Gary Loomis Interview Part 2 - The Legend Lives (much to our relief)
next day we went to the witch doctor’s village and found his hut. There was
nothing in there that looked familiar at all. But there were three clay
vessels. From those clay vessels he poured some liquid into my three bottles.
As he did this, he had his interns drink a little bit of the liquid from the
bottles – I don’t know if it was to show me it wouldn’t kill me or because it
was part of the ritual or not. Through the missionary, he gave me the
instructions for each potion.
way out of the village, I asked the missionary, ‘What should I do for him? How
do I pay him?’ The missionary said to give him $10 and that would be fine. So, I
gave him $10 and bought the village 600 pounds of rice.
looked down at the potions and asked Susie what she thought. She said, ‘They
were practicing medicine thousands of years before we were.’
started taking the potions and continued to do so for the next 16 days,” he
said. “It was kind of a joke between all of us but when I got back from the
trip and went to see my doctor, he told me my PSA had gone down from 7.2 to
6.5. I kept the witch doctor experience to myself.
months later I went back to my doctor and my PSA was at 5.8 – again I didn’t
tell him anything. Then, two months later I went back and the doctor told me,
in amazement, that my PSA was at 4.2. That’s when I told him the story of the
witch doctor. I asked the doctor what he thought. He said, ‘I wish I knew what
was in those bottles.’”
the last few months Gary and his team, Jon Bial and Gary’s son Brad, have been
hard at work bringing forth the new blank company. Secretly (yes, they
sidetracked my initial phone calls to them back in May of this year) they worked
to ready the company for its debut. Finally North Fork Composites is now a
does Gary et al. have in store for us and what are his goals for North Fork
plan is to design blanks that are true performance fishing tools, ones to do the
job they were designed for. Most of the rod companies design rods to catch the
fishermen, I want ours to catch fish.”
Gary said. “We
are designing our new blanks more like tools, to do the job they were designed
for. Most of the rod companies design rods to catch the fishermen, I want ours
to catch fish."
design performance fishing tools, Gary relies on a number of others.
the best fishermen there are for the design of specie-specific blanks,” he said.
“They know the needs of the tool and therefore they play a major role when we
are designing something new. For example, if I’m designing a new tarpon rod, I
get the best guides for tarpon and work with them to get the perfect combination
of action and power for their fishing technique.
time I sold my blanks to thousands of custom rod builders and most of the U.S.
built OEM companies that didn’t build their own blanks,” he said. “One reason I
supplied so many blanks to OEMs was because I kept everyones’ blanks and actions
secure for them. In all the years I was designing and manufacturing blanks,
I’ve never had anyone complain about me giving away their patterns. When I work
with someone and develop proprietary patterns, those patterns are theirs.
what our customers like and have grown to expect – yet sometimes they don’t
realize it. For example I’ve had companies come to me and ask that I develop a
blank ‘like’ one we are already making for someone else. The first thing I ask
them is, ‘what are you looking for?’ We then talk back and forth and finally
they realize they want something totally different than what they were
originally asking. I make a few sample blanks, send them off and we go from
working with those folks,” he said. “I look forward to working with them again,
helping them grow their businesses and increase the number of jobs here in the
flood of millions of rods coming into the U.S. market from over seas has been
happening for many years,” he said. “I'm not against import rods – they have
their place. My hope is that those imports introduce a number of new anglers to
fishing, and that those new anglers become invested in saving our fish runs.
It's one reason that I agreed to help Temple Fork Outfitters design their
all-tackle rods. It's a great company that has 100-percent control over
manufacturing, which allows them to make great products at an introductory price
blank plant at North Fork Composites:
From a customer service and
business ideology point of view, North Fork Composites sounds like the old
familiar face we all grew to love. But what about new research and development?
industry is always moving,” Gary added. “Sometimes, the moves are positive, and
others are just marketing hype. Long ago I built a number of boron blanks but I
never put my name on any of them. The boron didn't make a better blank, it just
made for a new story. At North Fork, we are starting with the things I proved
worked, and incorporating the latest materials and techniques. One of the
biggest challenges has been finding good partners to get supplies from.
been a while since I’ve been in the industry and now that I’m back, I’ve
discovered that you have to follow the people from the past,” he said. “I found
this out when I placed my first couple orders of graphite. I had to return both
lots to the manufacturer. But, once I found the people I used to deal with, I
found good product. Since then, I have found some materials that are just
‘wow.’ Our current testing has revealed a 20-percent increase in performance
over most graphites being used by the major manufacturers. That really has me
new material will also allow me to tweak some of our new designs and even make
them better,” he added. “After some more research and experimentation, we’ll be
bringing out the next generation of super blanks.”
main goal for the company, amongst the new materials and developing new blanks
is: “To give people something that makes them smile and enjoy what they’re
doing. It’s really that simple.
Gary, we’re all excited to have you back in the mix of the blank building world
and I can say with confidence that we all look forward to what you and North
Fork Composites will bring forth in the years to come. Thanks for following
your dream and for answering the call from all of your followers. When you’re
ready to tell the rest of the story, you let us know and we’ll be eager