Fly Fishing, Sales Pitches, & a Little Orange Thingy

I love a good sales pitch. In fact, one of the things I enjoy the most at fly fishing shows is hearing people hawk their products. But after riding the circuit for a while, I start to say “no thanks” when people ask if they can show me how their gizmo will surely help me land more big fish.

When I have two kids in tow? Its a hard pass.

After a frenetic morning of visiting booths, sticker collecting, and politely asking to place the thousand dollar rod down, I was in no mood for more product demos. Primarily because patiently watching an adult conversation is the absolute last  thing my six- and four-year old wanted to do. That was about the speed of most sales pitches, and rightfully so. Gear X is 50% more fishier than the last generation and 75% fishier than the previous model. Not riveting content for the kindergarten crowd.

Just as we were about to leave the show, I heard the common refrain: Can I show you how this works? I was forming the no thanks when I realized that he wasn’t talking to me. He was talking to my sons.

And he got their attention. Don’t get me wrong – people were nice to them. All of my industry friends went out of their way to say hi and talk to them. But this was the most focused and still they had been all morning.

He asked me if he could help them. I readily agreed, and so he put his product right in their hands.

It was a little orange pen-looking-thingy – the Ty-Rite Jr. I’d seen it before, but never really gave it much thought because I assumed it was just a knot tool.  Knot tools have their place. For those with dexterity or eyesight issues, they are essential. Knowing how things go, I assume I’ll be using them one day. Thankfully that day isn’t today. I don’t anticipate it being anytime soon, either.

Regardless, I was happy to see my boys getting engaged.

My happiness turned to something else when I realized that my son was tightening a clinch knot. All on his own.

This little orange pen-looking-thingy is going to change everything, I thought. If you fish with kids, you know that you are usually fishing only in the sense that you have a rod somewhere in the vicinity. Your own rod is rarely in use, as you are untangling, unhooking, and tying. This is all fine and good. Taking a child fishing is rarely about you. It is about being together, being outdoors, and teaching. Little, helpful teaching tools are never a bad thing.

Watching my boys safely and quickly tie smallish flies onto tippet made me think that the Ty-Rite was going to help me teach… and potentially get a little fishing in, too.

So, we’ve got two little orange Ty-Rites in the house. Each boy has one clipped to his fishing pack. I know that there are still going to be tangles that need untangling and fish that need unhooking. And no tool is going to eliminate the need for assistance with knots. But they know they can tie knots on their own now. That confidence is as important as anything else.

We were on the end of a good sales pitch. It was informative and well executed. More importantly, it was warm, kind, and more than just a pitch. I had a brief conversation with the company’s CEO, and it was clear that he is in this for more than a few sales. For my boys, it was a highlight of the show. For me, it was a reminder that the small things can be just as profound as anything else.


Regardless of your age, eyesight, or dexterity, I think you should pick up a Ty-Rite. Securing a hook is as easy as squeezing the end of a pen. Then, just thread tippet through the now-stable eye. Hold the tag end, spin the device five or six times, and run the tag  through the loop next to the eye. Tighten, press the end, and trim your tag. A perfect clinch knot.

Head over to their website and get one for yourself. Grab another one for a child in your life, or to have on hand for when you take someone fishing for the first time. You’ll be out $12 a piece. Enabling someone to tie that knot effortlessly is worth way more than that.