- Katy Dika
Meet The Maker
Who is this smiley bearded man wearing short-shorts in our instagram feed? Oh, that's Paul. He's a professional product designer and former professional fisherman.
For nearly a decade, Paul worked as co-captain and mate beside International Game Fish Association Hall of Famer, sport fisherman and author, Captain Alan Anderson.
During that time Paul logged 100's of sea days off the coast of Rhode Island, and tagged and released 1000's of game fish, many of them captured with fly gear. Under Captain Al's tutelage, Paul experimented with and developed countless innovative offshore and inshore fishing solutions. In the Captain's own words, "Adapting tackle to unusual situations was Paul’s forte."
But before all that, he was just a youngster on a bike with a tackle box hanging from one handlebar and a fishing rod balanced on the other. He and his neighbors would head to the pond, lake, stream, beach or estuary (depending on the day and/or time of year) and fish from pre-dawn until nighttime. For a bunch of 12-14 year old neighborhood kids, Paul and his fishing gang were a special kind of unconventional. They fished wacky rigged plastic worms decades before that became a thing (under a bobber no less), caught largemouth and giant pickerel using giant saltwater swimming plugs in the local pond during the Spring herring run and most impressively actually caught MULTIPLE fish with the Flying Lure AND the Helicopter Lure in the same summer!!!! lol.
Fly fishing was a part of it from the beginning, an 8 foot K-Mart Martin combo with a Martin 60 tuna can reel. He used it in fresh water, salt water, and every flavor of water in between. It caught scup, stripers, trout, largemouth bass, bullhead, Northern kingfish, bluefish, tautog, alewives, sunfish, terrifyingly big eels and one very terrified bat. It was used alongside casting and spinning gear as conditions dictated. This crew carted fishing rods around to different fishing spots like how golfers shoulder a bag of golf clubs around a course. It allowed them to quickly tune into any spot they chose. It also taught them not to rely on just one style of fishing, the key to Cape Cod fishing and to heavily fished spots pretty much everywhere in the world.
From there he began working on a handful of the party boats sailing out of Hyannis Harbor, eventually accruing enough sea days to earn himself a 50 Ton Master Captain License. With his captain license he plied the waters of Cape Cod, Rhode Island and beyond all the while absorbing fishing styles and techniques for future repurposing and modification.
Paul holds a BA from the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design. While at RISD he majored in industrial design with yet another gang of like-minded, unconventional crazy people. Whenever possible, he focused his projects on biomimicry and aquatic designs. Some of his projects explored ocean-based power generation, high-efficiency open water monofin design and even an articulated personnel restraint system for use aboard the NASA's International Space Station. Upon his graduation he was presented with opportunities to work both in the sport fishing and product design sectors, taking advantage of each option as circumstances allowed.
After a seemingly short 15 years as a professional product designer, he's worked on products from one end of the design spectrum to the other. Toys, packaging, infant products, sport accessories, novelties, patented manufacturing processes and extended factory trips to China; Paul is no stranger to the design process or to creating intent-driven products. He has designed fishing products for companies such as Mystery Tackle Box, and has developed dynamic pool toys and a menagerie of hydrodynamic aquatic toys including a line of inflatable Paipos (ancient Hawaiian body boards) which earned him the prestigious International Design Award (IDA) in 2014.
Besides all the fishing and design stuff, Paul still finds time to be a wonderful father to a 3.5 year old with a blossoming fishing career herself.
The lo-fli system combines Paul's passion for fishing and appreciation of great design with his years of experience developing engaging and elegant consumer products. We hope you enjoyed this sneak peak into the guy behind lo-fli! If you want to learn more about the lo-fli system (or see more pictures of Paul in short shorts) please follow our social media (links at bottom of page). And if you really want the inside scoop, please subscribe to our mailing list or better yet, pledge to our kickstarter!