Whitefish Press

The Tycoon Tackle Story
Frank O'Brien, the Tycoon Fishing Rod, and the Gilded Age of Big Game Angling

Timothy P. O'Brien


Softcover, 203 total pages, 8.5" x 11", Full Color throughout


Occasionally the course of history is altered by the convergence of conditions and events that indelibly and permanently change how it develops. During the convergence of these conditions, entrepreneurs seize the day to make their mark. Frank O’Brien and Tycoon Tackle came on the scene just as the most flourishing period of saltwater fishing was taking place and their unprecedented innovations were integral to the sport of big game angling as it entered it’s “gilded age.” The “Gilded Age of Big Game Angling” was made possible, in part, by the fishing rods and other products manufactured by O’Brien. Along the way, the company became a respected leader in industry, a respected corporate citizen, helped win two wars, and impacted people in a way that is still discussed seventy-five years later. This is the story of a successful company and its exemplary executive that is only possible in America, qualifying it to be considered an “American success story.” It spans from the “age of innocence” to the present day. The men and women who made Tycoon Tackle changed a sport and many lives as well. This is their story.

In The Tycoon Tackle Story, Timothy P. O'Brien -- the son of Tycoon tackle founder Frank O'Brien, Jr. -- gives us incredible detail and insight into one of the most beloved and legendary tackle firms in history. Utilizing the massive Tycoon Tackle archives as well as significant academic research (the book has well over 1000 end notes), O'Brien's work will be the definitive history of the company, and one of the most important contributions to the history of big game angling.

The Limited Edition will have 50 signed and numbered copies. When the Limited Edition is sold out, no more hardcover will be printed.


“When Frank O’Brien started producing big game rods in the mid 1930s, the quality of his Tycoon Tackle products attracted anglers to his rods like moths to a flame, they were simply the best. Today, moths are still being drawn to Frank’s flame only the moths these days are more of the species “collector.” When Frank’s son, Tim, started writing a book about his father and Tycoon Tackle one of these “collector” moths was immediately drawn to the light, and in this light I can see a son who was cut from the same timber as his father, a son whose product will be of the same uncompromising caliber and, like his father’s rods, the unequivocal authority in its field of endeavor, the best for all time.”

-Ed Pritchard, Noted Collector and Co-Author of Fin-Nor: the Legacy Years

“This category needs new collectors to realize its full potential, the more big game tackle that comes for public sale with promotion, the better the chance we'll gain new collectors. Two serious issues that plague this and several other categories as well: the majority is hoarded by just a handful of collectors, which actually causes the value to drop substantially when even a couple of those collectors pass away, and there’s no promotion of the saltwater companies and the items they produced. Your book will help the second a great deal and as more deep sea tackle comes for sale, the number of collectors should grow.”

-Debbie Ganung, Lang’s Auction

“Tim O'Brien has written a compelling yarn about the perseverance and ingenuity of his father in building Tycoon Tackle. The time and place, the celebrity customers, and the fascinating world of big-game fishing make it even more so. Well done!”

-Mike Rivkin, Author of Angling and War: The Collision of Big-Game Fishing and WWII

“Tim O’Brien’s unwavering dedication to bring this opus of his father Frank O’Brien’s numerous contributions to the sport of big game fishing to fruition has been a delight to witness. Since he first announced this ambition several years ago, he has diligently set about to collect facts beyond his family’s recollections and records. Such research can prove to be a remarkable journey, and knowing Tim, I trust the vast array of information compiled with some of angling’s greatest names was a rewarding experience in itself.”

-Michael Farrior, Trustee of the International Game Fish Association and Author of The History of the Tuna Club, 1898-1998


Page 68
Page 76

The Tycoon Tackle Story
November 2011, Softcover
$44.95 Retail Price -- SPECIAL $39.95



 The Whitefish Press