Russell Rothwell admits he's an embodiment of the Kiwi No 8 wire mentality but it's why he's come up with a range of fishing equipment that is so popular to New Zealand fishing enthusiasts.
Rothwell owns Rusler Fishing Equipment, who recently inked a partnership deal with Yachting New Zealand. The company makes quality fishing equipment, from landing nets and gaffs to bait sliders and rod leashes, designed and developed for the toughest New Zealand conditions.
He's recently designed a Mooring Mate which, as the name suggests, assists boaties and yachties with picking up a docking line.
The partnership deal with Yachting New Zealand sees a 15 percent discount on Rusler products for Yachting New Zealand member card holders or through the smartphone app.
Rusler's range has increased significantly since Rothwell created his first landing net, a concept design his father had first started.
"My father was a very keen fly fisherman and he had a project he worked on before he died," said Rothwell who worked in the golf industry for many years in a number of roles, including a golfsmith, and most recently for Wilson golf clubs until a couple of years ago to focus on Rusler. "After he died, I found this half-finished net in his garage and I asked my mother what it was. She explained it was a fly fishing landing net.
"I looked at it and saw the potential, so I decided to work on it and complete it. When I started showing it around to a few stores they latched onto it and asked me to create other things. My range now is basically all through recommendations and suggestions from my customers."
Rusler products are made predominantly with lightweight stainless steel to cope with New Zealand conditions and come with a five-year manufacturer's warranty. Rothwell said he has never had a product failure in 20 years of manufacturing Rusler nets and that boaties have a natural affinity with stainless steel.
He's excited about the potential of the Mooring Mate, which is vastly different to traditional boat hooks which are often unwieldly, sometimes difficult and problematic to use.
"The Mooring Mate has a wide gate and you can’t miss a line, ever," Rothwell said. "As a consequence, you can do a number of things with it depending on what you want to do with the docking line. You can take a docking line directly off the jetty; so you can scoop, grab or hold the docking line with ease and certainty. That is unique to the design of the Mooring Mate.
"It’s like driving a car. Once you get used to how it operates, you would never have anything else on your boat. It’s so much superior.
“I guess I've always been a tinkerer. I developed a critical eye for detail when I was building golf clubs and developing the Rusler range. I have always had a flair for good quality design, appreciating and respecting good design in all walks of life. I never compromise on quality or performance. There’s also a certain amount of the No 8 wire ingenuity in the Mooring Mate design, something New Zealanders are justifiably renowned for, so I would like to see the Mooring Mate confirm that reputation and epitomise the image."
Yachting New Zealand chief executive David Abercrombie welcomed the partnership with Rusler Fishing Equipment and predicted the products would be popular among the yachting and boating communities.
“Russell’s passion for innovation and perfection comes through the moment you meet him," Abercrombie said. "His brilliant range of products will find a use on any boat, be it racer, cruiser or fishing and we welcome Russell and Rusler Fishing Equipment to Yachting New Zealand’s partner family and the unique member club card and app.”