2005 EFTTEX AWARD WINNER
"This year is really a harvest for Harvest Rods-we won the prize again and we are recognized as one of the top fly-rod brands in Europe. Our next target will be North America"
Attention to detail is very important — every product is examined thoroughly before it leaves the factory.
After winning its second award at EFTTEX in as many years, TTW spoke to Harvest's general manager, Vincent Wu, to find out what makes the company so successful.
TTW: When did Harvest Rods start?
VW: Harvest was started in 1987 by a team of professional anglers and engineers. We have different people in charge of design, production and testing.
TTW: With so many rods coming from the Far East, what makes your company so different?
VW: What makes our company so different is the fact that we know how to make lightweight, strong fishing rods. This is a problem that has bothered most fishing-rod factories in the area -they can only do one or the other, never both.
When a rod is made to be exceptionally light, the strength is reduced. Conversely, if the power of a rod is increased, the rod gets heavier. It is pretty difficult to get a balance between the two. But Harvest has conquered the problem and found a way to produce ultra-light and exceptionally strong fishing rods.
It is important to make light and strong rods for fly anglers.
When the rods are light, they are very easy to use and cast and classical fly-casting motions can be performed that do not scare the fish.
Harvest fly rods cover both features. That's what makes Harvest different and the reason it has won Best New Rod category again.
TTW: You have created your own brand, Harvest. Why did you choose to do this instead of OEM work?
VW: Creating our own brand and promoting it worldwide is a very big job and takes a long time to set up successfully. So why did we choose to create our own brand after being OEM and ODM for more than 18 years?
To be honest, we did enjoy pleasant OEM relationships with many of our customers. However, most OEM orders aren't stable-you cannot rely on their business.
Most customers only concentrate on the kind of fishing rods that bring them more profits and forget about producing real good fishing rods for anglers.
We think anglers should have more and better choice, not just pick out good apples from bad Ones. Harvest's goal is making fishing rods that anglers want, not making various fishing rods for anglers to choose from. It's different. Our entire way is different.
TTW: Your rods are held in very high regard in Europe and you have won the Best Rod category at EFTTEX for two years running now. What makes your rods stand out from the crowd?
VW: Europe is the home of fly fishing. I think there are many anglers who desire the best in this area so I started to promote my brand in Europe.
People like the bamboo finish on our rods, but more importantly, I think, they find the lightness and strength of harvest rods very appealing.
When anglers get used to the incredible lightness and strength of our rods, they find that there is so much more that they can do that they could not do with more traditionally designed rods.
I believe more and more fishing skills will he discovered soon by using Harvest's fishing rods they allow fishermen to reach a higher level to take their fly fishing further.
Fishing with Harvest fly rods makes you feel comfortable and relaxed and lets you feel that the rod is an extension of your body.
TTW: Have you achieved everything you want to in Europe now?
VW: Actually, not yet. Although We won the first prize at EFTTEX in London last year, Harvest was still strange to many people.
I think because of this, we only managed to sign up distributors in the Scandinavian countries, Benelux and Latvia.
This year, in Poland, we won the prize again. It proves that we are not just lucky. So several companies from northern, middle and southern Europe have already expressed their interest in being our agents after EFFTEX 2005.
We are just sorry that we have not found the right company to work with in the UK yet - where we won our first award.
TTW: Have you any plans to introduce Harvest outside of Europe? Where would you like to go?
VW: This year is really a harvest for Harvest-we won the prize again and we are more recognized as one of the top fly-rod brands in Europe.
Our next target will he North America and Canada, where the big fly fishing markets are located.
TTW: Fly rods are your core business. Do you only produce fishing rods?
VW: We not only produce fly rods, we have owned a cork factory for 25 years and have supplied quality cork handles to ourselves and other fishing-rod makers for a long time.
Because of consistent quality we have earned a very strong reputation in this field.
In addition to rods and cork, we have also developed a series of bamboo products to match our fly rods, such as bamboo fly boxes, rod cases and landing nets.
We have a group of professional researchers and designers as well as engineers. We constantly strive to develop more and better fishing tackle products that anglers really will desire.
I think fishing is an art and a relaxing thing in life!
We should make it much easier and go fishing with no pressures. That is what we always think about while developing new fly rods and our other related products.