Fly-Fishing's Trip From Japan to U.S.

At Shipwire, we are constantly reminding ourselves we are building a long-term business, not just “doing a job.”

This train of thought reminds me of a customer who built a business around that same idea. Tenkara USA, supplier of a rare type of fly-fishing equipment, is run by founder Daniel Galhardo in San Francisco, Calif. I’ve been fly-fishing quite a few times; but, I’ve never done it in the traditional Japanese method where you only use a rod, line and fly – no reel. Galhardo is an avid fly fisherman and, in my opinion, a guy that can spot a lucrative business opportunity just as well as a great fishing spot.

What was the “a-ha” moment behind his brainchild? When Galhardo picked up that Tenkara was an unknown type of fishing outside of Japan -- but would fit very well in American waters. He also said he believes that today people enjoy taking things back to their roots and simplifying life, so why not simplify fly-fishing?

He put it all together, and today Galhardo is at the helm of Tenkara USA , which since 2009 has been proving itself a formidable player in the fly fishing industry. Galhardo is a great example of an entrepreneur who has created a new category in his industry by focusing his time on truly building a business rather than merely creating a job.

Galhardo said two of Tenkara’s secrets to success lie in 1) keeping to a traditional word-of-mouth marketing approach and 2) focusing on delivering a stellar sales experience. To allow him to focus on the customer, he outsources and automates pieces of his business. He said he does this so he can focus on the core aspects of running his business.

“My whole objective out of the business was to learn a lot about business while still being able to go fishing and do what I want to do. I learned in the first few months that I didn't want to spend any time in a warehouse. I wanted to focus my time on product development, marketing, sales and the customer experience, the high impact pieces of the business,” he said.  If you want to learn more about automating your business check out our blog at  If you’re interested in Tenkara - “streamlined fly fishing”- visit Daniel’s fly fishing equipment site at