Wait, wait… now! Fiiish takes its time before entering the pike market with new Blaster Shad
The 10th anniversary of French lure maker Fiiish throws up an interesting statistic. The candles on the company’s birthday cake outnumber the products it has introduced to the market during that time!
Considering that most lure companies launch that many products in the space of one season, it’s hard to believe that the Brittany-based business has survived this far. But then Fiiish has always been different. The company made it clear from the start that it was driven by a love of fishing and a desire to give satisfaction to the fishermen who use its products, insisting that financial gain was not the priority.
“We don’t want to produce lots of products just to build turnover and the size of the business,” Fiiish told Angling International at the time. “We love what we do and we want to share that passion with anglers by adding something new and fun to the market.”
Sure there were sceptics. But true to its ideology, Fiiish did not release its first lure – the award-winning Black Minnow – until 2013. And another year elapsed before its second product – the Crazy Sandeel – appeared on retailers’ shelves.
Ten years on, nothing has changed, says Communications Manager Romain Le Bouffo. “Building a big business has never been our focus,” he maintains. “We are still driven by the passion and spirit that created this company in the first place. Fiiish remains focused on R&D, creativity and innovation. The proof is in the seven or eight lures that we have introduced in the last ten years.”
Le Bouffo hopes that the success of a company with around 20 employees will serve as a model and inspiration to other small businesses and start-ups competing against bigger rivals. “We started out as a small operation and we are still relatively small, but we are still here. We hope this will encourage others to keep the faith and keep working hard in order to grow like we have done.”
Not that Fiiish is lacking in ambition. It has set its sights on breaking into new markets and is currently working on a batch of new products. It also plans to enter the pike market for the first time with a new lure called the Blaster Shad. “We are currently known in Europe for our soft saltwater lures. But we want to develop into freshwater products – and pike fishing is the biggest sector. We are impatient and excited to be able to offer a product to pike fishermen,” says Le Bouffo.
Whether it is salt or freshwater, Fiiish aims to continue surprising consumers with original concepts that meet their needs. In the meantime, the company is eyeing other product categories, including rods and terminal tackle, as it looks ahead to the next decade. But the same rules will apply. Products will have to be ready and right for the market before they are made available. “Our tenth anniversary is affirmation that we are a strong company that is looking ahead and is confident about future challenges,” added Le Bouffo.
The Blaster Shad
The key feature of this new pike lure from Fiiish is the Player Concept, which allows adjustment of the weight of a single head that can be paired with several different body options. This enables it to be fished at different depths and at different speeds. Retrieved slowly, the lure will move a considerable amount of water, hence the name Blaster Shad. The weight of the head is controlled by interchangeable zinc insertions called Player Blocks, while the Player Stinger, designed specifically for this lure, allows the weight of the head to be quickly adjusted. The exclusive quick-release hook was designed in collaboration with VMC, and the addition of a rolling swivel provides freedom of movement and reduces the number of fish lost. The Blaster Shad, which has been in development for five years, come is two sizes – 13cm and 16cm.