I achieved something difficult – to combine my greatest passion with my professional work. Thanks to this combination, I created a brand that - I really hope - will forever remain an icon of the fishing industry. I have designed many artificial lures that have been helping anglers around the world experience amazing adventures on the water for over 30 years. While visiting beautiful places on several continents, I met many interesting people. However, I consider my greatest achievement and success to be the fact of reconciling all this with family life.
Yes - you can call me lucky!
I'm a fisherman
From the first bleak I caught on piece of bread, I knew that this would be my passion that no other can compete with. It turned out that this passion turned into a way of life and a good business.
I am a fish biologist.
Five years of higher education at the Faculty of Fisheries of the University of Warmia and Mazury, with many subjects allowing to explore not only the secrets of fish life but also the principles that govern the underwater world. From the very beginning I knew that I would not work in professional fishing. However, during my studies I met many wonderful people - mostly anglers. Many of them influenced my future life path. These two factors - ichthyological knowledge and contact with a very different approach to fishing, undoubtedly helped me in my future work.
I am an artist and designer.
Since my early childhood I have been painting, drawing and sculpting. There were even plans to study at the Academy of Fine Arts. However, the fish won. Just like they didn't give a chance to other infatuations that often appeared in my life. However, amateur artistic skills were very useful in my work as a designer. The vast majority of Salmo designs (both shapes and colors) are my work. I am very proud that so many of them have been included in the global canon of the most effective lures forever. Of course, none of this would have been possible without the great team of people I had the honor of working with on these projects.
I am a traveler.
I love catching new species of fish in exotic places. Thanks to my work, I have, in some way, realized my passion for traveling and exploring the beauty of Mother Earth. The vast majority of these escapades were closely related to studying the preferences of new customers - fishing techniques and the most effective lures. Each trip involved comparing the effectiveness of my projects with local bestsellers. This combination of passion, science and adventure was truly unique and wonderful!
I am a social activist
Since its establishment, in 1988, I have been active member of the Pasłęka River Friends Association “Passaria”, which tries to save the trout rivers of the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship before its final destruction (www.passaria.org). I believe that each of us should give something back to society apart from taxes. While enjoying the priceless benefits of nature, we should also feel some obligation towards it. Without a doubt, we still owe a debt that must be repaid sooner or later. Let us hope that the young generation will be able to cope with the tasks ahead of them.
How did it actually start?
I hear this question quite often. Well. It's hard to say, but probably at the moment when I first took my dad's spinning rod in my hand - bamboo rod equipped with a reel manufactured in Czechoslovakia (there was such a country!) called Rex. What year was it…probably 1968 or ’69? But perhaps it happened a little earlier. That's when I picked up my dad's magic box of artificial baits.
I would give anything to find them now. Unfortunately, the family investigation has not yielded any results so far. It was a metal box, I think it was a cigar box. It contained only treasures - artificial baits from a previous era. I remember perfectly well the spoons and several “devons”, darkened with patina and rust. These were small, usually metal, hybrids of spoons and spinners. The shape of a "fish" is equipped with two "fins" on the sides. These fins, twisted into a propeller, caused the bait to spin. I'm sure each one was well polished by my fascinated fingers from repeated viewings. Then there were holiday fishing. Dad took a spinning rod, but he rarely fished with it. We mainly caught bleaks and roach with breadcrumbs. Those were really nice moments. Both the fishing itself and the celebration associated with transporting the fish home, scraping and frying them. However, I have always dreamed about fish that eat our bleaks. I will never forget the first pike I caught with my own hands using a spinning rod borrowed from my dad. A spoon thrown from a small section in the reeds was hit by a predator probably 25-30 cm long... I was so happy that it took me a lot of effort not to take it home. Another memory that undoubtedly had a significant impact on my later life was a visit to the Moby Dick fishing shop in the basement of the Central Station in Warsaw. It was probably in the mid-1970s. So, in times when domestic production dominated in fishing shops, Moby Dick always had the latest products from companies such as DAM, Balzer, ABU, Mepps and Rapala on the shelves. It was there, at the shop exposition, that I saw the Rapala Original for the first time. It was something so beautiful and at the same time unattainable for me that it is difficult to even describe the feelings that tore through my teenage soul at that time! This little piece of balsa wood cost a fortune. From what I remember, when I quickly counted, my dad could buy maybe 10 such baits for a month's salary... Standing there with my nose glued to the window, I thought - why does it cost so much? I must have something like this. If I can't buy it, I must make something similar!First pike caught on self-made crankbait
My first crankbait
was created shortly after these thoughts. The inspiration was also the book by Tadeusz Andrzejczyk entitled "Lake Fishing" - the first professional literature on the Polish market showing all aspects of modern fishing. Beautiful photos showing not only the fish but, above all, the equipment completely captivated me. After some time, I could literally quote long fragments of chapters on predatory fish. I literally fell in love with ABU lures, especially wobblers. My confidence in the unrivaled effectiveness of these lures reached 100%, even though I obviously didn't even have the opportunity to hold any of them. And so, after several experiments, carved from linden wood and painted with silver oil paint, the first "serious" wobbler was created - the ABU Hi Lo imitation. This lure gave me a lot of joy, not only because of the fish I caught with it.Asp and pike caught on a copy of ABU HiLo lure
Already in the first year of high school, I knew that my further education had to be related to fish.
I wanted and simply had to learn about fish!
The choice turned out to be simple. The only place where you could study fish biology in Poland was the Faculty of Water Protection and Inland Fisheries operated at the then University in Olsztyn. In the 1980s this department was quite elite. There were seven candidates for one place! In my environment I was treated like a harmless freak. In Olsztyn, however, I met a whole bunch of similar guys who came to this University driven by a love for everything that swims in the water, which is difficult for laypeople to understand. Another thing is that few of my friends knew what they were going to do after graduation. Everyone just wanted to learn more about fish.
Unfortunately, five beautiful years of youth passed quickly. During my studies, in addition to knowledge of fishing subjects, I of course explored the secrets of lure fishing and also started earning extra money by home-producing wobblers. I had the pleasure of starting the quite long history of the "Olsztyn wobbler school", which had a significant influence on all fishing craftsmen in the country. I traveled a lot to fishing competitions during which my lures sold very well and then caught fish in all parts of the country. For those times, my products stood out both in appearance and work. I think I was the first to use glitter fabric to cover the bodies of lures. Others most often used aluminum foil for this purpose or simply painted them with paints. In a short time, a large group of colleagues appeared who, each in their own way, perfected the craft of producing crankbaits. The exchange of experiences and materials resulted in increasingly beautiful and catchy lures. It was probably then that the idea of turning this game into a business occurred to me for the first time. After graduation, I worked first for 5 years as a scientist for the Polish Academy Of Science in Olsztyn and then for a little over a year as a guard in my beloved Pasłęka River. Beautiful, almost carefree times, enriched with frequent trips around the country and the nearest abroad, mainly in search of trouts. During these trips, I easily sold every quantity of wobblers I (and my friends) produced. However, in 1988 I started a family and with a slight delay I realized that it would be worth taking better care of its future. The opportunity arose in 1991, when, following the wave of political changes throughout the country, small and large private businesses mushroomed. So, together with a friend five years younger than me, also a graduate of Fisheries, Radek Zaworski, in April 1991 we established an entity called –
The beginnings were difficult. We started with two people, in the rented basement of a small single-family house in Olsztyn City. It's a wonder we didn't blow up that basement. We painted the baits by immersing them in nitro-based paints and of course there were no ventilation system ... We hired employees and learned from our own mistakes. It was close to failure several times. My father saved us from collapse several times by supporting us both financially and in kind - by building the first devices used in mass production. We moved production three times and in January 2007 we settled permanently in a factory built according to our own design in Naglady village near Olsztyn.
In the meantime, production was growing and lures under the Salmo brand were reaching anglers' boxes in new countries. It was a matter of ambition for me to show off as many countries as possible where we had distributors. At the peak there were 45 of them. Now I know that this was not the most important thing, and more energy should have been directed to other areas. Meetings with potential clients, traveling and learning about anglers' preferences and, of course, the opportunity to fish in many countries were extremely informative and undoubtedly valuable.
In 2013, the partner decided to go his own way, so I became the sole owner of the company. Just three years later, we received an offer to sell the factory and the Salmo brand. The bidder was the largest European company in the industry - FOX International. One year later, we signed a contract, and the Salmo brand became part of the FOX family. According to this agreement, I managed the business for two years and then decided to take up design and promotion.
From the beginning of 2024, I decided to end cooperation with FOX International and, therefore, also stop supporting the Salmo brand.
However, I am not ending my relationship with fishing. I decided to try my hand at broadly understood consulting. I am not only a lure designer and the creator of a world-renowned brand. My background is fish biology and fisheries. I think this is an interesting combination that should interest the market.
This is a shortened version of my professional life. In the meantime, of course, I was addicted to fishing. In the country I focused mainly on trout and pike. In 1989, together with a group of colleagues, we founded the Trout Club "Passaria", which in 1996 was transformed into an association called the Society of Pasleka River Friends “Passaria”. I have been a member of the management board of Passaria since its establishment and have been its president for many years. For those interested, I recommend the TMP Passaria website - www.passaria.org
Finally, a few words about my fishing. In fact, from the beginning of Salmo's existence until today, it has not been the same as for the vast majority of you reading this. I used to say that "I'm always at work when I'm fishing", which was often treated as a good joke by my colleagues. Meanwhile, it was true! I could write on this topic for a long time, but I will try to explain it in a few sentences. Many times, I have had the pleasure and honor of fishing with world-class anglers. They were professional guides who knew their waters like the back of their hands. They were also professional anglers who made their living by competing in competitions, sponsored by great global brands. They were also journalists writing for the best industry magazines and "ordinary" enthusiasts of our favorite sport but recognized as champions among themselves. I tried to learn as much as possible from each of them. This concerned both the selection of baits and the presentation techniques that, in their opinion, worked best in a given situation. I always asked each of them to use the baits they thought were most effective, although they often out of courtesy suggested fishing only with Salmo baits. I then explained that I would fish on Salmo and let them fish with the best baits proven in this water. Only this way - by comparing the results we achieved - will I be able to check the effectiveness of my projects and draw conclusions that will allow us to come up with new solutions and projects. As a result, I usually did not fish with baits that seemed obvious at first glance in a given water. However, I tried to match it with some bait from the Salmo collection and possibly find a new presentation technique or, as a last resort, give up knowing that some new solution would be useful! Of course it hurt sometimes! Everyone likes fishing and a normal guy has a competitor at heart... Well - I used to say that this job is not that hard... miners have it much worse! ;o) However, there were times when my results were comparable or even better! You can believe me - such moments are remembered for a long time. Of course, it is hard to imagine a better promotion than the opinion of a local fishing guru.
I also took part in many fishing competitions. Of course, everyone likes to win. However, I don't consider myself a player. For me it was another opportunity to compare the effectiveness of my baits and techniques with the best. Not to brag, I even managed to stand on the box and even win several big events in the country.
I always try to experiment. If a friend on the boat decides to fish with a smaller lure - I choose a larger one, if he fishes with a bright color - I fish with a subdued color. In my opinion, only this approach gives me a chance to come up with something new.
And the fish? Well, I managed to catch a lot of them. There were also a few specimens. However, my primary goal has always been to test and improve Salmo lures. I simply didn't see any other way to build an original, unique offer.
I have always welcomed with great pride and joy information about specimens caught with our lures, broken personal records and great adventures in which Salmo lures played a significant role. For me it was the most valuable reward for my work!