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Former Abu Garcia President Len Borgström dies aged 88

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Firmer President of Abu Garcia and the man who helped launch the Ambassadeur 5000 reel, Len Borgström, died this week at the age of 88.

Len Borgström, grandson of Abu Garcia founder, Carl Borgström, and the man who helped launch the Abu Ambassadeur 5000 reel before serving as company President, died on Wednesday – five month’s short of the company’s 100th anniversary. He was 88.

A fishing reel pioneer, Borgström joined Abu Fishing Tackle, as it was then known, as an international marketer in 1954. He was Vice President for 10 years from 1960 and became President in 1970.

In 1978, he oversaw the merger between Abu Fishing Tackle and its US importer, The Garcia Corporation, from when the company became known as Abu Garcia.

Harlan Kent, the CEO of Abu Garcia’s parent company, Pure Fishing, paid tribute to Borgström, saying: “Len Borgström was an amazing ambassador of fishing and a wonderful gentleman who will be missed. 

“He loved the Abu brand and was constantly giving me suggestions on how we could make better products and provide improved customer service.

“He loathed ‘suits’ working in the fishing industry and thought it was for avid anglers only. He was well loved by the Abu Garcia family and his colourful stories of fishing on the Mörrum River will be remembered by all of us.”

Borgström attributed part of the company’s success to the fact that both he and his father, Gote Borgström, were keen fishermen. “We did not let anything out on to the market unless we had tested it ourselves for at least one year,” he once said. “Every reel was tested by us personally.”

Next year is the company’s 100th anniversary and it will take the opportunity to celebrate Brogström’s leadership, vision and legacy

For more insights into the Borgström, his reflections on the development and launch of the fabled Abu Ambassadeur 5000 reel and a look at the history of Abu Garcia, read the 2018 Bassmaster  story here.

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