Exclusive Interview With Gareth Jones - Sales Director of Airflo
Gareth Jones, the Sales Director of Airflo, shared some of his secrets with us. He’s gone from catching his first fish on a grasshopper to fishing with the greats, all the while staying true to his country upbringing. Developing brand new products to advance the sport as well as captaining the winning team in a prestigious angling competition are just a couple of the things that make his life in the fishing world a wonderful mix of activities. He’s had some brilliant experiences and has a seemingly never-ending supply of advice. Name: Gareth Jones Age: 44 Location: Usk, South Wales Job Description: Airflo Sales Director Likes: Technical Dry fly fishing Dislikes: Shopping! Describe a typical day for you? Looking after the export of Airflo products around the world could start at the office in Brecon - liaising with production, customers, suppliers or graphics departments to keep everything running smoothly. On another day, it could start waking up in any of the fly fishing markets around the world and we could start developing a new fly line product for a specific type of circumstance. What age did you start fishing? I started fishing the river next to my parents home when I was eight years old – I was tying flies and had my first Milbro Glass fly rod by the time I was ten. What is your first fishing memory? It would have to be catching my first fish over eight inches (the size limit to keep a fish) on a natural grasshopper. The takes used to be superb and rattled all the way along the line. What do you love most about the sport? For me, it’s all about the people I get to fish with. The knowledge that they have gained and are happy to share with a fellow angler, that’s what I really enjoy. Can you describe your casting style? In a word; deceptive. My power stroke is generally quite short and I tend to generate a lot of line speed with the haul! What is your most memorable fishing experience? There are too many to choose from, but recent ones include a great visit to Lough Corrib for the caenis feeders - this is super technical dry fly fishing for huge trout on ultra light tippet and small flies. Get it right and it’s heaven, but get any single part of the approach wrong and it’s game over. What piece of kit could you not live without? I should probably say our latest range of Airflo fishing tackle, but the reality is I couldn’t live without tippet degreaser. Fish are just so sensitive to the line caught in the surface film on calmer days and getting your tippet subsurface helps you catch a lot more fish. Check out the John Norris range of tippet degreasers below: Loon Snake River Mud Fulling Mill Fullers Mud Orvis Original Mud What do you still want to tick off your fishing bucket list? I’ve never been to Alaska, and although I’m not a big Salmon angler, I really would like to get hold of some of those heavily spotted rainbow trout. Any funny fishing tales you would like to share? None that could ever be printed! What would your perfect day consist of? Fishing anywhere without a phone! What are you most proud of/greatest achievement? I’ve been lucky enough to have won quite a few competitions over the years, but my proudest moment was captaining the Nymphomanics team to a win in the AWAI competition a couple of years ago. Who or what inspires you? I get a huge amount of energy from the people I get to work with, from product development to being able to spend time on the water with some of the legends of the fly fishing world. I’m not going to start name dropping, but I have been very privileged when it comes to the people I get to fish with and call my friends. How did you get a career start the fishing industry? Before I left University, I wrote to all the fishing tackle companies asking them for a job. I had just won the National qualifier and thought I knew everything about fishing tackle – which I didn’t. Both Airflo and Hardy’s in London made me offers and being a country boy I chose Brecon and the river Usk ahead of Pall Mall and the Thames. Any advice for fellow anglers that would like a career in the fishing world? It’s going to be tough and you may not earn the money you could earn elsewhere, but it will be fun. What is the big thing for your brand this year? I’ve been working hard on our new top end Blitz and Rocket rods which are starting to get some good recognition. In fly lines we finally launched a stretchy floater; it’s called the G shock and gives a very similar feel to a PVC line in use, but with the added advantages of Ridges and Super Dri technology. Can you give us any advice or useful tips? Firstly, practice your casting! If you can cast well, then you can put your fly into the position you need it to catch fish – sounds basic, but essential. Secondly, as you advance into the fishing try to think in 3D. Understanding how drag on both river and still water affects your presentation will make you more effective as an angler. Finally, don’t forget to have fun!