The history of modern sports is a history of athletic feats and great stories, but it is also a history of product innovation. From Thomas Alva Edison and Samuel Colt to Stephanie Kwolek and Steve Jobs, American engineers and scientists have mustered tremendous creativity to lead American business in the modern world. Their products are artful and useful. Tournament anglers use them and depend on them in order to succeed; for example, Stephanie Kwolek’s innovations in polymers for the DuPont Corporation were fundamental to the plastics we use in fishing lines and kayak design. Over time, we trust the materials and designs. And I trust my Ketch measuring board like no other product I own.
I’ve been tournament fishing from a kayak for 8 years. During that time, I have watched many friends obtain some lucrative sponsor deals, pro staff arrangements and other agreements. In exchange, they often give their time by promoting products on-line, working trade shows and spreading the gospel of kayak fishing at paddling demos, seminars, etc. It’s easy to make fun of kayak anglers and their sponsor deals. What isn’t easy is to put in the work: build a resume’ in competition, write articles, produce videos, work the industry shows, etc. Fishing is an art and also a business; it can kill your love of the sport but it can also help you achieve your dreams. In the best-case scenario it can grow your love for kayak fishing and expand the positive economic impact of our sport. Joining the Ketch Pro Team is a best-case scenario.
My sponsor deals and pro-staff arrangements changed this year – I had built a strong competition record in 2019 and my face, voice and name got around plenty. Why the change? One of the benefits of getting old is that you slow down. You think through your decisions. You consult, calculate, or trust your gut. I decided that when opportunity came I would work with the best companies, with people I care about, and endorse products that work well and inspire me.
Enter Ketch Products Co. When Duke Weskamp and I spoke about the Ketch Pro Team, I knew it was the right fit. But I didn’t rush in, nor did he. I have been using the Ketch measuring boards for years. They are durable, American made and also pleasing to the eye. I’ve talked to Duke at events, sent him customers and fished with him at tournaments. We share passions for music and fishing and we share a mutual friend in Denny Romero, who is a veteran CKA angler and a product innovator in his own right.
As I noted above, the history of modern sports is a history of athletic feats and great stories, but it is also a history of product innovation. When I hold a Ketch measuring board in my hands, or place a fish on it during competition, I can feel that history in its weight. I admire its design and durability, and the product pleases my eye and my mind. I trust it, I know it and I use it.
And so it is with great humility that I join the Ketch Pro Fishing Team and its roster of tournament champions and kayak fishing innovators. To Duke Weskamp – thank you for this opportunity – and to David Brooke, thank you for the hard work you do for the team.
Please check out the Ketch product line at https://ketchproducts.com/ and patronize this great American brand.
© Henry Veggian 2020