It all started a long time ago...
I've had the fishing bug my entire life. My father and uncles got me hooked in the mid 60's and the fascination with fish and fishing has never left me.
I grew up in Bozeman Montana and started my fishing education with sucker meat and night-crawlers. As I got older ( and was trusted with a spinning rod) I retired the Zebco and spent the summers casting Thomas lures and Mepps spinners.
I caught my first big fish trolling on Henry's Lake in Idaho when I was 12. From then on I did my best to convince anyone in my family with a drivers license that they needed to take me trolling.
I started fly fishing (it's required in Montana) when I was 14 and by the time I graduated High School I fished almost exclusively with flies, both casting and trolling.
I graduated from college with a degree in graphic design and got my first job designing ski pole graphics and goggle packaging for Scott, USA in Ketchum Idaho.
I couldn't afford to ski but I was able to fish on Silver Creek most nights after work. I caught alot of fish drifting "emergers in the film" on 7x tippet. It was fun, but I lost all the big fish I hooked as they shot through a weed bed and snapped my leader. Finally I'd had enough and started fishing big Sculpin streamers on heavy leader. I didn't hook as many fish... but the ones I did were BIG and with 8lb leader I could pull them out of the weeds and get to the net.
I tied my own Sculpins with partridge feathers for front fins, coated the feathers with head cement and cupped them forward. The little fins gave the fly a great erratic swimming action that drove the big fish crazy, but they soon got water logged and the fly just dragged straight through the water like a dish rag.
I started tying plastic cupped collars on the flies but the process was labor intensive. Then it dawned on me . . . put the cupped disc on the leader!
The first prototype of the ActionDisc was made from a disposable contact lens container and a piece of plastic tube cut from a WD40 can.
I trolled it in front of a little tinsel streamer on Henry's lake and out fished my Dad and Uncle's spoons and spinners 4 to 1.
It seemed simple. All I had to do was make it and sell it. . .
Turns out I had to patent it, create CAD models for production tooling, design packaging, build an ecommerce website... you get the picture.
WiggleFin Tackle, LLC. established in 2001...
Our first actionDisc was introduced in 2001. If you didn't hear about it then you're not alone. It became clear after the first year that without thousands (and I mean thousands) of dollars in advertising budget it was going to take some time to get the word out.
Thank the Lord for YouTube and later FaceBook!
Note: If you're planning on introducing a product that relies on "word of mouth", fishing tackle is the last thing you should try to sell. No one wants to give away their "secret weapon". Sell a backpack that converts into a wall tent or water bowl that sends you a text when your dog is parched... anything but fishing tackle!
Swarm Flasher introduction - 2014
I started on the quest to design a revolutionary flasher in 2012. Two years later, after many prototypes and months of testing the final design was patented and production began.
To date we have sold over 2k Swarm flasher sets to anglers world wide. They have proven themselves in the tough conditions of B.C and Alaska and have caught many trophy Salmon, Trout and Kokanee across the US, Canada, New Zealand, Finland ,Germany, Denmark and Sweden.
Progressive flasher prototypes.