TYCOON TACKLE – Miami, Fl.
In 1931 nineteen-year-old Frank O'Brien Jr. decided to quit his job at the John Reynolds Cutlery Company and move to Florida to work for his friend Jack Reynolds at the newly formed Florida Fishing Tackle Company in St. Petersburg Florida. O'Brien traveled the state of Florida and on one of his trips to Miami O'Brien heard stories about giant fish in the Bahamas that were splintering rods and burning up reels. O'Brien was already a seasoned angler and decided to try his hand at landing one of these mythical beasts.
During the early 1930s, O'Brien fished his way around Florida and the Bahamas not only landing a few notable fish, but also gaining insight into the reasons why anglers were having such poor luck landing the larger tuna and marlin. O'Brien realized that inadequate tackle was, to a large extent, the reason for failure so he decided to become part of the solution.
O'Brien left Florida Fishing Tackle in 1935 to start his own company producing fishing rods of his own design. The company he founded he named Tycoon Tackle and the rods he built revolutionized the sport of big game fishing. Frank O'Brien's rods were second to none and at one point held 95% of fishing's world records.
O'Brien held patents for his laminated rods the most famous being the "Bimini King", the gold standard of big game fishing rods. Other big game rods in the Tycoon arsenal included the "Martuna", the "Royal Hickory", and the "Scion". Tycoon also made a full line of smaller rods dubbed the "HRH" and "Regal" rods. Tycoon not only made rods for salt water fishing, but they also produced baitcasting and fly fishing rods as well.
During World War II Tycoon Tackle received government contracts making parts for the war effort. Tycoon's work was of the highest quality and always on time earning them several commendations for their fine work.
When the war ended it was back to business as usual building the finest fishing rods money could buy. During this period Tycoon Tackle moved part of its operation to Puerto Rico and began experimenting with new materials. Fiberglass rods were coming into favor and Tycoon came out with their own line of rods to keep up with the times.
In 1956 Tycoon Tackle merged with Fin-Nor reels to form the Tycoon/Fin-Nor Corporation.
In 1959 Frank O'Brien sold Tycoon/Fin-Nor to Charlie Dunn of Southern Tackle, another tackle company located in Miami, Florida. Dunn sold the company to Henry Breyer III of Bryer's Ice Cream fame in 1964.
Tycoon Tackle changed hands a few more times before slowly fading away. In 2011 Tycoon Tackle, like a phoenix, rose from the ashes when Frank O'Brien's youngest son Tim resurrected the brand and started building high-quality custom rods.