Bonjour, monsieur Rosmann, it´s real pleasure to have you on Spineri.
My pleasure too ! Please call me Franck!
Ok, Franck, for start, tell us what it´s like to have ´your own´ fishing brand? What it´s like to be in head of Sakura? I guess your job is a great joy in one hand and a big responsibility on the other…
Well, you’re right ! It’s a real pleasure that bring many satisfactions all year long depending of our activity. This job put a lot of pressure ans stress too, like a chess game!!! But when your new product or the whole range of your brand become popular all over your country or Europe it brings you joy like victory in competition. I must thank Mr Francis Coutou, former president and owner of SERT, who hired me as product manager 10 years ago when he decided to launch a new brand, Sakura.
Sakura has really nice range of lures, from topwaters, crankbaits, twitchbaits, softbaits, etc. Lots of novelties every year and so on. How many time do you guys spend on developing one single lure? How many of them never earn it´s spot in the final selection?
We try to reach a rate close to 100 % between projects and final commercial lauching. Because of the needs of current market we develop new products all along the year. The main phase is during winter between september and may but some projects need more time.
When you´re developing new lures in Sakura, do you make them to suit you, or you have the final consumers- fishermen in your mind? Or one goes with another?
Yes I can say both ! Some lures or other fishing tackle are “must have” in a complete range to match the market and consumer needs but we already have proven that we have made real innovations based on personal ideas.
And when it´s all done, do you know you have a killer lure that will be accepted worldwide? What it´s like to see that something you made catches fish all over the world?
In this kind of “game” you must be ready to face to all situations and stay humble and modest! But sometimes you think your lure will be a killer and nothing happens, sometimes it´s the opposite. But when developing rods, for example, it’s easier to think in advance what will be the future of your creation. Perhaps it’s because there’s less competition and because Sakura is very popular and has one of the best reputation for building good and affordable rods.
You know our products and we are lucky enough to offer some worldwide class lures, that’s a great feeling of joy and proudness when you see big fish that produced big smile on fisherman’s face ! It’s probably just because we are fishermen too !!!
Now, a little something about Franck Rosmann the fisherman. When Etienne visited us last year, we talked about you quite a lot. He said your style of fishing is power fishing, among other things. What are the advantages of power fishing, why do you prefer it?
I must say I like this kind of fishing because it’s active and often brings surprising and violent strikes. Power fishing allows you to have success even if you don’t know a place or if you’re not equiped with hi-tech sonar and fish finders. When I started fishing this kind of electronic devices were not allowed in France so that’s probably why I learned lure fishing with this efficient style. One more important point is that Power Fishing make you move a lot and ask you to adapt your strategy depending of the new spot you discover. It’s sometimes mechanical, but not boring !
What would you say, when is power fishing most efficient? Time of year, conditions, etc?
I can say that Power Fishing is efficient all year long. You must adapt the depth, the speed and the kind of lure you are using. There’s no only one style to practice Power Fishing. You can use topwater lure as well as heavy spinnerbaits or even rubber jigs. I remember one tournament in Spain we have not won but finished it on Top 3 thanks to shallow water Power Fishing with 3/4 Oz football jig with soft crawfish trailer.
Finesse fishing? How do you stand with finesse fishing and do you use finnese baits only when it´s absolutely necessary?
I like Finesse fishing too. I like fishing weedbed edges with small rubber jigs, targeting schools of perch or trying to find bass with light texas rigged softbaits. But you’re right, I use Finesse only when conditions are hard and fish inactive.
We know there is no such thing as a best lure, but there are some better than others. Do you have your favourite(s)? Lures you believe more than the others?
If we talk about bass lures, I like very much using rubber jigs, spinnerbaits and stickbaits or poppers. I also like buzzbaits beacause of the explosive strikes they can produce sometimes. One year I fished bass during all along the summertime only with a special buzzbait I have modified. For pike, spinnerbaits and spintails (Divinator from Biwaa) are my favorite lures. With my fishing buddy of the 90′, Laurent Poulain, we won many tournaments with spinnerbaits. These victories helped us to promote lure fishing in France thanks to the good results we had fishing versus natural bait anglers.
What kind of lures are in your fishing box when you`re after a black bass?
I have all kind of lures from topwater to bottom. Hard, wired or softbaits ! The only lure I did not use at all for bass is jigging spoon.
Favourite fish? Black bass, or?
Hahaha ! I think you already know the answer! Yes, Black bass stays my favourite fish because he’s a great part of my life. Even if I fished him obsessively for years, he impacted me not only my fisherman life, but he followed me since my teenage and help me be what I’m today. I did some small action for him compared to what he gave me during all these years. Now I have a new relation with him and don’t fish him as intensively as before. I discovered tropical fish both in saltwater and freshwater and I must admit I like GT and Peacock bass too… But it’s not the same story!
Fishing scene in France? What are you guys after mostly, what do you catch, with what gear and so on? Boat fishing, bank fishing, sea fishing?
In France, if we only talk about lure fishing, I can say that there’s two different major kinds of fishermen practicing in our country waters. Saltwater anglers targeting seabass and freshwater ones looking after Pikes or Zander. For sure you could find big catfish, bass, trout or perch fishermen but these first ones are the trendy. More and more anglers use semi-rigid inflatable boats or “bass boats” fully equiped with updated electronic fish finders and sonar. They use spinning and casting gear with all kind of lures and they are very skilled now if you compare the fishing level to the one we had in France 15 years ago, it’s amazing.
You traveled a lot, right? Visited some remote places and caught some nice fish. Do you have some place you would like to visit again?
I traveled a little bit more in tropical destination that’s right. It’s to balance the lack of time to go fishing during the year because of hard work. I pay attention to save some weekends to be with my family. I traveled many times in Madagascar and I really fell in love with this island for many reasons. It is not complicated to travel there and it’s a safe country with nice people…and good sized fish ! I’m sure to be back in the very next years. Same for Brasil and the great Amazon rivers. I had a nice trip 2 years ago but fishing was very hard. I need to go back there also to meet more Tucunare than during this first trip.
Peacock bass? You caught some.. What it´s like? Power fishing to the bone, I guess?
Peacock bass or Tucunare is a concentrate of muscle and hi-energy power. We can call him “Fast and Furious”. You’re right, it’s pure Power Fishing!!! I had never seen such a powerfull fish before. I sincerely recommed to your readers to try it once… or twice!!!
If you had to choose one characteristic that makes a good fisherman, which one would it be?
The most important for me : being respectful to nature and fish.
And bigger picture? What does it take to call someone a good, even great fisherman? Quick adjustment, open mind, lots of hours on the water, lots of gear, persistence, ..?
Nowdays, facing to high pressured fish, of course you need to have a wide range of lures and gears but it’s not the most important in my mind. The skills that make a good fisherman in terms of efficiency could be : open mind and sense of observation and being able to think like a fish. In french we call it “le sens de l’eau” that means to understand how the fish environment works and how the fish reacts to changes (daily, weekly, monthly, etc). When our population was more rural than urban this skill was common because people were fishing for eating. Now, mainly practicing catch and release, our fishermen put more confidence in tackle and electronic to help them to connect with fish! They are a new kind of good fishermen!
When we interviewed Tanguy, he said, simplified, sharing is a great way of learning about fishing. Internet made it so easy to share things these days, how do you feel about social networks, forums, blogs, etc? Is it easier now to learn something new, or there are too many infos that can make someone who just started fishing all confused and lost even before he started?
I agree with Tanguy and definitly think sharing from one to each other is the best way to learn. Not thru a machine, but live ! That’s one of the reasons why I founded Black Bass France in 1994.
Spinning vs casting. In intro for this interview, for which we are grateful, you said lure fishing for pike, bass and zander is 60% baitcasting and 40% spinning. Here in Cro spinning gear is much more present. Baitcasting gear has it´s share in pike fishing and sea fishing from the boat. Only small part of bass fishermen use baitcasting gear. Maybe the reason is that we mainly catch bass from the bank and most of the time with some of the finesse fishing methods. What it´s like in France and how would you bring closer advantages of baitcasting gear to the (bank) bass fishermen here?
Yes, bank fishermen mainly use spinning gears everywhere because of simplicity to use and efficiency to cast far effortless, that’s why it’s still very popular around the world, and in France too. When I (with my friends) did promotional actions with BBF we talked about comfort and quality of lure presentation. When you do close range cast like pitching (and this is easy to explain during fishing show or exhibition in shops) the people understant that you cast is accurate and delicate, so you can catch more fish and longer thanks to the ergonomics of casting rod and reel. Bass are very often hidden in the cover close to the banks so you don’t need to cast so far. But if you want to do you can buy a longer casting rod and it’s done ! Nowdays we (Sakura and other fishing brands) offer baitcasting gear able to cast finesse lures. For me, it’s clear when you must use light lures (< 7-10 g) it’s better to switch to spinning gear. I have nevers said that everybody must let spinning tackle down and only use casting one because it’s trendy or more fashion. A fisherman must be adaptative and use the best gear at the right time.
When fishing from the bank for black bass, what do you use most often? Spinning, or casting gear, reel, rod, lures?
To be linked with the previous answer, I always bring 2 rods when I go fishing from the bank for bass. 1 spinning combo like a Shinjin Neo 6’6 ML or Trinis Neo 6’3 M with a size 2008 5,1:1 Siryx reel filled with 8 X Sensibraid 0,12 mm and a casting one Furiozza 6’8 M or MH and a 6,4:1 casting reel like an Oxio or Calix filled with 0,16 mm braid line or 0,33 mm Aya mono. I always use fluorocarbon leader. With these combo and a small assortment of lures, I can stand many conditions.
I put in my box some bags of soft stickbaits like Gary Yamamoto Senko, Grubs and Crawfish or Flappin’ Hogs. For sure, I select some clear and 2 tones Slit Shads in size 10 cm (very versatile) and I take some hooks, glass beads and bullets in various sizes to Texas rig or weightless rig my softbaits. Some rubber jigs in 1/2 oz in black/red and watermelon colors are perfect. Never forget 2-3 spinnerbaits in hot and natural colors in 10-17 g (Monarc) and 2-3 medium sized jerkbaits (8 cm) and 2-3 in small size (5 cm), they are here to match the fry, so I prefer natural colors (Akaru Minnow and Phoxy Minnow). To be complete I pick-up some topwaters in small to medium sizes (4-10 cm) in mixed natural and hot colors (Pop’n Dog and Naja) and 2-3 shallow to medium runner crankbaits in the Golem and Bomba crank models.
I find that many fishermen here neglect the shore when they are after bass. Do you search for bass out in the open water straight away, or you work the bank first?
I agree with you. I always start to fish a new spot fishing the bank under my feet! Sometimes there’s some caves and bass like to ambush here… So be quiet when apprcoaching new spot and start casting some meters before the edge of water.
RH baitcasters.. They´re big in USA? What do you think of that, did you try it?
Since I started baitcasting I alwayas ask why american anglers mostly use right hand baitcasting reels!!! After years of investigation I have the following answer : US angler (at least in the past) were mostly Power Fishermen with big crankbaits and spinnerbaits and because this technic need physicial stamina and strength, they used their stronger arm, wrist and hand (if they were right handed) … the right one for casting and cranking ! Their weaker left arm was not sollicited as much to move the lure, just holding or jerking the rod. In Europe because of our fishing technics using lightest spinning gear to cast and move accurately the bait or the lure, we only use our stronger arm to cast and animate the lure. The cranking motion done with spinning reel is not so powerful and fast as with a casting reel doing Power Fishing! When I discovered the casting gear, I naturally tried to find left hand reel to keep my habits!!! I tried some RH reels but I don’t want to change.
Back to Sakura.
What can we expect in 2016. from you guys? New Ruty Minnow is an absolute killer, I fell in love with Phoxy HW at the first sight, Slit shads are still our favourite softbaits.. What´s cooking for new season in Sakura´s kitchen?
Hé hé ! Many, many news are cooking ! To give you a quick overview : we will widen the Phoxy Minnow HW range and colors, bring a new lipless crankbait with 3 different sound patterns, a metal blade, some intersting saltwaters lures like pencil popper and surface skipping spoon, new sizes of Crazy Anchoa jigs and Mister Joe, etc.. We have designed a super mini-monarc for finesse spinnerbaiting and different models of swimming jig and chatterbait, etc. Rods and reels ranges will be changed or completed as well (3 new series and new multi-piece Mitsio Travel).
Modern lure fishing in the future? Where do you see it, in what direction will it go? Real life decors on hardbaits, softbaits that look, feel and smell like the real thing, UL fishing, down-sizing of the gear, scents, ..?
I think fishing tackle must keep limits in terms of capacity to fool the fish by themselves! I think human action must be kept, that’s the thrill of fishing… If it’s too easy it’s not fun nor intersting ! I really wish that we could use more and more environmentally safe products to make lures and packagings.
And for the end, something that many people asked us already.. Sakura UL tournament 2016.? You were so generous last year, can we count on your support this year too?
We really appreciated to see such motivated people like you and all croatian anglers enrolled in this event, doing a very good promotion for our brand. For sure, we will support the 2016 Sakura UL tournament.
Monsieur Rosmann, thank you for everything, I hope I didn´t ´smother´ you too much and we´ll talk again when you make the final line up of the gear for 2015.
Merci beaucoup encore une fois!