We envied Jose’s life. After he family moved from Cuba to South Florida in the early ‘60’s, he learned to fish from his dad. From there, his fishing expertise lead to becoming a very successful charter captain the lower Florida Keys.
Jose was involved with both Shimano rods and reels and our G.Loomis brand – he was as well-versed with a fly rod as he was with spinning, casting and trolling tackle – going back to the 1980’s. For the 1993 tackle year, we featured Jose in ‘Shimano Fishing’ – a combined magazine and product catalog where he shared his knowledge on tarpon fishing – a story that got many of us at Shimano just itching for a trip to the Keys and a chance to battle a silver king.
It was in 1995 when Jose debuted his Spanish Fly TV show on ESPN2 – and obviously for all of us, we sure did enjoy seeing him using Shimano and G.Loomis tackle as he projected a thorough enjoyment to the sport of fishing. A few lucky ‘Team Shimano’ members even had the ultimate thrill of appearing on the show.
As we developed new saltwater tackle over the years, listening to what Jose had to say about it was always in the mix. Stella – Torsa – Trinidad – we let Jose beat those reels up on everything from tarpon, AJ’s, tuna and sharks – before we brought them to the market. And as worked on new fishing techniques, it usually always started with a trip to the Keys to check all out with Jose.
Back in 2006 when we introduced the Shimano Butterfly System, the birth of system had its roots in Key West starting in 2004. Our product development guys had a blast as Jose put them on big fish after big fish to see how our Trevala jigging rods would handle it all – all leading to showing anglers not only in the Keys but in many saltwater fishing areas that the Butterfly can be even more effective than live bait.
And most recently, it was the Shimano Waxwing swimming jigs and our Terez saltwater rods where we relied a great deal on Jose. He helped us prove the success of the System on tuna and dorado. And he even had a hand with some of the original prototypes of the Tranx reel – who better to test it out on big tackle-busting fish than Jose on his Spanish Fly center console.
Yes, we all envied Jose’s life. It was all about fishing. It was all about helping folks become better anglers – including many of us at Shimano. And we can’t thank him enough for that. Rest in peace friend…