Shell Bobbers Update | Season 4

Jeff Stafford and Dusty Holloway make fishing bobbers using shotgun shells. Will these unique fishing accessories earn them a deal on Shark Tank Season 4? Find out in our Shell Bobbers update!

Shark Tank Shell Bobbers Update

Shell Bobbers Update

  • Entrepreneurs: Jeff Stafford and Dusty Holloway
  • Business: Shotgun shell shaped fishing bobber
  • Ask: $80,000 for 20% equity
  • Result: $80,000 for 33% equity
  • Shark: Mark Cuban

Hunting and fishing buddies Jeff and Dusty made a startling realization one day when hunting. As they expelled a shotgun shell from the shotgun, it landed in water and floated there, and that’s when the light bulb moment happened. They realized they could create a fishing bobber using a shotgun shell, marrying their love for hunting and fishing and, thus, Shell Bobbers were born.

Jeff described the process in making a Shell Bobber, which involved first deactivating the live ammo to render it harmless. Kevin O’Leary joked that using live ammo would be more effective. Robert Herjavec, on the other hand, was astounded that the bobber used actual shotgun shells. It costs just under $1 to make a 3-pack, which would then retail for $8.99.

Daymond John, the resident fisherman of the group, told Jeff and Dusty that, while he loved fishing, he really needed to hear about sales to justify the valuation. Jeff said that they did a market test and sold 440 units, resulting in just under $1,000 revenue. This was not impressive to the sharks whatsoever. Robert joked that the poor sales was Jeff’s true reason for bringing a shotgun to the pitch, as it would be the only way they walk out with money.

Lori Greiner recalled Jeff saying that Shell Bobbers were “flying off the shelves.” With such poor sales, she needed clarification. Jeff said that their product was sold at ACE Hardware in a pilot location, selling roughly one bobber every day. With 4,400 ACE Hardware locations, at this rate, he felt it was reasonable to assume Shell Bobbers could grow to $1.6 million minimum in sales.

Daymond grasped at straws, trying to help his fishing kindred spirits. He asked if Shell Bobbers was also being sold online, if it was patented or trademarked, anything he could to give him hope. Jeff said that they did have a provisional patent and that both “Shell Bobbers” and “Fishing Ammo” were trademarked.

Daymond asked if Jeff felt there was a problem with his valuation. Jeff agreed and said it is very difficult to value a pre-launch startup. Kevin asked if Jeff knew the local distributor in his area for a product like this. Jeff said he did know the distributor, but did not approach them yet due to his perfectionism. He wanted to ensure everything was buttoned-up before approaching to seek distribution.

Daymond proceeded to offer $8,000 for 20% equity, telling Jeff that they could “raise the other $72,000” since he was offering them eight times sales.

Mark Cuban couldn’t believe Daymond’s asinine offer, saying it was like offering a crumb and calling it a cake. Daymond reiterated that he was offering them eight times their sales, but everyone understood it was not a serious offer.

Kevin dismissed Daymond, calling him a “minnow,” before offering $80,000 for 50% equity, but that wasn’t all. In true Mr. Wonderful fashion, he asked for a $0.50 royalty on all units sold until his investment was recouped. Then, the royalty would drop to $0.10 in perpetuity.

Mark couldn’t believe this either, saying that Kevin’s offer “wasn’t a bite” but a “throwback.” Jeff said that it was at least better than Daymond’s offer. Mark asked Jeff his plan to scale. He wanted to know what they would do if they were tasked with creating ten million Shell Bobbers. How would they fill that order?

Dusty, reticent up to this point, chimed in and said he could make ten million units himself without issue. Jeff jumped in as well, saying that the investment would help Shell Bobbers secure a facility, and a small staff to meet order demands.

Robert said that, although Shell Bobbers was a cool product, he wasn’t sure if there was a market for it. For that reason, he was out. Daymond too said that he loved the idea, but Jeff and Dusty were in the tank too soon without enough proof of concept. For that reason, he was out.

Lori asked about the patent, and Jeff said they did the provisional patent themselves without an extensive search. Jeff said he would be willing to structure a deal contingent on performing an extensive search. Lori asked if there were any extensions of Shell Bobbers. Jeff answered that they were working on additional products, including a glow-in-the-dark bobber for nighttime fishing, and a saltwater bobber that rattles to attract fish.

Kevin complained about the “squawking” again, so Lori insulted his “horrible” offer and said she couldn’t even remember it since it was so bad. Kevin proudly repeated the terms of his offer, but this time Jeff said he didn’t think giving up 50% equity was the right move for Shell Bobbers.

Mark applauded Jeff, saying that he gave the right answer, and that he was doing a lot of things right. Because he wanted to reward the hustle, Mark offered $80,000 for 33% equity. Without much hesitation, Jeff accepted the deal. What happened next? Keep reading our Shell Bobbers update to find out!

In an update provided on Season 5 of Shark Tank, fans find out that Shell Bobbers is selling well. They were poised to be sold in more than 3,000 7-Eleven locations nationwide, while a separate deal with WalMart was in negotiations and eventually closed. Despite this, the company is out of business as of 2023. This will be our final Shell Bobbers update.

Would you like to learn about the other companies featured on Season 4 Episode 22? Follow the links below!

For even more on companies and products, be sure to stop by our Season 4 Products Page!


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Andrew Smith is the founder and owner of Shark Tank Recap. He is a longtime Shark Tank fan that has been watching it for years and has seen every episode multiple times. His friends know him as the Shark Tank expert, because he can answer any question about the show! His favorite Shark Tank products are Bertello's pizza oven and Bug Bite Thing!