Recently, our friends over at Gibbs-Delta Tackle offered to make some custom Highliner flashers for Islander and these beauties are now available for purchase. Islander’s own Steve Rennalls had a chat with Gibbs-Delta owner Rob Alcock to find out more about The Highliner Flasher, Gibbs-Delta, and Rob’s personal passion for fishing.
SR: Not all our followers are familiar with flashers or salmon trolling tackle so give us a quick background on how flashers are used and why.
RA: Flashers are used as an attractor. Their larger size and action replicates a similar flash that a school of baitfish would give off. The objective is to attract fish to your lure. The connected lure (36” to 72” behind) replicates a wounded fish falling behind the school.
SR: What makes Gibbs-Delta tackle—and specifically the Highliner flasher—unique compared to alternatives?
RA: The Highliner flasher body style was first made of metal by Gibbs in the early 40’s. Later the design was created in plastic and now there are a few competitors with the same design. We manufacture all of our flashers with 2 x ball bearing swivels and pride ourselves in our ultra violet injection quality. The final component is the tape and we trust only 3M glue to withstand the ongoing abuse that flashers take.
SR: As owner of Canada’s largest tackle manufacturer, innovation must be at the core of your business model… How do you stay on top of the latest tackle trends?
RA: We have a carefully selected Pro-Staff team of Professional Guides that fish for a living. Their experience and wealth of knowledge is key in helping us adapt to the ever changing fisheries. They are on the water every day and they see the trends in how fish are feeding, where they are feeding, bait size/color, etc.
SR: How did fishing become such an important part of your life?
RA: My dad was an avid angler and outdoorsman. My passion for the outdoors started at a very young age spending time with my family fishing. I was fortunate to grow up in a small town on Vancouver Island and had easy access to lakes and the ocean. It was just what we did. It wasn’t always about catching a fish either…the time spent together with friends and family was the biggest advantage of fishing and I’m excited to be able to share that with my own son now.
SR: When did you know that fishing was what you wanted to do as a career?
RA: Not sure that I can pinpoint a time I wanted it as a career but like most dedicated anglers, you always think about how cool it would be to do this for a living. For me there was an opportunity to buy the tackle company and we went for it. It was a big decision, we packed up our young family and moved from the Island to Vancouver. It was quite the lifestyle change.
SR: What’s the history behind the Gibbs-Delta we see today?
RA: I got involved by purchasing Delta Tackle which at the time was a smaller independent company. It really helped me get an understanding of the industry. After 4 years and some more knowledge, I went into partnership with Syd Pallister (the owner of Gibbs). My goal was to continue obtaining brands and to grow the company. Syd since retired and Gibbs-Delta has acquired Zak Tackle (from Washington), Rhys Davis and Oki. We also distribute Silver Horde and Yamashita in Canada.
SR: Anyone who knows you—or even about you—knows that time on the water is important to you. Judging by the photos we’ve seen so far this season aboard your boat “The Tackle Box” the fishing has been great. Any advice to help anglers get out and take advantage?
RA: The only way to get out is to personally make it happen. It is very easy to come up with excuses why you can’t go. We are all busy with family, work and other commitments but nothing replaces that day on the water with family and friends. I have a tape measure philosophy that I use all the time. It is a simple visual that really puts things into perceptive.
Simply stretch a tape measure out to 80” (about the average life expectancy) then get realistic and chose a number that you think you will still be able to obtain an active lifestyle at (can you still crank your boat on the trailer at 72?). Now, put your finger on your age. All the tape from zero to your age is gone, there is nothing you can do with that. What you have left is the small piece of tape left between your current age and your expected active lifestyle end. That piece gets shorter every day. Take advantage of the piece of tape that you can still control. To quote my good friend Rick Clark, “If you get a chance to go fishing…..go fishing.”
SR: How can anglers stay up to date with what’s happening with Gibbs-Delta and “The Tackle Box”?
RA: The Tackle Box often has updates on the Gibbs-Delta social media platforms and also on my personal instagram account @west_coast_angler
You can find the Islander Highliner Flasher here. To learn more about Gibbs-Delta and the rest of their tackle lineup head over to their website.
2 thoughts on “Islander/Gibbs-Delta Collaboration”
I would be interested if you were looking for another person to field testing. I use your products, mostly flashers and spoons, a lot, and fish almost every Friday of the year around the lower mainland. Rod Chow https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqDOLQeWd3U
Hi Rod, we appreciate your support and passion but at the moment we’re not looking for additional Field Team members. Tight lines!