Tom Slater | Who AM I?
Product Planner @ Daiwa Australia
That's right, I design fishing gear for a living!
I've been working in the Australian fishing industry for over ten years. Starting at Fish Head Specialist Fishing Tackle as a junior salesperson. Three years later I moved on from retail and began working with the crew from Nomad. My position evolved at Nomad, from Warehouse Manager, to Marketing, to Sales and finally finishing as Brand Manager. After working at Nomad for almost five years, I decided it was time for change. I started in 2016 as Marketing Manager for Rapala VMC Australia.
All of those experiences have led me to where I am today, which I sometimes have to pinch myself to appreciate. Since late 2017, I've been employed as the Product Planner at Daiwa Australia. I literally get paid to research, design and plan the next generation of rods, reels, line, lures and all sorts of other accessories and apparel for what I consider the leading tackle manufacturer in the world.
Pretty legit huh?
I grew up fishing Daiwa, my first high-end reel purchase was the original Daiwa Steez 103. I tricked that thing up to within an inch of its life. Custom spools, handles and knobs where the first thing. Then from there it evolved into fine tuning the internals. Things like polishing all the metallic parts inside the brains of the reel to ink out every little bit of performance I could. This was where my love affair with high-end tackle started, and while for the middle half of my career in the industry saw me deviate what was in my rod locker from my love of high-end Japanese tackle, my appreciation of Daiwa and what they created never dwindled.
Taking all that into consideration, sitting here now getting to see, touch, feel and shape these new creations to better serve Australian anglers is a huge honour, and one I don't see myself getting sick of anytime soon.
As for the fishing, these days I find my time split equally from the freshwater to the salt. I still fish as many tournaments as I can get around to, but my true passion is experimenting new techniques for Australian bass. With the Hunter Valley just a few hours up the highway from my home in the northern suburbs of Sydney, any chance I get you can normally find me towing my Phoenix up the Hunter Expressway on a bee line for Glenbawn Dam.
I love producing content, so I've decided to use this website along with my social media channels to showcase what's it like working inside the Australian fishing industry. There's so many great anglers now sharing their stories from on the water, and with me finding it increasingly difficult to find time to fit in as much fishing as I'd like, I thought why not offer up something different.
The Blog will be the best place to stay up to date with what's going on in my life and at Daiwa Australia, so sit down, relax and enjoy the all new Tommyslats.com!