Over the past few weeks, we have had the opportunity to test out Pirate Fly Fishing’s brand new First Mate Fly Patch. The First Mate is a velcro fly patch that you can take fishing anywhere. Affix this patch to your raft, cooler, bag or bench and you can rig up without worrying about your fly box slipping out of your hands.

Whether we were searching for redfish in the Charleston Lowcountry, hunting for brook trout at fortress lake, or searching for stripers in Mass, the First Mate had its place. Easy to use with an innovative design, and great functionality!
We had a chance to sit down with the Pirate Fly fishing team to talk with them about the new product.

Flylords: Tell us a little about Pirate Fly Fishing?

Pirate Fly Fishing is a company Maddie and I founded after I had graduated from college. I studied business at the University of Colorado. I was frustrated with the number of job applications I was filling out requiring “five years” experience for entry-level positions. I decided at the time that I would make my own job experience. I reached out to Maddie to help me because she had done some design work for the CU Fly Fishing Club. She was a senior at the University of Illinois so we had a few skype meetings discussing product ideas and, (after a TON of back and forth!) settled on the logo. When she moved back to Colorado we started to really bring Pirate to fruition.

Flylords: Can you tell us a little about the history of the original Pirate’s Fly Patch and what makes it unique?

I came up with the idea for our original product from some pictures I saw on Instagram of flies stuck to the headliner. My buddy’s family van that has gone cross country too many times on fly fishing trips had the same story, the ceiling had been converted into a pin cushion for flies left in the car. I did my research to see what existing products were out there to solve this problem and I came across a few others but none of them seemed to be developed very much.After we decided what the product was going to be, we began to start prototyping. We ordered 3D printed models and taught ourselves about injection molding by reading “Injection Molding for Dummies”…seriously. For the clips on the back, we tested quite a few materials and shapes. I actually drove to dealerships testing out our clips on vehicles in the showroom. The conversations I had with the salesman were pretty awkward.
In order to set us apart from other fly patches, we wanted something attention-grabbing, so after several sketches and spray paint tests, we chose the bright yellow-brown trout pattern as our first design for the Pirate’s Fly Patch.

Flylords: Why do you think anglers need one of these fly patches?

Angler’s need the First Mate because there is nothing worse than losing a fly for no good reason. The First Mate can go anywhere in a pinch, whether it’s sticking it to the raft or float tube, or clipping it to your pack. The rare earth magnets help keep track of a loose fly, or help you tie on that third dropper. The First Mate has the same double layered foam design from the Pirate’s Fly Patch, the top layer has an open slot and the bottom layer is solid. This way you can slide the hook in the slot and catch the solid layer for security.

Flylords: What’s the story behind the name “Pirate Fly Fishing”, the team has been dying to know?

Pirates are fearless on the water and never stop seeking out treasure, no matter how much they already have. We believe every angler has a little pirate spirit in them, except we don’t encourage the pillaging.

Flylords: These First Mate patches are badass and have come with us in a variety of fisheries. What is the coolest place you’ve seen or heard one of your patches going?

We’ve taken it to the beaches of Costa Rica filled with EP minnows, poppers, and clouser minnows. We slapped on a loop patch to our submersible backpack and walked miles of sandy beaches searching for roosterfish. We’re hoping you can beat that though.

Flylords: Any new graphics in addition to the brookie and brown trout spots? Something in the cool/warm water species realm?

We’ve been talking about doing a saltwater pattern. I can visualize this patch getting a lot of use on a flats boat filled with crab and shrimp patterns. I think we would do either a silver/blue bonefish or a bronze redfish pattern.

Flylords: Do you guys have any new products in the works that people should be on the lookout for?

Right now we don’t have anything in development but we are brainstorming some new ideas. We like to take the time to see how the market reacts to our current products to find out what features they like the most and what we can improve on. When the Frist Mate has been out for a year we will start to develop another product.

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