For years and years, anglers have been cutting their fishing line with a variety of methods. Scissors, pliers, knives, fingernail clippers, and their teeth just to name a few. While these methods have worked for decades, every angler has also dealt with rusty scissors, rusty pliers, rusty clippers, and even chipped teeth!
Because there was never a better, more efficient way! Until a few years ago that is…
The Beginning of a Line Cutting Movement
We met up with the owner of Line Cutterz, Vance Zahorski, who has taken the fishing community by storm.
Vance grew up fishing in Chetek, Wisconsin off of a dock on Prairie Lake. He can vividly remember catching panfish with his grandfather from as young as four years old. Since then, fishing has been the focus of his whole life, and like the rest of us, it’s more than just a hobby… it’s a lifestyle.
Over the years, he expanded from Prairie Lake onto other freshwater fisheries and even some saltwater fisheries. Through this expansion, he was forced to try new baits and thus, started using heavier line to adapt to the conditions and fish he was targeting.
Vance, like many of us, used the tried and true method of biting his line to cut tag ends or swap baits… until he chipped his tooth twice while trying to bite his line.
After this unfortunate scenario and a few trips to the dentist’s office, Vance found himself fishing at his good friend’s wedding near Destin, FL. To start his day, he had thrown a cast net to get some bait. After a few throws, he pulled up a mullet and filleted it prior to sending it out as bait. After a couple of casts, his line took off and he set the hook to begin the fight. A few minutes later, he finished reeling in a 3 foot Blacktip shark, which got tangled in braid. All he had on was board shorts with no pockets, so he ran up to grab his fillet knife to help free the shark from the tangled braid. Amidst the chaos, he didn’t realize how close the knife was and ran right across the blade, almost losing his toe… for entrepreneurs, this was his “Aha Moment”.
The New and Improved Way to Cut Your Fishing Line is Born
After almost losing a toe and taking a few too many trips to the dentist’s office all because of some fishing line, Vance knew there was an opportunity to improve the lives of thousands of anglers. His idea was to create a way to cut your fishing line that was safe and easy to transport. So, he began making a prototype ring out of JB Weld Automotive Putty and the blade from a dental floss box.
After a few attempts, the very first Line Cutterz ring was born.
After some long nights spent talking to his wife, Vance decided to leave a great job and a newly renovated house in Arizona to pursue his dream. From the time he made the first prototype, it took about a year before he had a true working prototype that was a little more professional than JB Weld Putty. However, finances got tight during that process and he and his family had moved into his parents’ basement for a few months.
The Highs and Lows of a Startup: Finding Investors
Line Cutterz sales took off, proving that anglers loved his solution, but Vance needed capital to fund the rapid growth. He made a trip down to Dallas to an open interview for the popular ABC TV show, Shark Tank. They loved the idea, and the fact that this ring wouldn’t cut skin, so they put him on the fast-track to meet with the sharks.
Vance’s episode aired on Shark Tank in November of 2016. During that episode, Vance cut a deal with Daymond for $120,000 for 33% of his company.
From the time his episode aired, Line Cutterz saw more than 250X growth in a single month. Business was booming.
The Expansion of the Line Cutterz Movement
After this explosion into the fishing industry, anglers were finding a variety of applications for their rings. Guides were mounting it onto the rails of their boats, other anglers were attaching it to their fishing rods. The rings are incredibly versatile and can be strapped anywhere and everywhere.
Jackson Kayak even attached it to their seats prior to shipping their fishing kayaks to market!
Before long, Vance found out from some of his customers that wives were stealing their husbands rings for sewing, so he started a sister company called Thread Cutterz. In February of 2018, Line Cutterz made it on ABC’s The View.
With all of this growth occurring, Vance and his team still make time to share their story with up and coming entrepreneurs by traveling the country visiting high schools, colleges, and other entrepreneurial programs to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs.
Line Cutterz has even made a rumble into other industries. Scuba divers are using these devices to avoid cutting an air hose when fishing line gets tangled around their air hose while underwater. People are even using this technology in the home improvement industry, using it to cut various materials there as well. Vance stated, “there are endless markets to look at and tap into. Bow Fishermen have even reported that they use the ring to cut 200-pound muzzy bowfishing braid.”
So, what’s next for the future of Line Cutterz?
“Our goal is to provide anglers with the best solution to cutting fishing line in every segment of fishing. We have some incredible products coming down the line. The biggest and best-selling is still yet to come.”
Proving His Never Give Up Attitude
One other part of Vance’s story occurred in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Vance and his brother Cullen Zahorski were living in Houston at the time, and lived in the attic of Vance’s flooded house for 12 days. Once they were able to make it outside, Vance and now Line Cutterz VP Cullen showed their never give up attitude by delivering packages by kayak and boat!
The Full Product Lineup
NEW COMBO DEAL! ANGLR Bullseye Bundle with Line Cutterz Zipper Pull! Get yours here!
This article was contributed by an ANGLR Expert
Become an ANGLR Expert and apply here.