A History of B'n'M
"I realized pretty quickly that folks would much rather go fishing than sweep their porch."
-Woodrow Wilson Simmons
When Woodrow Wilson Simmons returned from WWII, like many of his soldier brethren, his entrepreneurial spirit took charge when he began a company to make brooms and mops. Yes, brooms and mops!
And so, in 1947, the man affectionately known as "Mr. Will" incorporated the B & M Company and and began producing these products with some success.
But, he LOVED crappie fishing. With the bamboo pole being the desired tool to catch crappie, his passion to find the perfect bamboo pole consumer him. He educated himself about the growing habits and properties of bamboo. He learned how to use a kiln to dry the bamboo, and how how to apply the finish.
Then, he begun procuring bamboo from local and regional areas, and began selling them on the side as a way to supplement the broom and mop sales.
"I realized pretty quickly that folks would much rather go fishing than sweep their porch," he would tell people decades later. By early 1949, the B & M Company was making bamboo fishing poles and had completely abandoned the brooms and mops. By the mid 1950s, B & M became the largest supplier of bamboo poles in the U.S. and still is to this day.
When his only child, Wilson D. "Buck" Simmons returned from Korea he rejoined his father in the business. Having grown up in the business, Buck knew and understood the latest fishing trends. In the late 1960s, Buck began developing fiberglass, telescopic poles that were lighter, more sensitive, and easier to transport. We still offer these products today, with popular items such as the Black Widow and the Little Jewel still being leaders in the product line.
Things changed in 1979, when Buck decided that crappie anglers would greatly benefit from products made of graphite. Crappie generally feed in an upward manner and many times the bite is very light, so the properties of graphite lent itself to "feeling the thump". Even though he was told that crappie anglers would not pay $30 for a pole, he still pushed forward. And so, the Buck's Graphite Jig Pole was born and to this day is the flagship product line for the company.
The company continued to grow over the decades and added other products to this line such as frog gigs, fish spears and other essentials.
In 2000, Buck's partner sold his interest in the company to his stepdaughter and son-in-law, Aubre and Jack Wells. They represent the 3rd generation of family ownership.
Today, in our 76th year of business, B & M Pole Co., Inc makes products for crappie, bluegill, catfish, trout, and inshore saltwater species. The products are sold in all major retailers and a network of nearly 400 distributors and dealers across the company.
So, if you are asked what B & M stands for, you can confidently say, "Brooms and Mops!".
We exist to help anglers of all ages catch more fish with high-quality, sensitive fishing equipment, designed specifically for all fishing techniques and the latest technology; delivered to the angler at an affordable price and supported by the best live customer service in the industry.