Aaron Styles - The man behinf Just Another Fisherman
Navare managed to catch up with Aaron Styles, the man behind Just Another Fisherman. The two discuss general JAF happenings and up-coming product drops. 

Navare: Heya maaaaaaate! How are ya? What’s happening in the big city?  

Aaron: Hey bro, ahh been business a usual. Just wrapped up Summer 17 orders and putting the final touches on Winter 18 design and development. We have also been doing a lot of planning with the team regarding new product drops and campaigns. Been trying to fish as much as possible. Few squid turning up in the city which is good fun after work.

N: Your usual sounds hectic! The Summer 17 range was epic. Few pieces I'm sure everyone will be super pumped on. Your team is pretty solid now. We know Mark quite well down here in The Mount, who else is on the team?

A: At JAF HQ we have Jordan Hammond and I working on design. Jordan has been in our production house for a while and moved into the garment and development role 6 months ago. We also have Harry Champtaloup working on sales and retail. The other part of the team are the Fisherman who are scattered around NZ and AUS. This includes NZ anglers Mark Collins, Luke Davis and a few other affiliated anglers. We also have two in Australia, Will Flanagan and Andrew talbot.


Aaron Styles - Just Another Fisherman

 

N: Solid crew! I think a lot of people don't realise the process of getting the end product that sits on the shelves. Having a crew of anglers testing the gear day in day out mean you guys have a pretty good process to creating durable goods that withstand the elements. Do the JAF boys have any trips coming up?

A: Yeah, it's always a challenge. We are always trying to develop products which the boys can get good use out of but still need to design to the small market in NZ, it's a fine balance.
We have a trip coming up in August where we are heading to Aitutaki in the Cook Islands to shoot out JAF Summer 17 campaign. We have a crew of 7 going including a photographer. We have 7 days exploring the island, including a few days on a charter plus a trip to an outer Island in the Lagoon.

N: That sounds like a bloody dream. How'd you run that one pass the wifey? You're pretty lucky to revolve your 9-5 around something you love. Not that luck is the right word as we all know full well you've worked your ass off.

A: Yeah, I was just very lucky to find a gap in the market for a past-time or hobby which is very popular throughout the world. Wifey is happy as long as I still pull my weight at home and making sure the production company is tracking well.

N: So it all started as a hobby and progressed. When did it all start exactly? 

A: I was on a YAK mission with my good mate Simmo and we were talking about how most of product relating to fishing was pretty cheap & nasty. The garments had no good graphics or designs to wear on and off the water. So just for fun through my production company I made some beanies which came vacuum packed as their packaging. That product was the Ledger Beanie and we still make it today. Its not Vacuum packed anymore as its a waste of plastic and when you brought it out of the packaging it was like a pancake, ha! That was back in 2012.


Aaron Styles - Just Another Fisherman


N: I agree 100%. Most of the bigger corporate fishing brands make clothing that isn't that relatable and is a tad tacky. Timing is everything at the end of the day and you seemed to have hit it perfectly. I've had a couple of Ledger Beanies on my dome over the years. They're a winter staple for sure. Have you got any garments coming up that your particularly excited about?

A: I was really lucky, people seemed to embrace the idea. I'm excited about our first Back Pack which we have been working on for the last 12 months. Its a dry bag backpack, roll top with pressed seams, padded lap to sleeves, rod straps and quick access pocket. It's simplistic but practical.

N: I was lucky enough to see the prototype of the Back Pack in the Summer 17 range showing. Super practical for everyday use, not just for fishing. I'd imagine everyone would benefit with a lot of the features on it. Something I'm also pumped on seeing coming through is the Angler Tech. When is this due to drop?

A: Yeah, we always need to look outside the realms of fishing when designing our products as our market place is small. The Winter Angler tech drops at the end of next month. It includes the Bag, new Wet Weather Jacket and Angler Straps. And our summer Angler tech range drops in November which are UV protective products.

N: Looking forward to that bag rolling through! The Summer Angler Tech was what caught my eye in the last range. UV protected tees are pretty essential when your getting reamed by the sun all day on the boat! Anyway, I'll let you get back to it legend. Thanks heaps for your time and good luck with the trip to the Cook Islands. Talk soon.


A: Cheers mate - Always good to chat!