John Charvat passed away a decade ago following a highly influential career in the fishing industry, but back in the 1980’s he made a young Gary Klein part of something else that was also quite youthful – a fresh new fishing brand called QuantumÒ.
For some good reason, Charvat felt compelled to take the young, sandy blond-haired, bass-obsessed angler from northern California under his wing.
“I don’t know if Mr. Charvat was intrigued by my age or what, but I was really, really young when he made me a part of their new brand’s family of anglers,” said Klein, as he prepares to compete in his 28th Bassmaster Classic.
Klein continued to reflect with fondness. “The brand was launched by great leaders. John Chravat and John Gallaspy were not only great men, but they became great friends to the anglers too,” said a forever-grateful Klein. “That friendship was important for a lot of reasons. For one, we were pioneering new ground together. We were the first reel company to ever make technique specific reels with varying gear ratios and the sort of features anglers now take for granted. There were challenges, but together, management, anglers and the Quantum brand grew.”
Klein draws on nearly a quarter-of-a-century’s worth of perspective as he describes the brand’s current state in a fired-up fashion. “After a run of more corporately driven years, the brand has returned to its roots,” explained Klein. “Bob Bagby, Ray More, John Kushnerick, Chris Strickland and the other guys that lead the brand today aren’t looking over their shoulder. They love what they do. They are outdoorsmen. And when you combine passion with the freedom to be creative, you get the liberty to be and build the best.”
“Quantum’s current management team takes product development to its extreme. ‘Performance Tuned’ means just that. It’s tuned to perform at the highest level. I’ve got the only flip stick in the business with a revolver guide system to provide better balance when fighting fish out of the cover, my spinning reels have heat-resistant ceramic drag systems in them to prevent breaking lighter line on big fish, the list goes on and on. It’s the best stuff we’ve ever had. It’s over-the-top good right now,” proclaimed Klein.
And Klein should know, he’s been a part of Quantum, and Quantum’s been a part of Klein, since the two began their careers.