Interview with Brian Westover, Inventor of the Thingamabobber

Brian Westover of Westwater Products explains his "trapped-air" technology

We recently caught up with Brian Westover, owner of Westwater Products, and peppered him with some questions about his products, gaining a patent, and what he’s got planned going forward.

MidCurrent: Tell us a little about Westwater Products. What do you make? What’s your company all about?

Brian Westover: We make thingamabobber strike indicators and some other fun stuff.  I started by making spun deer hair “bird” flies.  These flies are tied to look like various game birds (pheasant, turkey, mallard, sage grouse, and Canadian goose).  Over the years we have thrown some stuff against the wall and to our good fortune some of it has stuck a little bit.  I would say our company is about getting out there and trying stuff and having fun while we do it.  Business (and the business of fly fishing) has some very interesting similarities with actual fishing.  Sometimes it’s hard and frustrating but it can always be a lot of fun and always an education.

MidCurrent: How’d you get started?

Brian Westover: Guided, watched fly fishing movies constantly.  Living and working, both as a guide and before guiding as a shuttle driver/raft shagger, near Dutch John, Utah on the Green River has been a very big part of my life and inspiration.

MidCurrent: One of your products, the Thingamabobber, just earned a patent. It has become wildly popular with nymph fisherman for it’s easy of use and durability. It’s one of those, “duh – why didn’t I think of that” products. Can you tell us a little about the Thingamabober and what it means that you now have a patent on it?

Brian Westover: The Thingamabobber is a great arrow to have in your fishing quiver.  When you are in a situation that calls for nymphing with an indicator, it is a very dependable, durable, and easy to use indicator.  The recognition of a patent is very exciting, it supports all the hard work that went into the development, production, and marketing of the product and validates the Thingamabobber’s unique concept and design.   It has been really cool to see others use them and get excited about this thing that started with a simple idea and drawing.  We as a company hope to build on the success of Thingamabobber and grow into something that stands for all the good that fly fishing has to offer.

Midcurrent: You’ve already started making other products with the Thingamabobber’s trapped air technology for fly tying, like the Thigamabody.  What’s next?

Brian Westover:   We are currently working on expanding our Thingamabody line with more patterns and sizes and also offering a line of flies tied with the incredibly buoyant and durable preformed trapped-air fly bodies. I’ve got stacks of drawings of potential products and have found it a challenge to manage each different stage of development for each new idea.  I feel like if we keep working hard and fishing hard we will be able to make some of these exciting ideas come to fruition.

Midcurrent: If you could fish anywhere in the world. Where would it be and for what species?  Would you need a Thingamabobber to do it?

Brian Westeover:  Too hard of a question.  I would love to fish anywhere for anything.  It’s always fun to get out and get some “strange.” but I think the most important thing for me is to get out as often as I can and enjo the family and friends I have been blessed with.

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  • Ifishitup

    Great article by the man who reinvented nymphing, tying flies to imitate birds with birds, and a really cool mermaid logo!   ZKeep up the good work, Brian.