A family business
Danielsson fly reels are developed and manufactured by the family business Danielsson Innovation AB. The organization is headed by Tomas Danielsson; son of the founder and innovator Kurt Danielsson.
How would you describe Danielsson’s mission?
– We start with our with customers’ requirements. We are also fly fishermen so we understand why functionality and reliability must come first. Our model range does not fall “out of style” after a couple of years; the reels fulfill a real purpose and are timeless. Pricing is based on the hours that it takes to develop and manufacture the product. The idea is that customers will pay for what they get, instead of hyped consumer trash built on advertising and marketing.
How do you see the fly reel industry today?
– Regrettably most brands offer consumer products with the main purpose of generating revenue. There are frankly too many brands on the market today and most are acquired through different trading houses in Asia. The “brands” go this route because they have no design or production capability. The resources these “brands” apply are devoted almost solely to marketing which is intended to capture and convince the consumer. They desperately try to sustain interest in their substandard products by offering new and improved models each season.
– Most of these “brands” understand this themselves, but have no other choice than to participate in this treadmill. We have been approached by many which have asked us to produce reels for them. Personally, I hate the feeling of buying anything that does not deliver what is promised. As a personal and professional rule, I will never produce anything that does not have an honest purpose. I am content that we have always worked with this philosophy because a product with an honest purpose promotes itself through true customer satisfaction.”
“We wanted stuff we could rely on!”
What is it that distinguishes a Danielsson fly reel and your company?
– The difference is our background and experience. We have our roots in the heavy steel industry, construction and production. In this sector, success depends wholly upon delivering products with a purpose. We like design whereby we reduce complexity and the number of parts in order to achieve maximum efficiency. The result is usually reliability and cost effectiveness!
You only design products you yourself would want to have?
– Yes, as far as the fly reels go, that’s how it started. We wanted better gear that worked and we knew we could trust. Soon our friends asked us for this gear and later we were asked to produce for their friends as well! The rumor of Danielsson products promoting themselves through the chain of satisfied customers is exactly how we want it to be. This phenomenon only happens in unique circumstances and with quality products. Many wonder how we “dare” continue with margins associated with this type of quality. They are puzzled at how we can increase the sales of our products when they so rarely need replacing and we avoid changing design every season in order to come to market with something new.
The answer is simple; a satisfied customer often wants more of the same. Dedicated Danielsson customers usually own an average of five of our reels. Many have more than ten and there are quite a few who have collected every reel we’ve ever produced.”
How important is flyfishing for you?
– It’s more than a hobby or a sport, it’s a way of life and a passion. Being able to sit down next to the river, taking it all in before wading out, it is pure relaxation at its best. Such moments are priceless, and I when I’m there, I want everything to work impeccably. Therein lies the reason why Danielsson fly reels came to be.
With a background from the steelindustry
Do you only manufacture fly fishing reels?
– That’s mostly what we do, but my father has always worked in the steel industry. The manufacture of fly reels was a side activity for the evenings and after school. Kurt designed many innovative and clever products for the steel industry; technical solutions that really made the difference.
– As for myself, I’ve tinkered a bit with a concept reel within the multiplier segment. I have a friend who fishes a lot using trolling techniques. Most reels in this segment are really just variations of a Swedish design produced in the 1950´s and they have quite a few flaws. I decided to design my own adaptation of the basic multiplier using my experience in industrial construction. From a pure design point of view, it is considerably stronger than those available on the market. Then there are some significant handling advantages and the number of parts involved is about 40% of those found in today’s multipliers. The product with fewer components is usually much more reliable. There is some fine-tuning remaining before it is finished, but I’ll settle for it as it is now.
– The idea is not to take it to market; that market is too big for us as a company. Perhaps we will cooperate with one of the industry leaders at some point in order to make the technology available. For now, we include it here as a concept piece.
Aluminum makes a strong base
When I was down in your workshop, I saw a machine that you built yourself; tell me more!
– All the reels we produce are made from Aluminum. In order to ensure the strength we want, we must manufacture from solid billets. This results in a lot of aluminum shavings from production. We used to recycle these chips, but the price was poor. I designed a method to compress the chips in order to fetch a price which is 200-300% better.
– Likewise, there is a significant environmental benefit to this method. There are machines available on the market for this purpose, but they are large, expensive and not necessarily suited to our exact situation. Therefore I built a custom, compact version that can handle all types of chips. We are actually looking for a partner for this design who is already established within the industrial segment. The image you see is the first official picture.