This Entrepreneur Has Created a Simplified Fly Fishing System Great for Small Streams

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The following piece was originally posted on Dec. 17, 2018 via Rhode Island Inno and is republished here with permission.

Paul Osimo has been fishing for decades. He has chased fish of all kinds all over the world and even worked as a charter fishing boat captain.

Now, the experienced product designer is ready to give back to the sport he loves with his new spin on fly fishing.

Osimo has created the lo-fli fly fishing system and launched a fundraising campaign on Kickstarter to raise money for the first batch.

The lo-fli system is a simplified fly fishing outfit that allows people to hone their casting skills, celebrates hand-lining — a unique fly fishing technique — and can be taken anywhere.

Unlike your standard fly fishing outfit, the lo-fli is only six feet long, has a fixed spool instead of a mechanical spool and can be taken apart into four different pieces and easily fit in a backpack or travel bag.

“It’s not cutting edge, but offers very enjoyable way to fish, a different flavor,” Osimo told Rhode Island Inno. “You fight fish through your fingertips instead of having to rely on the reel. In a lot of fly fishing situations around here in Rhode Island and New England, you are not catching fish with the reel.”

The lo-fli system, composed of a fiberglass rod and a cast brass action spool, comes with 50 feet of weight forward floating line, a welded loop and a tapered leader with an end loop. It is currently patent pending.

According to Osimo, as fly fishers get more advanced, many try to scale down the gear they use to both test their skills and create a more dynamic fishing situation.

So after years of mastering his craft, Osimo was looking for a rod that he could bring anywhere and use at the drop of a hat, even in streams as small as the one outside his office that he could head down to at lunch for a quick break.

After two years of experimenting and testing with his friends, he finished with the lo-fli system, which his friends call the “fixed-gear bike” of fly fishing. The rod is great for small freshwater streams all over the country.

“In a lot of streams, there are trout that are under a foot long, but still beautiful and worth catching and taking pictures of,” he said. “You don’t need big gear for freshwater fishing. This tool can be used successfully in a lot of niche fishing situations.”

Osimo said he initially thought the lo-fli system would be popular among an older audience and people such as himself who have been fishing for many years.

But he surprisingly found a lot of enthusiasm from people in the 18–34 age range, who have been frequently reaching out to him through Instagram.

The Kickstarter, which runs until Dec. 26, had raised nearly $13,000 out of the desired $31,000, as of Dec. 21. Osimo said the goal is not only to raise the funds, but collect feedback on the product.

“We want to see if there is interest in this thing and if it proves the interest isn’t enough, we will scale back or scale to the side,” he said. “It’s all part of design process.”

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