Welcome to the first-ever installment of Flylords’ “Small Business Spotlight” series. When it comes to fly fishing, constant innovation and ingenuity are synonymous with the spirit of the sport. That being said, new products are always being released, many of which don’t really meet any actual needs of anglers. However, every now and then, something comes out of the woodwork that really catches the eye and makes one think, “Wow! Now, this is a game-changer”. In an effort to support the foundation of the industry, Flylords is looking to bring a spotlight to small businesses we believe in. Here, we’ll highlight the up-and-comers in the industry we hope to see in every angler’s pack one day.
This week, we’re taking a look at the new indicators that are really (not) making a splash in fly fishing. GHOSTech Strike Indicators.
Having grown up a Pennsylvania angler myself (Wills Donaldson), I was no stranger to the necessity of nymphing, especially in the colder months in between fall and late spring. While some purists may protest that idea, and there is no problem in sticking with what you love, there is no denying that the underwater food chain is far more dependable than relying on weary wings landing on the surface. However, when it came to finding my preferred style of nymphing, I found that every method seemed to fall short in one way or another.
When it came to fishing minor flows and narrow creeks, common-place indicators seemed to fall short. Splashing giant plastic bobbers into gentle currents and eddies seemed to immediately alert any trout within a 100-meter radius to the falsity of my presentation. However, on the other hand, the more “stealthy” indicators made of dubbing, putty, or even dry-dropper rigs, became engulfed by the smallest riffle and couldn’t seem to stay afloat after the 3rd or 4th drift without a heavy application of floatant. Tightlining was of-course an option, but when it came to fishing slow-moving water and clearer pools, there was always the issue of staying stealthy and getting the reach needed (maybe I’m just a crappy fisherman).
Then, I stumbled across GHOSTech strike indicators. GHOSTech presented itself as a splash-free solution to all the problems that I had experienced above. I immediately reached out to founder, Stephen Cunic, to learn more. Within a week, I had a pack of GHOSTech indicators in my pack and was ready to find out whether or not they were the real deal.
Upon opening the pack of several indicators, I was skeptical but certainly intrigued. The small flower-shaped puck was incredibly light in my hand. On the underbelly, there were 3 small plastic bubbles encompassing the bottom of a screw. I wondered how something so light could possibly carry a fly, but continued to screw the puck onto my line. Attaching the indicator was incredibly easy, and by unscrewing the little plastic nut, I could move the indicator up and down my line with ease.
When it came to casting it took me a second to get aquainted, but within a few minutes, the indicator was landing exactly where I aimed it. Casting it was a lot like tossing a dry fly, and I was amazed as the little flower puck gently glided through the air and tenderly graced the water. It floated across the current much like a bubble, blending into its surroundings flawlessly. It didn’t take more than a few drifts before I was hooked up on a hard fighting fish, and it wasn’t soon after that that I knew these indicators were going to be a valuable addition to my arsenal.
We had a chance to chat with founder, Stephen Cunic, about GHOSTech, and how he runs his small business)
Flylords: What is GHOSTech?
Stephen: GHOSTech at the surface is simply a splash-free indicator, adaptable to an individual’s needs, designed to help anglers catch more fish by eliminating their influence on the environment….but it’s also more than that.
GHOSTech / PaduaFly is a brand for people who believe in tactical fly fishing. For those individuals that look at their craft from a tactical & scientific perspective. For those who don’t just listen and follow others’ techniques blindly; it is for those who investigate the natural world implementing their own thoughts, ideas, & techniques to find success & personal joy through the inquisitive nature of fishing.
Flylords: How did GHOSTech start?
Stephen: GHOSTech Started through Necessity and observation. While out fly fishing I would consistently splash and scare fish while using other products. Knowing this was the opposite of my intended goals, I explored other options of indicators on the market and they all lacked to fully fulfill my needs(mostly needing to add floatant to make them work [why are we adding stuff to force something to work?!? It should work right out of the packaging] or needing a backpack full of sizes to adjust to fishing conditions ~silly).
While trying to force other indicators to work for me I observed bubbles floating down the water and thought ‘how cool would it be if I could simply attach bubbles to my fly line?’. So that is what I did.
Flylords: What separates Ghostech Strike indicators from any other indicator on the market
Stephen: GHOSTech is the ONLY Splash-Free indicator on the market that is ready to work for you right out of the package (no need for adding chemicals to (floatant), cutting, or manipulating the product for the product to be put to work…). More so, they can hold more weight than traditional fiber-based products, they are adaptable to an angler’s needs for the day, and cast more naturally than other bobber style indicators. The more you use the product the more you learn about them and how they can adapt to your individual needs. PLUS, they are 100% USA MADE!
Flylords: What has been one of the most interesting lessons that has come out of starting a small business in the fly fishing industry?
Stephen: Definitely how diverse this community really is; and I love it. We all know the archetype of the folks that are in this beautiful community and that “Type” is far from reality. Which is a beautiful thing because we don’t make products for cookie-cutter citizens. We make products for individuals; those who look at things from an explorative perspective….our clients are not step and repeat/copy and paste kind of folks. They are unique and we are here to serve your unique styles and vision to push the expectations of the industry to fit the needs of all by making products designed for the few.
Flylords: How can people support GHOSTech?
Stephen: Obviously, as a small growing business selling some product is always a blessing; Sharing your experiences with our products is really one of the best ways you can help support our vision. Sharing with your friends, family, your local fly shop, or guide and even with us is not only the support we need but the support we love. We love hearing from you; hearing of your successes and your memories makes this whole thing worth the late nights making indicators by hand for you. The best support is sharing and spreading the word of our products and brand to others you know think differently; those who think like you who look at fishing from a tactical & inquisitive perspective.
Thank you to Stephen for taking the time to sit down and chat with us about GHOSTech. If you want to show your support, feel free to click HERE and give them a try! Keep an eye out for more Small Business Spotlights coming soon!
*photos taken in Colorado