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TackleTour talks about the past and the future for tackle with Shimano America's President, Dave Pfeiffer (continued)

Zander: Shimano was best known for reels for the better part of the last 20 years but the company has really arrived when it comes to serious rod offerings. Are you at all surprised how quickly the Shimano rods have grown in popularity among both fresh and saltwater anglers?  


The Crucial rods really elevated the Shimano rod profile in the US market. Clever enthusiast features, quality construction, and a industry leading over the counter Lifetime Warranty makes this still one of the best values on the market today

Pfeiffer: Over the years it seems like on one hand Iím always surprised when we are successful with new products and on the other hand Iím not at all surprised.

The surprise comes from knowing how hard it is to take an idea through all the stages of development, manufacturing, sales and distribution and then have people find it and like it enough to buy it.  Thatís a tough process with a lot of opportunities for the product or the product message to lose something and become mediocre.

When you get really demanding about developing a product, involve the right people in the process and then guide it all the way to the dealerís shelf Ė then it seems very natural that other people will like it too.

Zander: When it comes to the actual reels and rods are you directly involved with the product development, and if yes, to what extent?


Pfeiffer: Yes, I am directly involved in the product development because I still love it. 

To what extent varies these days based on the complexity of the project and the experience our group has in dealing with it. In some cases I get very hands on and in others I let the guys live, learn and grow. 

Zander: Is there any one new Shimano tackle product in particular that you are most proud of?

Pfeiffer: There are so many to be proud of but certainly none of them can be credited just to me. We have a very deep and good team of development people that make everything happen and without all of us working together none of the products would make it to market. If I had to pick out one though, it would have to be the Butterfly Jigging system. We really took our time on the development of this project and truly built it up by convincing people one at a time around the country what it can do. 

It is by far the most versatile and interesting fishing techniques and systems I ever have used.  If you get well versed with this tackle and technique I am convinced the possibilities are endless and you will learn more about fish and fish behavior than with any other single technique.  

To see people pick up something so new, learn about it, apply it and have success has been really rewarding.  Itís just so much fun to do.

These Butterfly Jigs (long style) are just one part of a complete system that completely changed the very way in which anglers approach jigging

Zander: The Shimano Calais 4 x 8 DC just became the only domestic reel in our 6 year history to ever win our ďUltimate EnthusiastĒ Award. How important do you think advanced technology like the DC circuit will play into future reel design?

Pfeiffer: As with anything, there will be a balance.  Advanced technology only is going to be good if it can be applied to the right situations or techniques in the right way. Otherwise, itís just technology.  

Shimano always is going to try to build new technologies but we never will introduce them if they canít enhance an anglerís ability, improve on what exists or create new techniques.

Zander: How important is service after the sale when it comes to reels and rods?    

Dave field tests the Butterfly Jigging system armed with a complete Shimano setup from the reel, to the rod, to the lure itself

Pfeiffer: It is one of the most important things we do.  Short answer really.  If people trust you as a company enough to spend their money with you they deserve good service.

Zander: Do you feel like the internet has changed the tackle industry? If yes, in what way?

Pfeiffer: It has changed the industry in a lot of ways.  There is more real time information available now about weather, water temps, fishing conditions, fish reports, etc than ever before. 

There also are more vehicles for anglers all across the country to share their opinions and experiences about tackle, techniques and fishing trips than you can get to in a day. It used to be that fishing knowledge was very localized and only was shared in magazine articles. By the time the article was written though, new techniques already were in the works. That certainly is not the case now.

Next Section: So when does Dave get to go fishing?









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