Fishing-Tackle.co.uk were lucky enough to catch up with Simon Bradbury, ex-Abu product manager and the man behind the new Akios reel brand. We asked for more information on the man himself, his relationship with Abu and the Akios strategy.
Simon Bradbury has worked in the tackle industry for 33 years, 16 of which have been for Abu Garcia & Pure Fishing (Abu's parent company) - you could say he is a seasoned veteran of the trade.
From 1995 until 2002 Simon was in charge of Abu's product development in the UK, developing all rod ranges, reels and accessories. In later years he took other brand responsibilities and a European role, and until 2009 was in charge of Abu's baitcaster reel range, amongst other categories. A pretty tasty CV we would say and not surprising then, that when made redundant recently, Simon's thoughts turned to utilising his vast experience on his own project.
"I have utilised my knowledge and long term connections with Abu to select the very best points and re-develop a range of reels to a standard that was respected in the 90's in high quality multiplier reels" Simon said. "Although they strike a resemblance to my former employer's reels, there are many differences and I believe some excellent additional features and benefits making them very desirable at a very competitive price."
A brave move, taking on the super power that is Pure Fishing, but we're sure those comments resonate with many anglers today. There have been many despondent comments made online about the decline in quality of the Ambassadeur reel range in recent years. I have heard this described as 'the Walmart effect' (volume / price objectives). It could be a clever strategy to connect with those ex-Abu brand champions if done right.
Simon reveals that customer service is also at the heart of his new company. "We will also have a full selection of spare parts for our reels and servicing; and warranty registration will be detailed on the (forthcoming) website." He also reveals that Peter Coogan, a very well respected reel engineer is onside. You may know Peter Coogan as 'The Reel Doctor'. From our perspective, having Coogan on-board only adds to our confidence in Akios' success.
"We will together pride ourselves on a first class after sales service and there will also be an online spares ordering service for all the reels" says Simon, "downloadable spec sheets and exploded drawings for anglers to be able to identify the spares they require" will be available online.
The Akios range of reels will be available next month (August) and we can expect to see more information to follow in Sea Angler magazine (UK). We may also get the chance to win some new S-Line reels in a proposed competition.
In our short interview, Simon also hinted that the S-Line 656 CTM will most likely be the most popular reel amongst sea anglers.
The new Akios website should be live this week : www.akiosfishingtackle.com
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