Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Short day in the office, heading to New Jersey in the morning. Feeling frustrated by the fly fishing industry the last few days for some reason. I'm tired of talking to manufacturers that seem to be lost in regards to the things in fly fishing that are actually meaningful. How many conversations have I had over the last couple of weeks with company reps that have even involved fishing remotely? Nada. Business this and marketing message that. When you stop to ask them how their product improves the fishing experience for an angler…nada…just onto BS on point marketing messages.
However, I did have the opportunity to visit with one guy that is taking the how and why to another level in the fly fishing realm. I met Michael Hackney last year over breakfast as he prepped to volunteer at the Tenkara USA booth in Marlborough. I've met plenty of eccentric folks over the years and have come to view them with a more open mind than years ago as you just never know what you might find in someone else's mind.
Two minutes into a conversation with the guy and there is no doubt that he is hyper-intellectual, probably pretty good at whatever he does, and definitely is one of those people that could use more time in the day to get it all done. He publishes some books, builds reels, develops software, markets float ant dressings, and is pretty excited about all he does. He lost me about 5 minutes into breakfast when he started going off on the potential of 3-D printing.
So, I ran into him last week and we caught up briefly. I asked him - kind of being a smarts - about his 3-d reel printing progress. Damnit if he didn't reach into his bag and start hauling them out. Craziest thing I've seen in a long time. Now, the reels are pretty simple, look cheap, and not really something anyone I know would ever want. But, he has come a long way in a year, I have a feeling that he will have something special by the time I see him next year. There is lots of potential in what he is doing, despite my skepticism the human spirit never ceases to amaze me. Now, if only everybody cared about the gear they engineer and build as much as Michael..the world would be a better place. Check his website out at eclecticangler.com .