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Dan Lorentz shows off a catch he made with the Danlure jig he invented. Lorentz died in 2012, following a four-year battle with cancer.

A new way to fish

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When Ivan Lorentz wakes up each morning in a garage just south of Wadena, he sees a message from his father posted on his door.

"Wish it. Dream it. Do it."

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A one-time hog farmer and auto-body shop owner, Dan Lorentz invented a new type of fishing jig in the same garage three years ago. Unlike fixed, standard jigs, hooks are attached to the Danlure Jig using a ring. The resulting swivel motion increases bait movement, making it easier for anglers to snag that trophy catch.

"You buy the bait and let the bait do the work," Ivan explained. "Dad wanted people to be able to fish the way they wanted to."

The Lorentzes applied for patents for the concept and design, then began producing the handmade, all-season jigs at a factory in central Minnesota. Within a year, Danlure jig had made it into tackle boxes in all 50 states.

Though Dan died of cancer in 2012, Ivan is determined to keep his legacy alive.

These days, the Danlure jigs are available in more than 20 colors and five sizes, both online (at danlure.com) or at a couple retail outlets, including Weber's Hardware in Wadena.

Ivan is focused on taking the business to the next level. Cracking into the competitive tackle industry is tough. With little money available for marketing, he's promoting the product on social media and fishing blogs. He's also displayed the jigs at sportsmen's show throughout the Midwest.

"You've gotta be smart," Ivan said. "You've gotta be strategic."

Ivan said success also requires a never-give-up attitude, something his father demonstrated during his courageous four-year cancer fight. His death is just one of several tragedies 29-year-old Ivan has experienced. In 2006, the family lost a barn in a fire. Then, the 2010 tornado destroyed their home. And in 2012, just two months before Dan's death, Ivan lost a niece, Princess Warrior Jane Fiemeyer, to leukemia.

"I'm a different breed," Ivan Lorentz said. "I've been kicked, stomped on and thrown around. But I ain't going anywhere."

Those experiences, Ivan said, have convinced him he shouldn't just strive to change the way people fish; he wants to have a social impact as well.

In honor of Jane, Ivan founded the Youth Warrior Jigging Team. Danlure donates a share of profits to cancer research and has sponsored a youth fishing event for HopeKids, an organization that provides activities for children with cancer or other life threatening conditions.

"We're big on giving back," Ivan said. "We figure, if you're going to live, live for a purpose. It's in my DNA."

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