A Louth businessman has told the Leader how his love for angling led to him creating his own brand and successful fishing tackle shop - having built it all up from nothing.
Jason Hingston is the director of Advanced Angling Solutions, based at Tattershall Park on Louth’s Fairfield Industrial Estate - and his shop is the only dedicated fishing tackle store left in the town following the closure of Castaline back in autumn 2014.
Advanced Angling Solutions was established that same year; initially as a brand for fishing equipment and tackle - which quickly became a household name - and later expanding into the store that stands there today.
Jason was a Division One junior national champion at angling in his younger days, but it was always just a hobby until he went to college to study business at the age of 17.
Having become well known on the circuit for his angling ability, a local fishing shop in Grimsby - which was the second biggest tackle shop in the country at the time - approached Jason outside the college gates one evening and offered him the opportunity to work for them while continuing his college course.
Jason said: “The next week, I’m out of college, and I’m running 10,000 square feet of fishing tackle, with five members of staff, and a £20,000 budget a week to spend to keep the shop going. I was in at the deep end!”
Jason, who has also worked as a postman and a fibreoptic engineer, later left those jobs behind and flew out to China, where he met one of the biggest manufacturers of fishing tackle in the country - who knew Jason through his reputation in the industry.
It was there that he created his very own brand, which is now sold each and every day, all over the world.
However, at his shop on the Fairfield Industrial Estate, Jason emphasises the fact that customers travel there from miles around because of his high quality products, his expertise, and - most importantly - him and his team’s excellent customer service.
Jason said: “We still offer the ‘old school’ fishing tackle shop experience.
“It’s not like the sterile environment you would get in a superstore.
“If a guy comes in here and stands there looking at what’s on our shelves, he might have no idea unless we ask ‘hello, can we help you Sir?’.
“Otherwise he might just walk away, even if he really wants to buy it, because what he wants is the friendly bit and the advice that goes with it.
“With something like angling, it can be a bit bewildering if you don’t quite know exactly what you are looking for.”
Advanced Angling Solutions’ online sales have also rocketed recently, with four or five members of staff now dedicated to packing the outgoing parcels - while Jason and his fellow angling expert employees offer their customer service and expertise on the shop floor.
• To find out more about the store or the brand, visit www.advancedanglingsolutions.com or call 01472 841 015.