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Complete list of all current ICAST 2014 coverage
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Glide Week : Riding the S-Wave!
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Abu Garcia Raises the Speed Bar with their Rocket!
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Daiwa’s Steez EX 100XS offers a Deadly Combination of Both Speed and Precision
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First look inside the new Curado I baitcaster
 


 


Interview


Gary Loomis Interview Part 2 - The Legend Lives (much to our relief) (continued)

“The 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.

“On the 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.

"I looked down at the potions and asked Susie what she thought. She said, ‘They were practicing medicine thousands of years before we were.’

“I 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.

“Two 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.’”

North Fork Composites:Over 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 reality.

So what does Gary et al. have in store for us and what are his goals for North Fork Composites?

“Our 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."

To design performance fishing tools, Gary relies on a number of others.

“We use 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.

“At one 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.

“That’s 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 there.

“I miss 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 U.S.

“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 point.”

A 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?

“The 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.

“It’s 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 excited.

“This 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.”

But his 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.

Conclusion: Well 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 listeners.


 

 

 

 

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