The news hit hard in late February, 1983. Rodney B. Dann Jr. was gone. The 39 year old founder of what is today Culprit died when his boat flipped in a storm while fishing a tournament. Rodney was an inventive guy who always imagined the possible. He had a passion for fishing and, when the plastic worms available on the market did not meet his criteria, he knew just how to make his own, and how to make them better at catching bass. To get his bait business off the ground, he went to his biggest supporter, his mother, who provided the financing to turn the garage into a work shop. It was the poured plastic worms he branded "Culprit", the Company he called Classic Fishing Products. He made the baits available to friends and neighbors, and demand for Culprit worms soon took off. The success of the baits required that Rodney move his business to a facility in Clermont, FL where the business continued to take off.
Classic began in 1977 with the introduction the now famous Culprit Original Worm. The Culprit worm was the first-ever soft-plastic “ribbon tail” worm that featured one color on the top of the bait and a different color on the bottom. Rodney's two color process is now referred to as a color laminate process The ribbon tail's acceptance was accelerated as fishermen knew it was designed by a fellow fisherman.
The company's success helped it continue after its founder's death. In 1995, they diversified the product line by adding their successful line of Rip-Tide saltwater soft-plastics made for fishing in-shore species. Today the company operates a 3,400 sq. ft. manufacturing facility in Clermont, distributing its products to wholesalers, the mass market superstores, as well as Mom & Pop tackle shops that have been the backbone of Culprit sales since the beginning, The company is dedicated to having its baits designed by fishermen and manufacturing 100% of its lure in the USA