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Professional Bass Angler, Gary Dobyns, talks about his upcoming line of signature rods (continued)

Cal: Speaking of your lineup then, what specifics can you share with us? Are they just going to have general specifications for length and action or are they going to be technique specific or a mix of both? How about the components



Gary's new series of rods will feature Fuji components and will target applications including Senko fishing, cranking, and tossing swimbaits...but Gary stresses their multi-purpose design

G.Dobyns: Boy, how much time do you have? No really, we're going to have a little bit of both I guess. We're going to have some technique specific sticks but also some general purpose rods. But just because a rod is labeled with a certain technique does not mean it's not suitable for something else. Take the Senko rod we're coming out with. Now that's going to be a great stick that will be able to handle not just Senko's but 4 or 5 other techniques as well. That's really, what I call, a universal rod. On the other hand, we're going to have swimbait rods as well and there's really not much else you can use a swimbait stick for other than throwing swimbaits, so that's what I mean by a little bit of both.


Another thing we're going to do, that I'm very excited about, is offer a line of cranking sticks built out of S-Glass blanks instead of E-Glass. S-Glass is lighter, stiffer, faster, and more expensive than E-Glass, and makes a great cranking stick. I've used a ton of E-Glass rods in the past and my problem with them has always been their weight and sluggish feel, but boy, there's nothing better than a glass cranking stick, so I've put up with it over the years. This S-Glass stuff addresses a lot of the problems with E-Glass, and sure, it's more expensive, but I don't care. I plan to keep the prices the same but still use this blank material because it just makes a better rod.


As far as components are concerned, we're going with Fuji. I'm not messing around here and from my experience, Fuji has always been the best, so that was actually one of the easier decisions to make. We're also going with Grade-A cork on all our handles which will be a mixture of full and split grip designs and even a mix with some rods having foregrips and others not.


Cal: There are some companies that offer a Signature Series of rods with products designed by Tournament Pro's to help endorse their supposed favored technique. Are all of your new rods designed and specified by you personally? Or are there other prominent names attached to certain segments of your lineup?

G.Dobyns: Right now, we have one Signature Series of rods and those are our swimbait rods. There isn't any bigger name out there among trophy bass fisherman right now than Mike Long. Maybe some that are just as big, but no-one more famous. It was a major win for me when Mike agreed to come onboard and design my swimbait rods. Now, what we're doing with these rods, and all of our sticks really, is addressing the need not just of the tournament angler, but guys that don't fish tournaments. By that I mean, we're going to make a swimbait rod that's 8'6" long to really help in casting and controlling these big baits.

As for other signature series rods, the swimbait sticks will be the first for now. As the company grows, and my pro-staff guys want something, we'll talk about it and I'll very likely offer some other signature series rods. I'm big on giving credit where credit is due and I have no problem putting out more signature series rods as my guys come up with something I hadn't thought of, but for now, I'm trying to keep things as simple as possible and still address a broad range of needs.

Cal: Is there a specific rod within your upcoming lineup of which you're particularly proud?

G.Dobyns: Boy, that's a tough one. I like all of them! But I guess some of the ones I really like are the Jerkbait rods. These are going to be seven footers and come in three different power ratings. Their action will be moderate-fast and they'll do everything a glass rod will do but at less than half the weight. Another rod I really like is the topwater rod. This rod is going to be seven feet three inches tall and be somewhere between fast and extra-fast in action. Quite frankly, it's the perfect rod for spooks, but it will also be good for spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, jigs and carolina rigs - another of those universal rods I talk about. Yes, it's seven feet, three inches long, but it fishes like a rod under seven feet. I really like this rod. Some other rods I like include the spinning rod believe it or not. I do a lot of darthead fishing an this rod is going to be perfect for that. It's probably a little heavier action than most people like, but it's going to be seven feet long and just a killer spinning rod. The last one that comes to mind is my frog stick. I throw a ton of frogs and used to do this with flipping sticks. This rod is like a seven foot, three inch flipping stick, but it has that nice, soft tip you need to throw those frogs a mile which also makes it a really nice pitching stick. I'm going to offer one for open water and one for the slop, so basically two different weights.

Cal: Perhaps the most important question of all, from the perspective of our worldwide audience, is when do you expect to hit the market with your product and how aggressive will you be with distribution at the beginning? Will you be distributing throughout North America (including Canada and Mexico) and do you have any plans for International sales?

G.Dobyns: To be honest, I'll be happy with distribution just in the United States, but if the demand exists, I have this great partnership with Lamiglas, so if it comes up, they'll be able to help us respond to needs outside of the United States.

Cal: Lamiglas? Tell us more about your partnership with Lamiglas. How is this going to work?

G.Dobyns: I'm a fisherman. I want to design rods and promote product. My partnership with Lamiglas gives me instant sales staff, distribution, and warranty support. They are basically going to help me with the business side of things while I concentrate on design, promotion, and management of my pro-staff. We remain two separate companies and my prostaff and warranty policies are completely separate from Lamiglas as are our production facilities. Lamiglass still makes their product in Woodland, Washington and my rods will be built overseas, but this partnership helps me concentrate on the things that are important to me. Out of respect and gratitude for Lamiglas and their agreement to help me with all the business dealings, there will be a "Lamiglas" label on my rods, but again, we are still two independent companies.

Gary's partnership with Lamiglas will allow the rods to achieve distribution quickly... we look forward to seeing just how the actual rods will differentiate themselves from the competition

Cal: The questions are endless, but alas, we've come to the end of our time. Gary, thanks again for the opportunity to find out more about your exciting venture. This has got to be an exciting and terribly busy time for you. I know there are countless consumers chomping at the bit for the first peak and feel of your new rods. In parting, is there anything you would like to say to our readers?

G.Dobyns: Yes, thank you first, for contacting me with the request for this interview. I really appreciate TackleTour taking the interest and time in my new company. To the TackleTour audience, without giving anything away, I think you'll be surprised at some of the little things I've incorporated in my rods. Believe it or not, I do pay attention to some of the things you guys talk about. I've incorporated some detailing tricks to help make the rods a bit more interesting for the recreational angler while at the same time, making design choices to make up for some of the mistakes all of us make out on the water. For example, most of the rods in my lineup are longer than what some might be used to. The reason for this is, once you get used to the longer rods, they are actually easier to fish and help make up for screwups like being in the wrong position for a hookset. You can fight fish better with longer rods, cast further, etc., but the real key with the longer rods is they have to be balanced right or it'll feel like you're fishing with a club. I'm addressing all these needs while at the same time trying to come up with a high class look to my rods because I know it's important to a lot of people - especially your readers. I'm working out the final details with the factory now and hope to have some product stores in the first quarter of 2007. Thank you for your support and interest. 

TackleTour would like to thank Gary Dobyns, for taking the time to share with us, the news of his new rod company and what we can look forward to in the coming months and years in terms of product. But we’re not done yet, stay tuned for a continuation of this interview and perhaps a sneak peak at some of his product lines!











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