Gote Borgstrom was first introduced to fishing by his father, Carl Borgstom, founder of A.B.Urfabriken, who designed and fished his own reel.
son Lennart Borgstrom
The older you get, the more you realize how wise your parents were. I guess that is true
for most people. Imagine if one could reach them now and tell them how grateful one
is and how one with time has been ever more impressed over their wisdom and far-
My father was without doubt not only my father. He was the father of Swedish sport
fishing. Napp och Nytt was the sport fisher’s bible. Whenever a new Napp och Nytt was
published, it was like Christmas for the sport fishermen. A complete collection of Napp
och Nytt (or the English version Tight Lines) is worth a fortune. I wish that my father
would have lived to enjoy this.
He fished as often as he could and even during his most active years in business he fished
every week. Sometimes pike in the Baltic Sea or sea trout or salmon in the Morrum
His far-sightedness and his way of planning for the future still amaze me. He started
The Swedish Sportfishing Promotional Institute (Fiskeframjandet). The idea was to get
as many people as possible interested in fishing. He realized that his task was not only
to make reels for grown-ups. It was important to also make quality reels at prices that
youngsters could afford. The more expensive reel had to subsidize the lower priced reels.
Everybody should be able to afford fishing. Hundreds of thousands of Swedes have found
their love for fishing, stimulated by my fathers Napp och Nytt.
It was Gote Borgstrom’s ideas in the early 1950s that were the base for the development
of the most popular casting reel in the world – the Amabassadeur- still the world’s most
popular casting reel. Today it is the model for all modern casting reels.
My father started with debt well over his ears. He was the one who took all the risks and
laid the groundwork on which I got the privilege to continue building into the world’s
strongest name in quality fishing tackle. My admiration of my father has over the years
only grown stronger both as a business man and a human being. Every time I hear some artist sing
"You are the wind beneath my wings", I think about how both my parents really were the wind beneath my wings.
Do you know that you are my heros?
Record or ABU as we know it did not suddenly appear in 1940/41 as often cited, when Gote presented his first Record reels.
His fertile mind must have had the potential and been incubating ideas for many years prior to these reels being released.
Likewise his ability to choose good staff, who would also help bring his dreams and aspirations to life, would prove to be visionary.
Certainly many factors were responsible for the dizzying heights ABU reached under Gote's control
start of second world war, with the banning of many materials
being imported, including fishing tackle imports from
B. the demise of the taximeter business in Europe
C. his passion for fishing and awareness of the business potential therein
D. his awareness of the current marketing approaches in this growing industry
E. his support by family, friends and staff, all with a passion for sports fishing
Many companies throughout Europe and the rest of the world were nibbling at this market.
Other companies in Scandinavia, Hardy in UK, Heddon, Pfleuger, Shakespeare, South Bend and others in USA are just a few of the influences that Gote was aware of.
He learned from them and sought his company to be better. In just a short decade or so, ABU was well on the way to becoming a world-beating fishing tackle supplier to all who sought the best.
It took market awareness, creativity, good business acumen, persistence and dedication to the desire to spare nothing in the search for quality.
His reel designs, as well as those that he employed, like Murval, Nurmse and Svenssen and so many others ( here ) started the company but impetus was maintained for decades!
Obviously, reels alone were not to be the ABU that Gote envisioned .
hardware to be offered in the inventory
such as rods, baits/lures, gaffs, landing nets, fish priests, fishing-lines, terminal tackle, like hooks, swivels, leaders, split-rings, oils, grease,sharpening stones, smokers, weighing scales, casting plugs, spare parts such as spools, handles, rod rings, binding silk, lacquers
B. Catalogs and promotional materials to be created
even before the 1948 and forever on Napp och Nytt, other small ABU/Record booklets existed (sometimes published by other sellers of these products) to make fishers aware of product, in languages other than merely Swedish.
importance of education of both staff, retailers and the buying
and encouraging the sport of fishing to become the domain of all, workers and customers, be they men, women or children
a world view of the ABU brand and the influence it could have on
thus promoting the use and sales of ABU equipment on all continents except Antarctica
E. Initially having wholesalers for a short time to sell his first Record reels
ie Paul Berghaus (Pebco) and Wilhelm Denninghoff (WD) assisted with this success no more retailers were sought.
Two decades on, Gote is still filled with the passion for fishing.
He would have been well read and aware of what fishing equipment was in the marketplace what gaps there were to fill in terms of short-comings with then current models and quality offered.
Catalogued examples of pre-ABU
These pre-existing catalogs were useful to stimulate further ideas in Gote's mind.
Such came from around the world at first , but closer to home catalogs of all sorts of general fishing equipment , would have been source nutrients to his already fertile musings.
The earliest I have found came from this 1936 Swedish catalog
The following of course were from pre-A.B.Urfabriken era
Sportfiske, Broderna Sandstroms Sportaffar located in Stockholm.
Now from the post-A.B.Urfabriken era
Nygrens Fiskredsknapsaffar located in Goteborg
Leidesdorffs from Stockholm
Reels from around the world...