Humble Beginnings

Little girl holding fishing rod


The Berkley story is deeply rooted in the idea of the American Dream.

It is about humble beginnings and unexpected success. It's about hard work, struggle, and tough times. And it's about building partnerships to accomplish goals. Still, the story of Berkley is much more than the story of Berkley Bedell. It's also the story of dedicated co-workers and loyal customers, who were equally willing to take risks.


It all began in Spirit Lake, Iowa, in June of 1937, when 16-year old Berkley Bedell took $50.00 from his paper route earnings to start a business selling his hand-tied flies to fishing tackle shops and vacationing anglers. In his upstairs bedroom, with hair clipped from the family dog, Stubby, and feathers from the backyard chickens, young Berkley crafted flies to entice local bluegill and bass from their underwater cover. The Berkley Fly Co. was founded.


By the time Berk graduated from high school in 1939, he was employing several area girls who made flies, silkworm gut, and cable wire leaders in their homes. The business soon outgrew Berk's parent's basement and living room. He expanded to the second floor of the local grocery store, using a tub filled with ice and a fan for air conditioning.

From the beginning, Berkley has committed significant resources to research and development - a continuing strategy that has resulted in countless product innovations, including Berkley Trilene, the Lightning Rod, PowerBait, FireLine, and more recently Gulp!? and Gulp! Alive.

2 women smiling in front of sign for recyclable line

Berkley Recycling & Conservation

Dedicated to the Future of Fishing

Berkley has a longstanding commitment to fishing line recycling and is currently spearheading a global initiative to expand its reach. Through the Berkley Conservation Institute (BCI), a division of Pure Fishing, we collaborate with various stakeholders to advance conservation and angler recruitment, working closely with fishing groups, conservation organizations, customers, and industry partners to safeguard our fishable waters.

Baits in a tackle box

Warranty Policy

No Defects in Material or Workmanship for 1 year after Purchase!

Berkley is not responsible for normal wear and tear, for products used commercially or for failures caused by accidents, abuse, alteration, modification, misuse or improper care.

Group of people smiling in the cold

Explore Careers at Pure Fishing

Made of Brands, Built by people.

The heart of Pure Fishing is a collection of the world’s best known fishing brands acutely focused on meeting the needs of modern anglers worldwide. We’re committed to not only creating great products, but more importantly a great work environment.