Cade Ludwig and Hunter Suchsland are just like any other best friends in college, except when they clock out from homework and their part-time jobs, they clock into running a business.

Ludwig, a senior agronomy major, and Suchsland, a senior fisheries and wildlife major, started LS Lures, a fishing lure company that is currently in 18 states, according to Suchsland.

The business began with the two taking a class in fall 2020 through the Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship program, which gave them $50 and the assignment to start a business.

Ludwig and Suchsland said they had the idea to start a fishing lure business from their shared passion for fishing.

“We both bass fish competitively,” Suchsland said. “We fish a bunch of tournaments for the college and stuff, so we wanted bait that we could use in tournaments and have them be different, kind of stand out from the crowd.”

Suchsland said they tried to make the best lure they could for what they like to fish, largemouth bass. 

“We really just wanted to focus on making the best fishing lures that we could,” Suchsland said. “We work at Scheels, and we kind of get to see what sells and what doesn’t sell and saw that the more high end lures were selling a lot better than the more basic ones.”

Ludwig said while the business began only being able to make 10 lures at a time, they used the profits from each sale to buy more equipment and continued to perfect their craft.

“We just basically sell [the lures] and buy as much stuff as we can again,” Ludwig said. “We just slowly worked our way up into being able to do 100 at a time if we wanted.”

Ludwig said that after they had completed the class, they were motivated to continue growing their business and to take it beyond the class project.

“Our teachers that were in charge of the whole thing, the directors of the program, they kind of believed in what we were doing,” Ludwig said. “Hunter and I kind of liked what we were doing. We started making some really cool stuff that we really were looking forward to using.”

Ludwig and Suchsland presented their product and business to judges at the New Venture Competition, put on by the College of Business, and received $25,000. 

Suchsland said while it has been difficult running a business in college, balancing it with work and competing on the university’s bass fishing club, they have gotten used to not being “normal college students.” 

“It’s nothing new to us; we’ll go to the Engler program at eight o’clock [at] night and be in there until two, so it’s not a big deal to go do stuff like that for us,” Ludwig said. “We’ll all kind of hit it in stride, I think.”

Although they first met during freshman orientation, Ludwig and Suchsland said they grew to be friends through building their business together. Ludwig said he now considers Suchsland to be his best friend and someone he’s grown up with.

“You hear about a lot of horror stories where people are best friends and then try to start a business,” Suchsland said, “and everything with us has kind of grown with it, which has been really cool and really helped us along the journey.”

Ludwig and Suchsland plan on moving in together in Lincoln after graduation and are even considering moving further south together with hopes of continuing to grow the business.

“We really want to be kind of the next ‘Cabela’s brothers’ when it comes to selling products, and we don’t just want to make fishing lures forever,” Suchsland said. “We want to branch out and kind of get our own thing going, so we have a lot of big aspirations; we just have to keep plugging away at it.”