The American Fishing Tackle Company, AFTCO, is widely recognized as a brand that helped build big game fishing—will increase its efforts to solve real-world fishing problems with the hiring of Robby Gant. As Tackle Brand Manager, Gant will oversee all new product development, sales, and tackle operations for the 60+-year-old company.
After a recent expansion into consumer hardgoods, AFTCO now looks to capitalize on the success of their Japan-built Saiko Pro 100% Fluorocarbon leader and Fishing Fillet Knifes made from German steel.
Gant is a 20+ year industry veteran who previously served as Shimano’s West Coast Regional Sales Manager, Senior Sales Manager, and Senior Product Manager. “We’re extremely excited to have Robby join our family,” says AFTCO President Casey Shedd. “Robby has been directly responsible for some of the fishing industry’s most notable products. His product development skillset will enable AFTCO to meet the demands of serious saltwater and freshwater anglers alike.
Family owned and operated for three generations, AFTCO revolutionized the big game tackle industry with the introduction of imaginative concepts for rod builders like Big Foot® roller guides and swaged aluminum Unibutt® rod butts. The world’s leading saltwater fishermen have long relied on AFTCO fishing tackle for consistent dependability and flawless performance. To preserve such a valued endorsement, AFTCO maintains a program of quality control over the creation of each product bearing the AFTCO name. Beginning with carefully selected materials, AFTCO utilizes highly specialized machining, finishing and testing processes to ensure an extra margin of excellence.
Shedd believes there’s a closely linked value system between Robby and the company. “Today it seems to be all about private equity acquiring a suite of brands. They pump money into marketing with little long-term product consideration and ultimately flip the brands for someone else to do the same. That’s not us. Moreover, I firmly believe the market isn’t calling for more cheaply sourced product with a manufacture’s logo slapped on it. Robby is aligned with that vision and a whole lot more.”
AFTCO tackle products often take years to develop and are proudly field-tested by industry-leading captains, guides, and anglers. During the testing phase, products are fine-tuned and tweaked in AFTCO’s Southern California machine shop and offices until they meet strict production tolerances. As a result, AFTCO builds precision parts and products, manufactured to withstand the test of time.
Gant’s role will have the full support of AFTCO’s industry-leading product development, marketing, and operations resources that have led to ICAST New Product Showcase Best of Apparel Category wins in 4 out of 5 categories at the 2018 and 2019 shows.