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Simon Bradbury Interview, ex-Abu & man behind Akios

Posted by Editor On July - 14 - 2010

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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6 Responses to “Simon Bradbury Interview, ex-Abu & man behind Akios”

  1. GF says:

    These Akios reels look to be made by Omoto. Omoto used to be an OEM supplier to ABU-the cheaper made in Taiwan ABUs were made by Omoto.

    Look up Omoto Chief

    http://www.fishing-tackle.com.tw/product2-7.html

    -notice any similarities? I would be surprised if these reels are new and improved…..these ‘new’ Akios reels appear to be rebadged Omoto reels….which themselves are copies of ABU reels.

  2. gellybean says:

    in a way, i would agree.. but if you have worked as product manager for ABU for 16 long years with experience of 33 years in the tackle business… setting up your company you would give it the best shot you can… AKIOS are the BEST I believe now to go for… cheaper than ABU GARCIA… and OMOTO is in Taiwan too far to order from there… Ill buy AKIOS tonight…

  3. gellybean says:

    Ive seen the AKIOS and held one in my hand from a friend who used to work for this ABU GARCIA man Simon… man i was surprised how they weighed and how smooth they work… of course its different when you test it… or try it for real… but my questions in mind are … if this Simon Bradbury used to be ABU GARCIAS Product Manager for 16 years… why would they sack him maybe because of the RECESSION? But man… a product manager knows all the secrets specially the weaknesses of the products… he may even have designed some of them himself… this guy knows what he is doin… I would say… if you know and when you know what you are doing and you will make your own company and have your own brand… wherever its coming from i dont think you will do what ABU GARCIAS done with their ABU REELS… ” PUT PLASTIC PARTS INSIDE IT TO CUT COST AND MAKE MORE PROFIT” sacrificing the trust of their loyal customers… AKIOS IS THE BEST OUT THERE NOW…

  4. Big Pete says:

    So the burning question is…..just where are they manufactured then,Sweden or the middle east?

  5. Editor says:

    Hi Big Pete – we believe the reels are made in Taiwan by a well-regarded global manufacturer (supply ABU Garcia and others). The quality is reported to be excellent and the design/spec for the Akios reels has been tweaked from the standard ABU design.
    Would love to hear some reports of those that have taken the plunge already – good or bad?

  6. big bob says:

    Now, i have used these reels, and they are fantastic! absolutely brilliant. Simon knows what he is talking about after 16 years at ABU. They are outstanding and i can’t wait to get my hands on a rod! This is the man to go to. Give it a few years, and this man will be bigger than ABU!

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