussion and still get behind the drum set whenever I can. Fishing is something I carried with me from NC. I played golf in high school and used to bring a spinning rod with me to practice. The back nine holes ran along the Gasconade River and I had a few holes where I would absolutely slay 12” Crappie. Man that was a lot of fun. I got into bass fishing with my step farther. We would take trips down to Bagnell dam on Lake of the Ozarks and catch huge hybrid bass. The River there holds some giant stripped / white bass hybrids and also some good size catfish and largemouth bass. Those trips were some of my first memories of throwing a plastic worm and I have been addicted ever since.
BC365: When did you go Bass Crazy? Are there dreams of something bigger?
Jason: Honestly I kind of stumbled onto tournament bass fishing. I got into bass fishing as a teenager but never fully understood the concept of competitive bass fishing. Once I got more involved in the fishing locally I met some good folks that showed me the ropes of how to get started in tournament fishing. I remember a post I put on Facebook one time. Something to the effect of, “I wonder how these guys get into tournament fishing. I need to look into this.” A good friend and member of #TeamShredlife answered the post and turned me on to the BFL tournaments with FLW. I am still fishing the Ozark Division tournaments and working on my game. We all hope to be the pro level one day but all you can do is keep making baby steps in the right direction and never stop learning.
BC365: How did Shredlife Fishing come about?
Jason: Shredlife started with four everyday guys going out and catching fish together. Anthony Gordon, Damon Steele, Adam Lebeau and I have been fishing together for a while and decided to try and get involved with the fishing community. The idea for ‘Shred’ life came from a slang word we have used for a while now. The word Shred is used as an action verb to describe performing an activity; like ‘Shreddin’ bass’s or Shreddin’ on the guitar. Long story short it is simply a slang term that we liked and it stuck with me. The definition from Urbandictionary.com is “A life in which you do what you love and love what you do; A willingness to completely dedicate yourself to your activities for the sake of the shred’. I thought this concept directly correlated with the passion anglers put into fishing. I started a Facebook page called Shredlife Fishing in 2012 and quickly grabbed the attention of anglers across the country. I started out delivering fishing tips from other venues and sharing fishing centric stats and information. When we got to 1000 likes after launching the page just one month prior, I knew the name held real brand potential and I made the decision to start marketing a product.
I contacted a good friend Luke Rubosky from Bass Grubb Hand Poured Baits (www.bassgrubb.com). Luke helped me establish my business and has been a mentor to me in perfecting the delicate art of pouring soft plastics. A huge thanks goes out to Luke! Couldn’t have done it without ya man!
Today Shredlife has been selling soft plastics in person and through our website for a little over 3 years. We have a great group of tournament anglers representing our products on the water and are humbled by the opportunity to create lures that help our customers shred’ a few more bass.
BC365: What are some of the struggles of running small shop?
Jason: You know, there are always things that I could think of to complain about. I could probably write a separate article on the struggles of creating and growing a small business. It is still very much a learning process for me. One of the toughest parts of running Shredlife is keeping up with my customer demand. Sometimes there is just not enough time in the day to fill orders and keep my personal life in balance. I work 3-4 nights a week to fill orders and innovate new product and color patterns. I also maintain all of the Shredlife Fishing website and social media pages. There is no shortage of work to be done but even so, I enjoy it. There is nothing like hearing from a customer who has just caught there personal best fish on a bait that I produced in my garage.
BC365: Where is your satisfaction?
Jason: My satisfaction comes from the friends I have made along the way. I was able to turn an interest of my own into a business that serves customers from all over the U.S and Canada. Even when business is slow or I feel discouraged for whatever reason, the first time I get a message on Facebook or a text that says “Man the fish have been tearing up that Shred Bug, I need some more!” I am immediately great full and re-energized to keep this business alive and growing. I have learned so much about our sport and this is just the beginning of the plans I have for Shredlife Fishing Co.