The Global FlyFisher
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Easy Shrimp Eyes
The fly-tying market is brimming with prefabricated materials, and Danish Easy Shrimp Eyes is one of the companies who are making them. We have talked to the guys behind the products.
Sten Lykaer Jensen and Erik Petersen also call themselves Team Easy Shrimp Eyes, and they are the two Danish guys who have developed and started producing pre-made eyes and legs for shrimp flies and are marketing them under the name Easy Shrimp Eyes and Easy Shrimp Legs.
We asked the two guys some questions about their backgrounds, their products and their business.
Describe the company Easy Shrimp Eyes your background(s). Are you fly-fishers and fly-tiers or something completely different?
We are two guys in the beginning of our 30's who have known each other since we were 10 years old.
We realized quite early that we had a good deal of common interests, amongst them fishing. Since then we have enjoyed each others company and have been on countless fishing trips together over the years. We have been through many types of fishing: sea fishing, lake fishing, stream fishing, coastal fishing. We have been fishing is some of Sweden's beautiful rivers, lakes and streams and have fishing more exotic waters for tuna and marlin.
As the years passed we discovered fly-fishing and when our eyes opened to this fantastic fishing we were hooked. Fly-fishing in itself was challenging and exciting, but then we started getting interested in fly-tying, and we haven't looked back since! We have become more and more passionate fly-fishers and fly-tyers. We spend a lot of time at the vise to develop he perfect pattern, which can make a difference on the water.
This was how the first of our products were born. The idea came one day in the spring of 2012, and after a long period of preparation, test and research, we launched Easy Shrimp Eyes in black in the autumn of 2012. We have believed in the product and that the market wanted this product all the time, but we soon realized that the interest was much larger than we anticipated.
Your Easy Shrimp Eyes really are easy to use. How have they been received in the market by shops and tiers and how has business developed?
It is probably always difficult to enter the market with new products, especially seen in the light of us having only one product in the beginning. We had some contact with distributors from the outset, but we could also see that we had to be careful on pricing if we were to sell the eyes in the shops. Unfortunately we disagreed with the distributors and had to take the tough road around them in order to keep the price at the lowest possible level.
Some fly-tyers might find the price too high even in spite of that, but they probably forget that these are quality products made from the best materials and supposed to endure many trips and many fish. Existing single mono eyes from other manufacturers aren't cheap, and we think our price is fair considering the quality, the ease of use and the consistency.
We were lucky enough that a couple of shops committed to carry our products already before we released them, which was a declaration of confidence and a very important shoulder pat to us.
The products were further developed and we now have two product lines: Easy Shrimp Eyes and Easy Shrimp Legs in eight color and size variants.
We have had some excellent reactions from the fly-tyers we have been in contact with, and more and more shops are contacting us to hear about the possibilities of carrying our products.
We essentially haven't contacted any shops or web sites since we started. They will contact us and tell us that they have many customers who ask for our products, which of course makes us very happy.
I can see that your products have been distributed to a fairly limited number of countries for now. What are the plans for further distribution? How does one become an Easy-product dealer or distributor?
Our dealers are in Scandinavia and Europe for now, and we have spent out time developing our products, which takes time when you strive for the best.
We have purposely not contacted any dealers or distributors before we were ready and had the stock to support them. We also believe that it's important to have several products that the dealers can select from.
We have also had logistic problems to solve, but with that in place and several products to select from, the dealers can now test the products and order a mix of products rather than many identical bags of a single product.
We have see quite a lot of interest on different web sites and in different fora, so we believe that we will get further out in Europe and the rest of the world when the time is right.
We always welcome new dealers, and all we require is that they have a shop and are a registered business. They are more than welcome to contact us.
Where do the ideas come from and who designs your products? Can you describe the process from idea to products in a bag?
We designed the products ourselves, and have adjusted them over several iterations of shaping and testing.
It is actually quite a long process from initial idea to finished product.
The ideas were good from the beginning, but have been changed underway and adjusted in detail to get the optimal products.
The original idea arose from our own frustration when tying shrimp eyes and legs. The goal has been to make that as easy as possible while still having durability and to obtain a consistency which would make people notice the uniform eyes and legs when they looked into a flybox.
It has been a demanding process, but holding the finished product makes us realize that it's been worth the hard work.
It is actually quite a long process from initial idea to finished product.
Can you share where and how the parts are produced?
We cannot cover the production methods in detail. That's something we take the liberty of keeping to ourselves.
We won't tell you precisely where and how the products are made, but can reveal that we have chosen to produce here in Denmark to get a level of quality that we can stand behind.
There seems to be a flurry of prefabricated parts coming out these days: insect wings, printed jungle cock, fish sides, shrimp backs and products like your own. Are we going to see more ready-to-use fly-tying products like that?
Yes, we are certain of that. Everybody wants to tie as nice and realistic flies as possible. These products help people to be satisfied with their creations at the vise, and the more you believe ib'n your fly, the better you fish with it.
Our products might be premade and ready to use, but the finished flies are still only limited by the tyer's creativity.
We ourselves enjoy using other people's ideas for fly tying - premade materials or not.
It makes no great difference, even though there's a limit to the madness. If you just tie in a completely finished fly on a hook, the joy of fly tying is of course gone.
Some people think that tying a fly becomes too much of assembling a construction kit when you use prefabricated parts. I guess that you beg to differ?
We actually don't think our products are that "finished" compared to many other premade products.
Shrimp eyes have been around for a while, just as single eyes.
Shrimp legs exist, but just not shaped as ours.
On one side we enjoy spending time at the vise, but on the other hand we'd rather spend our time being creative that spending it on placing legs and eyes totally precise on a fly, which can be quite time consuming.
We also appreciate that the flies can endure more than a fish or two and that the materials still sit as when we tied the fly, even after it has been in the water.
We want to use our time at the water and creating new patterns at the vise rather than worrying about the aforementioned eyes and legs.
We find that there's still a lot of room to be creative and imaginative even when you use Easy Shrimp Eyes and Easy Shrimp Legs.
Should we expect more Easy-products? If so, can you reveal anything about them?
We are always looking for new ideas and certainly won't exclude that new products can emerge. We have a couple of things on the drawing board, but don't want to "sell the skin before the bear has been shot".
We have just launched transparent Easy Shrimp Eyes, enabling creative fly tyers to get exactly the colors they want using markers or varnish.
More information can be found on Easy Shrimp Eyes web site
Easy Shrimp Eyes is also on Facebook
Danish and international retailers can be found here.