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Industry tributes to former EFTTA President Dick Tallents

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Tributes have been paid to Dick Tallents, former EFTTA President and Managing Director of Masterline Walker, who died recently.

The death of Dick Tallents, the former Managing Director of UK company Masterline Walker and a previous President of the European Fishing Tackle Trade Association (EFTTA), has drawn tributes from the industry.

Tallents made his first appearance in the industry at the age of 17 when he was pictured on the front cover of the 1967 Allcocks Anglers Guide.

He went on to become Managing Director of Masterline for 36 years and had a seat on the EFTTA Board for 12 years. He was also a long-serving member of the British Fishing Tackle Trade Association, the forerunner of the Angling Trades Association (ATA).

“He was a great character and very fun-loving,” said Gregg Holloway, Managing Director of Hopkins & Holloway and a former EFTTA President. “In his time at EFTTA and the ATA, he worked very hard to take the trade forward and to establish a better profile for the industry.”

Caroline Thomas was among the founders of EFTTA in 1980, and helped launch the first EFTTEX in 1982. She was the Association’s General Manager until 2002.

“Dick was a much respected member of the fishing tackle trade,” said Thomas. “He took over his company from his father, Phillip Tallents, one of the founder members of EFTTA. 

“Dick continued the family support for EFTTA, serving on the Board for 12 years and as President for three years. His enthusiasm and energy did much to promote both the trade and the sport of fishing.”

Few people knew Tallents better than his long-time Marketing Director, Chris Leibbrandt, who now owns Charismatic Marketing. “We were polar opposites in most respects – me a working-class kid who got free school dinners and Dick with a boarding school background. Despite the differences, he hired me anyway,” said Leibbrandt.

“Masterline looked after some great brands, including Ryobi, Cortland, Rapala, Storm and J.W. Young, as well as working with true angling greats like John Wilson, Bob James and Charles Jardine. Most of the time it was a blast.

“We had some fun times, like when we were asked to move seats on a plane to Korea because we were disturbing other passengers. It turned out we were laughing too much!”

Christian Dibisch, Managing Director of World Fishing Tackle, in Germany, knew Tallents for 30 years. “Dick was a nice man who worked hard, but also knew how to have fun,” he said. “He was very popular. His death is a big shock.”

Phillip Tallents and Terry Collingbourne, both former Shakespeare employees, formed Masterline in the early Sixties after deciding they could make fly lines in Tewkesbury.

Dick followed his father into the business, ensuring there was no regime change for 43 years. Masterline was acquired by Australian company, Jarvis Walker, in 2008 and he stepped down as Managing Director six years later.

“It has been a challenging, but fantastic career,” he told Angling International at the time. “But now is the time to move over and allow the new management to manage.

“Among the highlights were buying the company back from Ryobi in 1998. It was an exciting time, and the last six years with Jarvis Walker were a great experience.”

During his career, Tallents also held directorships at J.W. Young & Sons, which Masterline acquired in 2001 and with Sportsmail Ltd. 

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