Slick Stuff: An Interview with Steve Fournier

Hang around with guys who work with machine tools and you quickly learn that they are a different sort. They tend, for example, to take their work very seriously. That’s why we weren’t surprised that Steve Fournier, who manages Dr. Slick’s fly fishing tools business from a small shop in Belgrade, Montana, knows his business inside and out. Whether it’s Chinese steel vs. French steel or the likelihood that plier grip materials will grab a fly line, Fournier knows the numbers.
We got a chance to talk with him recently about the challenges of running a niche fly fishing business, about outsourcing, and about how things like catch-and-release fishing and synthetic materials have changed the design of tools for fly fishers.

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  • Clyde Pullen

    Great interview. Every company has to figure out what their “Core line” is and continue to improve on those “Core” items. The rest is “gravy.” Dr. Slick uses “Field Testers” for their new ideas in tools, etc. This is invaluable input from these people.
    Also, they are very conscious of “skilled tradesmen” to produce better products. They also know what color or style clamp or scissors people prefer in different parts of the country or in different countries. Thus, they can advertise or emphasize those products to those customers and, or regions and make more sales.
    Main thing is to have “Core products” and then add what the customers wants in new tools or materials.
    In His Love,
    Clyde E. Pullen