OUR STORY

Made for Fishermen, by Fishermen.
Founded in 2016 – Driven by Frustration

Frustrated by a continuing trend of increased prices, lower quality products, and a lack of concern for the areas they loved to fish, FFP Founders, Ty Nelson and Tim Sommer, set out to make a difference. 

We noticed that anglers were changing for the better while much of the fishing industry was becoming worse. Anglers are more passionate now about protecting the water we all love to fish, but many of the large corporations we once supported are solely focused on increasing profits. Fighting the decline of the estuaries that their customers love to fish just isn’t a priority for many of these big brands.

We’ve set out to be a difference in this industry. We want to take care of the anglers, support the fishing community, and fight for conservation. If a company isn’t on board with these simple principles, then they do not deserve our money.

Our mission is simple: We desire to provide high-quality fishing products at an affordable price. In addition, we believe that man was created in God’s image, and he calls us to be good stewards and exercise wise dominion over his creation. Therefore, we are committed to promoting the responsible management of our fisheries by creating a culture of conservation-minded anglers to promote the restoration of our fisheries for generations to come. 

How it all began

When our founders started Florida Fishing Products from our college couches in April 2016, they had three goals in mind: develop high-quality fishing products that fit their needs for chasing inshore gamefish in Florida, provide customers with excellent customer service, and create a culture of conservation-minded anglers along the way. 

Over five years later, we’ve developed a number of great fishing products, educated thousands of anglers on conservation issues that Florida’s fisheries face, and served over 10,000 anglers who have so graciously put their faith in our products. While we have seen a lot of growth in the past five years, it hasn’t come without its headaches.

FFP Has Created A Culture of Transparency

We’ve had quality control and funding issues; dealt with red tide that devastated our sales for months in 2018; we’ve seen employees come and go; and our team has had their fair share of personal hurdles to overcome along the way. 

We’ve been transparent over the years about many of the issues we’ve had to overcome and have always done our best to make things right when these issues affect the customers who so graciously support us. As we continue to grow, we want to continue to honor and live up to the original goals our founders set forth for FFP and continue to be as transparent as possible with the anglers who choose to support FFP.

Where Florida Fishing Products Is Made

We want to address the question of where Florida Fishing Products are made. When our founders started FFP, their goal was to develop products that suited their own needs for fishing for inshore gamefish in Florida. They fished Florida, were raised in Florida, and were proud to launch a company to help conserve and restore Florida’s fisheries. However, it was never their intention to produce fishing products in Florida. 

Instead, with an understanding of economic globalization, our founders sought to find manufacturer’s around the globe that could help produce the fishing products they intended to design and develop for use in Florida’s diverse fisheries. Florida is the “Fishing Capital of the World” after all, and there are so many unique gamefish that require equally unique fishing equipment to successfully catch them. 

The goal was to find manufacturers who could produce high-quality products that could hold up to the harsh conditions that anglers put their fishing equipment through in order to successfully catch Florida’s most sought after gamefish.

BASED IN
TAMPA, FLORIDA

After a brief stint in law school, our co-founder, Ty Nelson, moved next door to good friend and fellow co-founder, Tim Sommer, in Tampa Heights. Over the first few years of operation, they moved from downtown Tampa to across the street from Ulele Springs to their church’s dilapidated youth ministry building and finally planted their roots in a warehouse space just west of Tampa International Airport. 

It is here in Tampa, FL that all of our products are quality checked by anglers, where customers are cared for by fellow anglers, and where our sales and marketing efforts are driven by anglers. In an effort to better serve fishermen, Florida Fishing Products has made it a point to hire and work with passionate fishermen.

Where is FFP Made?

After nearly a year of research and product testing, our founders chose to have their first product, the ORIGINAL Osprey Spinning Reel, manufactured in China. The reasoning was that they found they were 1) unable to find a manufacturer in North America (let alone just in the United States) and 2) that their Chinese manufacturer had decades of experience in producing high-quality fishing reels and were interested in innovating with a couple of young entrepreneurs like Tim and Ty. 

Countries We Work With Today

Today, FFP works with or indirectly through companies in the US, Korea, Singapore, Vietnam, Italy, and China to produce the products that we currently offer. As we continue to grow and learn, we will continue to scour the globe for new technologies and emerging manufacturers to produce more advanced and higher-quality fishing products to suit our anglers’ needs for chasing gamefish.

#FISHBETTER

Creating a Culture of Conservation-Minded Anglers

Our #FishBetter Campaign isn’t just about putting more fish in the boat, it is about ensuring that anglers have a future of being able to get out and fish. There’s no arguing that development has put significant pressure on our environment over the past 100 years; and if we continue to neglect our waterways, there will likely be few places left to fish.

Florida Fishing Products stands boldly for the conservation and restoration of our marshlands, coastlines, rivers, lakes streams, and oceans. FFP gives a portion of every sale back to conservation via the Sport Fish Restoration & Boating Trust Fund which funds America’s wildlife commissions like FWC in Florida.

In addition, we have taken it upon ourselves to help create a culture of responsible, conservation-minded anglers who put the future of our estuaries above their own personal interests. Changing the way anglers think of the fisheries they love to fish begins with education, and we are committed to providing valuable information needed to help make these changes.

Finally, Florida Fishing Products has begun to work with other small businesses, fishing clubs, and local non-profit organizations to set up community clean ups throughout the state of Florida. Removing trash from our shorelines helps ensure that less plastic and other harmful waste makes it into the estuaries we love to fish, and gives communities and opportunity to educate others on the importance of properly disposing of trash.