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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Interview with John Delaney of Fish Creek Spinners



Ben G. Outdoors hasn't really been keeping up our end of the bargain when it comes to fishing related topics so I am very excited to introduce you to John Delaney of Fish Creek Spinners. From what I have seen these spinners are top notch, the cream of the crop if you will. In my opinion Fish Creek Spinners are just as good if not better than all the big name spinners on the market. I have yet to try out the spinners John sent to me and probably won't get too until the ice is out. Watch for an update and/or review this spring or summer.

1. John can you let my readers know what inspired you to start Fish Creek Spinners?


There have been lots of small steps and fateful events along the way, but the one I remember most (bordering on inspiration) occurred on a camping/fishing trip to Miracle Mile on the North Platte River; a certain place, a certain time and a specific fish.

To find spinner components, I used to search the hardware stores looking for interesting angle worthy items. On one trip, I came across an aisle storing spools of various plastic tubing sold by the foot and I bought a few feet of several types. The braid reinforced PVC tubing really interested me; I thought it looked like fish skin.

I cut the braided variety to a 1 inch length and hand-crafted a ‘monster’ of a spinner from it; #5 French blade, a couple plastic beads to bookend the PVC tubing, and a #6 treble hook. The woven crisscross pattern on the PVC was reflective and sure looked like fish scales. The spinner was not a pretty sight, a little big, a little buoyant, but still worthy of my attention and a test in the water.

The spinner got its first swim below the Cortes Dam on Miracle Mile on the North Platte River north of Sinclair, Wyoming.

It was a cloudless sunny day, without wind, an unusual day in Wyoming. On my second cast a big brown trout surfaced on the far bank to examine and grab it. He hit my spinner hard and ran upstream in strong current. What a memory, I scrambled over rocks to keep him away from other obstacles and eventually brought him to shore to land and release him. I admired the beautiful fish maybe a 5 pounder with my ‘monster’ spinner in his lip, then removed the spinner and sent him back to his home, leaving us both to reflect on our choices.

The inspiration in this memory was that it shattered my perceptions of what a spinner had to be. That spinner wasn’t precise; it wasn’t a certain weight, size, or color, just an unattractive piece of PVC, book-ended with a couple beads. Yet it attracted and caught this amazing big beautiful fish. It didn’t have to be a Panther Martin, Mepps, or Blue Fox or some other big brand found in stores in order to catch fish.

I guess the impact and inspiration was that once you recognize what things don’t have to be, it’s easier to imagine what they might be. That profound observation at the side of the North Platte broke down a wall and made some space for Fish Creek Spinners - alternative spinners catch fish.

2. I know you and your son run FCS, does anyone else help out?

Every spinner in the water helps our brand recognition as anglers choose to give us a try. So that said, our biggest outside help comes from the anglers and fishing forums around the country that recognize FCS and help promote our brand.

We’re a family owned business. My sons, Ben and Will and my fiancĂ©e Marie all help out, even the grandkids. Marie jokes we’re a non-profit. I do the component and packaging purchasing, Ben and I do the designs, assembly and packaging. Marie keeps us organized, asks the tough questions that keep us grounded and manages some of the paperwork. Will supports the web, photo editing and graphics. Other family members perform quality control on fishing trips. We’re having fun and it’s exciting to have a dream.


3. Why are FCS spinners a great alternative to the existing big name brand spinners?

Hmmm, I don’t have a quick answer to this one. Technology changes, fishing changes, fish change, and spinners change.

Imagine you’re standing on a bridge over a river. Which direction would you choose to fish? Upstream or Downstream, Left or right? It all depends on individual choice and there’s no right answer.

Fishing is filled with choices and anglers will continue to seek out alternatives. We’re selling more spinners each year and expanding our presence cast by cast, around the world. The anglers choosing our brand try them and buy more. Their decisions and our continued improvements could make us a ‘great’ alternative someday. Today we’re happy to be an alternative and I already feel successful. Our future successes will be measured by lots of small steps. Things that go fast cost more.

We can’t be found as easily as the big brands, except on the web. That’s something different that I find interesting; a game changer.

4. Can you tell us a little about the materials and the process used to make FCS spinners?

We use a lot of faceted glass. It’s more reflective then plastic with an abundance of color choices. It’s also made from silicon (sand) and ‘green’. We added metal discs to protect the glass, but found the discs brought a lot of added fringe benefit. The discs created noise and vibration and even caused the glass to rotate with the blade and reflect more light. Kind of a game changer and they give the spinner a different underwater profile and although I don’t have a hydrophone, I 'suspect' a different higher frequency noise profile then other thumping spinners due to the discs lighter weight and it's ability to wobble back and forth against the blade during rotation.

After time in the water, you'll notice score lines on the underside of the blade where the discs are rubbing and causing friction. The scores are wider then the disc. To me, this validates they wobble and 'ring' the dinner bell attracting strikes.

Components are high quality and bought from US companies (from East to West, Worths, Lakeland, and Hagens).

The spinners are assembled locally in Boulder County in Colorado. Although I have been approached, there are no plans to offshore manufacturing. Ideally we grow to create more jobs.


Here are some pictures of the spinners click on them for larger views

5. Does FCS offer any products other than spinners if so what are they?

After being prompted by Marie, I tried selling some fishing theme earrings but they didn’t sell and we removed them from the store.

6. John when I was reviewing you site I came across a unique aspect of the packaging you use for your spinners. Can you give us a little more insight on it?

When we started wholesaling for retail sales I had to come up with a better way to package the spinners and I wanted something unique and reusable. I checked the typical clamshell packaging, but it added cost and was throw away. I decided to use clear plastic containers with convenient pop off caps. I call it ‘pocket tackle’.

The cool FCS display and  packaging

The container protected the hook, but didn’t display well so I built custom wooden displays with a wood-burned mountain theme logo. Each display hold 36 spinners, in hindsight, I wish I would have numbered them.

To expand into larger corporate settings, I needed something for wall mounting so I designed a custom rack card to hold the container for wall mounting.

Lots of small positive improvements. After sale, the containers find homes organizing tackle boxes and other creative use. I put a couple spinners in a few tubes and I’m ready for the high country hike to my secret beaver ponds - ‘Pocket Tackle’.

Web shoppers ordering 20-30 spinners a year, are saying they want something simpler and have enough containers… This year we’ll provide an option for reduced prices if ordered without the tubes, wrapping the spinners in a corrugated strip for shipping and offsetting the price difference with a few extra spinners.

7. What type of fish have you had the most success catching with your own spinners?

I like fishing in Mountain Rivers, streams and ponds. It’s definitely Trout for me; Browns Rainbows, Brookies, Lakers, and Cutthroats.

Fish Creek Spinners catch different fish around the globe; Trout and salmon, Musky and Pike, Rock Bass, Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass, Walleye, Perch, Crappie, Fallfish, and Bluegills. Even some salt water feedback on Redfish.

8. What is your most popular spinner?

For a model it’s the glass Armadillo’s; Red and Orange or Black.

9. Does your FCS offer any type of promotions?

We provide promotion codes for discounts on web purchases to fishing forums we sponsor. There’s also a Fish Photo promotion on the website that was pretty popular last year and its being continued. If you buy a bunch of spinners online, then make the effort to take some digital pictures documenting your success, you can send me an email with a picture of the fish (mug shots appreciated). I’ll post them on the site and send you a free spinner for your testimonial. Check us out, get them wet and send us a fish story for free spinners!



10. Now that you have all of us interested in your spinners where can we purchase them?

Our retail presence is growing around the country and the website lists each location by state. We have toe holds in about 14 states, but I expect that to explode this year. The web store is the most convenient spot for the time being. http://www.fishcreekspinners.com/ You can buy by credit card online or mail a check or money order. You will not be disappointed and I’ll track your location on our Get on the Map page recording our expansion and your location as an FCS customer. Check it out.



11. Last but not least, what can we expect from FCS in the future?

We’re small, friendly and adaptive. We’ll continue to try new things and take lots of small incremental steps to bring you fresh and interesting fishing spinners as alternatives to the major brands.

I would like to have customers in all fifty states this year and be wholesaling in about thirty. I expect you’ll see FCS listed as catching fish in more state and forum fishing reports. I hope to see FCS winning some fishing tournaments or getting a few professional fishermen using our brand.

One other thing you can expect from FCS is a digital diary of sorts. On this years road trips I will be taking pictures of the business and shop owners who decide to purchase Fish Creek Spinners. From what I have seen in the past this is going to be a fun adventure to follow. Keep watching our web site for a link to the photos. http://www.fishcreekspinners.com/


 Noise on the Line!

John


John sent me this video that shows FCS spinners in action

If you didn't get it from the interview John is a very nice guy and I really enjoyed talking with him. I think it's great that a family owned company like FCS has the potential to make a huge impact on the fishing world. I can see FCS spinners in every fishing related retail store in the country. Make sure you check out the Web site http://www.fishcreekspinners.com/. Don't forget FCS slogan Noise on the line!


~Ben G.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010

QDMA teams up with EHP for 2010



Indianapolis, IN- EHP Electronic Hearing Protection founder Denny Snyder has announced that the Quality Deer Management Association logo will adorn the ‘Big Woods’ adult series of EHP electronic muffs for 2010. EHP will be introducing the new line of electronic hearing protection during the Bass Pro Shops Media Day on January 18th, 2010 held in conjunction with the annual NSSF SHOT Show in Las Vegas.

“I have seen the growth of the QDMA with their successful mission of promoting quality deer management to the hunting community. The EHP goal is to promote hearing protection for the twenty million hunters and all those folks that participate in the shooting sports. “ Snyder adds, “ By helping promote the QDMA, not only do we help promote hearing protection awareness to their 50,000 members, we show our support for the QDMA message of conservation to all those participants of the shooting sports looking for good electronic hearing protection made right here in the USA. “ EHP will include a membership application at half price for the QDMA with every EHP Big Woods adult model of electronic muffs for 2010.

QDMA is pleased to enter into a licensing agreement with EHP for 2010. The conservation mission of QDMA is to ensure the white-tailed deer, wildlife habitat and our hunting heritage for our future and EHP is working to conserve the hearing of all sportsmen and to protect the ability to fully enjoy the natural world.” Randy Bowden, Director of Marketing & Corporate Relations.

Every time you shoot a gun, permanent hearing loss occurs without using proper hearing protection.

Experience the future of electronic hearing protection with EHP- the Perfect Fit for Hearing Protection.


For more information about the new line of EHP electronic hearing protection, visit them on the web at http://www.ehphearing.com/. Contact- Denny Snyder (317)502-7942 or paoutback@sbcglobal.net

Founded in 1988, QDMA is a national nonprofit wildlife conservation organization with more than 50,000 members in all 50 states and Canada, and several foreign countries. Membership in QDMA is open to anyone interested in better deer and better deer hunting, and committed to ethical hunting, sound deer management and the preservation of the deer-hunting heritage. To learn more about QDMA and why it is the future of deer hunting, call (800) 209-3337 or visit http://www.qdma.com/. Contact: Randy Bowden (800) 209-3337 or rbowden@qdma.com

EHP- Electronic Hearing Protection info


EHP- Electronic Hearing Protection


New EHP Ranger Jr. muffs are a perfect fit for Younger shooters hearing protection

Indianapolis, IN- Hearing protection and outdoor marketing specialist Denny Snyder recently announced the formation of a new hearing protection company for the hunting and shooting industry- EHP - Electronic Hearing Protection. The first product from EHP will be the Ranger Jr. quad muffs with adjustable frequency tuning(AFT). The Ranger Jr. quad muffs are designed specifically for younger shooters and shooters requiring a smaller style muff to provide proper fit and maximum hearing protection for the user.

The Ranger Jr. muffs have two-channel digital circuitry using state-of-the-art technology providing unsurpassed sound quality and speech clarity that only digital technology can produce.

Ranger Jr. muffs increase the user's hearing up to nine times with 50 dB of power, one of the highest ratings in the industry. By using Sound Activated Compression( SAC) circuitry, this style of shooting muff helps protect hearing from harmful effects of muzzle blasts by reducing the amplification of loud sounds to a safe level. Ranger Jr. muffs have a noise reduction rating of 24 dB- among the highest in the industry.

Two volume controls and adjustable frequency tuning controls allow the user to focus on specific sound frequencies to fit their individual needs. Because of this, many users are calling the Ranger Jr. muffs “binoculars for your ears."

EHP Ranger Jr. muffs fit perfectly for Younger shooters hearing protection

Each ear cup offers two-channel digital circuitry computer chips utilizing DSP( digital signal processing).

All EHP muffs are made with a space-age polymer plastic for strength, durability and feather-light design. All units are padded and have an adjustable headband, providing the user extreme comfort for all-day use. EHP will offer not only the Ranger Jr. muffs but also the adult Ranger HD model and a full line of junior and senior(adult) series of shooting muffs.

Marketing manager and founder Denny Snyder states – “Building relationships in all industries is the key to success with any company and I’m proud to introduce the EHP line of hearing protection products to both the hunting and shooting industries.” Snyder adds “I’m looking forward to sharing the EHP line of premium hearing protection in 2010 on USA Outback Outdoor TV and many of the other top outdoor television programs to promote hearing protection awareness- especially to the younger shooters, hunters, and the military and law enforcement.”


The entire EHP line of products will eventually be made available through most major sporting goods stores and retailers.

For more information on EHP-Electronic Hearing Protection and USA Outback Outdoor Television, contact Denny Snyder at (317)502-7942 or visit on the web at http://www.ehphearing.com/. and http://www.usaoutbacktv.com/ .
Saturday, January 2, 2010

2009 Year in review and a look into 2010


2009 was a busy year for not only Ben G. Outdoors, buy my family as well. Here is a short list of what Ben G. Outdoors accomplished in 2009.

1. Ben G. Outdoors was started with first post on Feb. 15th 2009

2. Found The Outdoor Bloggers Summit

3. Made many great contacts in the outdoor blogging world

4. Discovered that I love writing almost as much as being outside

5. Created a twitter account

6. Created a Camospace account

7. First interview March 12th 2009

8. First product review March 26th 2009

9. Held first contest October 19th 2009

10. Continued to make great contacts not only in the outdoor blogging world, but in the outdoor industry.

11. Awarded 13th best hunting blog post of 2009 by Hunting Business marketing. (This was a great way to end the year for Ben G. Outdoors.

2010 so far is looking pretty good and here are a few things you can look forward to for us here at Ben G. Outdoors.

1. Finally a logo

2. New site design (time permitting)

3. More interviews

4. More reviews

5. E-mail subscription

6. I am going to post some pics of our new baby when he is born (maybe in camo)

7. I’m sure there will be more, so keep your eyes peeled.





Finally I just wanted to thank all of the readers for being so kind and reading Ben G. Outdoors. You all mean a ton to everything I have accomplished this year. I don’t want to forget to mention all of the other bloggers I have come in contact with over the last year you guys and gals are all wonderful too and have helped me out so much. All of the outdoor companies and web sites I have worked with over the last year a big THANK YOU goes out to all of you as well. Last but not least I want to thank my Wife for putting up with me in 2009 because it was tough for the both of us to juggle so much. HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone here is to a GREAT 2010.
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