t.z. | Friday, 4 November 2016

Visiting the REEL MAN - Ralf Vosseler in Germany

Germany is known for lederhosen, beer, the metric system, football (only Americans call it soccer which is the wrong term), fast roads and a car industry second to none.

But it's not all beer & technology in Europe's biggest economy. Germans are and always have been philosophers too. Schopenhauer, Hegel, Kant, Nitzsche and Marx - just to name a few.

lederhosen funny enough I met these guys shortly after I had left Ralf´s factory.
They were heading to a bear fest and there were hundreds of them.
Here you go ... Lederhosen are in fashion

Looking closer at where the hi-tech is coming one finds out that a big part of hi-tech companies are based in the south. These regions are rural areas with fields, forest and small villages. The south Germans are known to be problem solvers. Add the tradition of strong thinkers and a good portion of work ethics you have the soil on which Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Porsche grow.

On the way back from my recent motorcycle and fishing trip through the the southern alps I had a chance to drop by Ralph Vosseler and have a close look at his Reel production.

After a picturesque ride through the Black Forrest I arrived in the little village Talheim. Even though a Saturday I found the man himself at his little factory.

Ralph Vosseler is no exception to above described breed of craftsmen one finds in south Germany. I'd even go as far to call him a classic example of this culture. The father of 4 is a down to earth devoted fisherman and a proud craftsman. He lives an breathes precision in a very positive and charming way. Charming, because he strongly feels that good products should be priced fair and the cost to the end user not inflated by huge marketing and distribution channel cost.

Ralph said that the market for fly fishing products is changing rapidly. A large portion of purchases are made online. In top of this the customer wants unique and high quality products. He recons that customised reel and his ability to deliver fast give him an edge. Direct sales to end users and selected dealers make high end technology affordable, Vosseler ads. A high end boutique product is a good description.

Vosseler Pro-Flyfishing offers a spectrum of different reels - from purist style clicker types to find full blown saltwater models. Besides meticulous precision and smooth drag (sans the click reels) the reels come I many different colours. The housings are all made from high grade aitcraft grade aluminium and cut from massive blocks on high precision CNC machines. The finishes are all anodised.

I was a little nervous of meeting a total technocrat and therefore more than astonished (and quite relieved) when I saw 50 year young Vosseler opening the door himself. He offered me a coffee right away. It actually felt a bit like coming home. We than talked for at least 3hours. About motorcycles, fishing and of course his business. However, the business talk was only a small part. Ralph really lidd up when talking fishing. I'm sure I'll be back some day fishing with him.

P.S. I could not resist and bought a few goodies too ... ;) I can´t wait to put them in action. 

more about the reels on http://www.vosseler.com

tz_RalfVosselert.z. & Ralf in front of some immensly expensive high tech machinery

images by kind permission of Ralf Vosseler 

produktion03gross_01The Vosseler mantra:
Precision is irreplaceable - except for even higher precision.

the reels are made of a highly clean aluminum alloy
which is primarily used in aerospace technology

The material’s structural homogeneity and the lack of lead additives are
advantageous in regard to its corrosion resistance.

A semi-finished reel part is ready to be fed into the turning lathe or milling machine.
Precision already starts here. Only exactly prepared parts find their way into the lathe chuck.

Only 30 percent of the green body remains to form the final reel.
Turning and milling chips of the valuable material will be carefully collected and recycled.

Working with appropriate machining equipment is not enough.
The processing station is equipped with control programs
which are adapted to the special needs of the material.

Experience cannot be substituted.
All employees at Vosseler must have a deep understanding for each individual production step.
They call it "understanding & breathing precision working"

the final product 

2015-06-20 17.33.56
my very own Vosseler RCL

2015-06-20 17.38.49
Vosseler reel loaded with a Thunderbolt 5 attached to my Sexyloops HT4 


picture by Al Pyke 

Thomas Züllich, or - “t.z.” as most call him - is a German flyfisher & flytier living in Norway. His flydressing is based on old traditions as well as very modern and innovative methods of creating flies. You can book Thomas for guided trips, flytying classes and presentations. He regularly gives speeches and demonstrations at fly fishing fairs. Thomas is member of the ProTeam at Partridge of Redditch as well as Regal Vises. 


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