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Is my baby ugly?

We connected with a budding new venture in the outdoor industry. Shoutout to Gregg for connecting us to Tim and Hense, the founders of Cull Well Technologies, who are bringing connectivity and technology to the world of competitive fishing. What started out as a discovery to research and workshop product-market fit and addressable market, eventually led us to some great opportunities and growth hack scenarios. Cull Well will be debuting their first product, a bluetooth-enabled culling system, in early 2025. They boast a unique blend of expertise, industry connections, and deep understanding of technology; giving them a massive leg up on other product manufacturers in the space.

We had a great time in our Blue Sky exercises and workshops, bringing in subject-matter experts across multiple industries to weigh in on the cost vs complexity of our ideas. Our SMEs delivered and shared some amazing growth hacking playbooks and secrets. Some of which I’ll highlight below:

Fulfilled by Amazon Growth Hack

Climbing the ranks of search and visibility on Amazon is a classic chicken-and-egg problem: you need traction to increase visibility, but you also need visibility to increase traction. Clay shared a little nugget with the team about a startup that did it’s giveaways through Amazon directly. Basically using FbA as a SwagUp distribution channel, having real-customers make real purchases, but paid for by the startup. The average CPG businesses freely give products to get into market giving away through either 15-25% of revenue or up to 40% of investment in the case of many startups. While this usually has some implicit value in the form of strategic partnerships or sponsorships, it is often one of the hardest marketing expenses to rely on for sustainable growth. More challenging still, when the product has a high cost of goods, retail price, or a small addressable market.

The beauty of the FbA growth hack is beating the algorithm for growth. We have been asked not to give away ALL the secrets on this, but in short, you basically get real customers to make the purchases of the product but they are doing so at the expense of the business. Write-off the fulfillment and logistical overhead as CAC and boom, you are climbing the ladder and looking like a hot product to the powers that be at Amazon.

Testing the Waters with KickStarter

Another idea the team had was in testing the market through a crowdfunding platform to get real metrics. We got to work forming a hypothesis and KPI definitions to feel out the viability of this route. As it stands, we still have reservations in pulling the trigger on this, but the odds feel reasonable and it is at least a well-informed thesis to work from. The outline of this approach is as follows:

We believe that we can reach 290 backers on Kickstarter at a $200 base price.


  • Co-marketing or paid advertising with a strategic partner
  • $60k invested into the campaign
  • Reaching a total audience off-platform of 400k
  • Baseline KPI’s of 12% Open Rate, 5% CTR, and 12% conversion rate.

Competitive Analysis:

HalaszFish Scale$89$113,945250
Fish CallFish Call$99$112,573800
GoFishFish Cam$115$101,041563
Pocket ReelReel$15$12,340428
Taylor ReelReel$289$18,91451
YariFly Fishing Rod$275$129,633454
KitaFly Fishing Rod$250$89,991826
BeartoothFly Fishing Rod$150$116,629695
White CloudFly Fishing Rod$115$62,471522
ZoomFly Fishing Rod$155$143,535831
PocketFly Fishing Rod$165$222,9601056
TetonFly Fishing Rod$100$92,044660
ProbeFishing Depth$114$13,679120
FinManRod Tool$16$13,102136
Competitive Analysis of other Fishing Products launched on KickStarter

We ultimately decided that since fishing is fairly seasonal across the U.S. that it would be better to hold off for a full year and get our media content and other marketing collateral in place in that time as well as see what other business development relationships we can open.

Virtual Tournaments

This is where things get really interesting. We conceived of a scenario in which Cull Well could seamlessly integrate with live televised events, providing instantaneous on-air data. By targeting sponsors, we would gain access to prominent on-air marketing opportunities, showcasing the product in action for a wide audience. This feature extends to various online streaming platforms, including ESPN and Bass Pro Shop leaderboards. The real-time updates enhance fan engagement, keeping them excited and connected throughout the event. Additionally, this integration opens up possibilities for real-time betting experiences across various sports gambling systems. The live connectivity with televised events not only amplifies the visibility of the brand but also capitalizes on the dynamic and interactive nature of the sports viewing experience.

So far, this seams like the best entry point into the market. The fishing community is vibrant and tight knit. Originally the assumption was to launch a companion mobile app to the physical scale in conjunction, but there may be greater opportunities to explore related to building an audience and targeting partnership with sponsors as a year-one GTM.

Market Highlights

It turns out that the entire fishing industry is one of the most opaque we have ever come across. Landing on hard numbers was very difficult, but for other researchers in the wild that may stumble upon this post, I gift you our findings:

Problems Worth Solving

  • Inefficient and time-consuming culling process in competitive fishing.
  • Lack of integrated data tracking and analysis for anglers.
  • Poor user experience with existing culling technologies.
  • Inadequate integration with other fishing technologies and IoT devices.

Solution Statements

  • Provide a hardware-based and modern culling system for efficient and precise culling.
  • Offer an application for data tracking and analysis of catch history, performance, and trends.
  • Enhance user experience through integration and streamlined technology.
  • Create a central platform for integration with other fishing technologies and IoT products.

What are the demographics of professional anglers?

Professional anglers typically span a range of ages, with many starting their competitive careers in their late teens or early twenties. While historically male-dominated, there is an increasing number of female professional anglers. They often have diverse educational backgrounds, come from various regions globally, and their incomes vary, relying on winnings, sponsorships, and other sources. Travel is a significant aspect of their lifestyle as they participate in tournaments worldwide, engage in promotional activities, and maintain a passion for fishing. The demographics are evolving, becoming more inclusive and diverse over time.

How much do professional anglers spend on gear?

Professional anglers spend varying amounts on gear, considering factors like the quality of rods, reels, and tackle, the number of fishing rods and reels, the cost of boats and accessories, electronics, various lures and baits, specialized fishing apparel, maintenance and repairs, and travel expenses for tournaments and practice. Sponsorships often offset costs by providing gear or financial support. Overall spending depends on personal preferences, competition level, and sponsorship deals.

How does culling fit in?

  • Fish Size Limits: Many tournaments have regulations on the size of fish that can be weighed in. Culling allows anglers to replace smaller fish with larger ones to maximize their total weight within the size limits.
  • Conservation: Culling helps promote sustainable fishing practices by allowing anglers to release smaller or undesirable fish back into the water. This reduces the impact on fish populations and ecosystems.
  • Competition Strategy: In tournaments, anglers aim to catch the heaviest and most valuable fish. Culling allows them to strategically manage their catch, optimizing their chances of winning by selecting the most substantial specimens.
  • Weigh-In Efficiency: Culling streamlines the process of selecting the best fish for weigh-ins. Anglers can quickly identify and replace fish, ensuring a more efficient and accurate representation of their catch during the competition.
  • Fairness and Sportsmanship: Culling contributes to fair competition by allowing anglers to adjust their catch within the established rules. It adds a level of sportsmanship and ethical consideration to the tournament.
  • Adapting to Conditions: Fishing conditions can change throughout a tournament, and culling enables anglers to adapt. They can refine their strategy based on real-time factors such as weather, water conditions, and the behavior of the fish.
  • Maximizing Points and Prizes: Since tournaments often reward anglers based on the total weight of their catch, culling enables participants to maximize their points and increase their chances of winning prizes and accolades.

How does technology fit?

  • Precision and Efficiency: Technology allows for more precise measurements and quicker assessments of fish size. This efficiency is crucial during tournaments where time management is a significant factor.
  • Real-Time Data: Technology enables anglers to access real-time data about their catch, helping them make informed decisions on which fish to keep and which to release. This adaptability is key in dynamic fishing conditions.
  • Compliance with Regulations: Many tournaments have strict size limits for weighed-in fish. Technological culling systems help anglers adhere to these regulations accurately, avoiding penalties and ensuring fair competition.
  • Data Analysis and Strategy: Technology provides the ability to analyze historical data and patterns, aiding anglers in developing more effective strategies for future tournaments. This analytical approach enhances their overall performance.
  • Reduced Stress on Fish: Advanced culling technology can minimize the stress on fish by reducing handling time. This is important for promoting ethical and sustainable fishing practices.
  • Enhanced Communication: Technology allows for improved communication between anglers, tournament organizers, and spectators. Live updates and data sharing contribute to a more engaging and interactive tournament experience.
  • Competitive Edge: Adopting cutting-edge technology in culling gives professional anglers a competitive edge. Those who leverage the latest tools and innovations are better equipped to outperform their competitors.
  • Sponsorship Opportunities: Embracing technology can attract sponsors looking to align their brands with innovative and tech-savvy anglers. This opens up additional revenue streams and support for professional anglers.
  • Fan Engagement: Incorporating technology into culling adds an interactive element for fans. Real-time updates and insights create a more engaging viewing experience, fostering a deeper connection between anglers and their audience.

What are the best tournament fishing markets?

Competitive fishing, particularly in the US, is a significant segment within the broader fishing industry, supported by a strong recreational fishing culture. The market dynamics suggest an increasing demand for innovative, efficient, and user-friendly fishing tools, driven by both competitive and recreational anglers’ needs for better performance and convenience.

Conservative Estimates in Competitions

CountryEstimated Annual CompetitionsEstimated Participants
South Africa15015,000
Without a really elaborate deep-dive, we had to ballpark and erred on the conservative side for these numbers.

Emerging Markets

  1. Japan: has a strong culture of fishing, both recreationally and competitively, with bass fishing being particularly popular. It’s represented in the MLF Bass Pro Tour, indicating its significance in the professional bass fishing scene.
  2. Canada: has vast freshwater resources and interest in fishing could position it as a significant market for professional anglers, especially in competitive bass and walleye fishing circuits.
  3. Australia: has a growing competitive fishing scene, particularly for species like bass and barramundi, with several tournaments and professional fishing leagues.
  4. Brazil: has the Amazon region offering unique competitive fishing opportunities, particularly for peacock bass, with an emerging market for professional anglers.
  5. South Africa: has a competitive bass fishing scene with national championships, indicating a potential market for professional anglers.

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