A Fort Smith manufacturer of fishing gear has shifted production to accommodate the demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) in a humankind effort to contain the coronavirus.


PRADCO Outdoor Brands, a leading manufacturer and marketer of fishing and hunting brands and products, announced Wednesday it is dedicating resources to serve the medical communities in Alabama, Arkansas and Oklahoma with donations of personal protective equipment like face shields and hand sanitizer.


PRADCO Fishing engineers have designed and formulated products that are currently being manufactured to give away to area hospitals, clinics and nursing homes, a news release stated. Tooling and molds for all products were created in PRADCO Fishing’s tool room.


The specific products being manufactured for donation are face shields, frames and hand sanitizer, which have a big need at hospitals and clinics. The frames are being molded out of XT plastic material. The face shields are being formed out of plastic sheets. The frames and shields were designed in a collaborative effort with personnel at Baptist Health in Fort Smith.


The hand sanitizer is 75% isopropyl alcohol antiseptic and is being bottled on the YUM bait attractant line. It is being made according to the Food and Drug Administration’s Temporary Policy for Preparation of Certain Alcohol Based Sanitizer Products During the Public Health Emergency (COVID-19).


“I’m so proud of our employees for quickly figuring out how to get these needed items into production,” Bruce Stanton, PRADCO Fishing’s vice president and general manager, said in the release. “There is a heart to serve here, and we’ve had so many folks give time and effort to this undertaking. There is something to be said for having the entire organization from top to bottom under one roof. We control most aspects of our manufacturing processes, so when it’s time to go, we can go in a hurry. It definitely feels good to be able to do something good right now.”


The YUM hand sanitizer is being delivered in 50-count boxes. The BOOYAH frames and face shields will be delivered with 20 frames and 40 shields in each box.


PRADCO Hunting is also donating much-needed items, the release adds. Vice President and General Manager Bart Stephens said his company is procuring 50,000 face masks, most of which will be given to hospitals, clinics and other places of need in the Birmingham, Ala., area.


Stanton said PRADCO Fishing will be able to make more hand sanitizer if it can get more materials.


“Right now, isopropyl is in high demand and short supply. If we can get more drums of it, we can make more hand sanitizer to give away. We are also in need of 4 oz. or 6 oz. pump spray bottles. If anyone wants to do some good and make donations of these items, they can e-mail us at info@lurenet.com.”


PRADCO Outdoor Brands is headquartered in Birmingham, Ala. It operates hunting brands such as Moultrie, Moultrie Mobile, Summit, Code Blue and Knight & Hale and fishing brands such as Arbogast, Bandit, Bomber, Bobby Garland Crappie Baits, Booyah, Cotton Cordell, Crappie Pro, Creek Chub, Gene Larew, Heddon, Just Add Nature, Lindy, Norman, Rebel, Smithwick, Thill, War Eagle Custom Lures and YUM.