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Gregg Thorne, Co-Founder of Two Brothers Innovations, Inducted Into Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame
BEMIDJI, MN, February 2022 – Fishing was never a leisurely past time for Gregg Thorne. Realistically…it would be described as an obsession. Like so many kids in the mid 60’s, riding a bicycle with rod and tackle box in hand was an everyday event whenever possible.
With the passion of fishing grew an obsession for fishing rods. Rod brands and models were limited back then for the many emerging techniques. After acquiring a DIY rod kit in the late 70’s, the flame for building and creating custom rods was lit. In 1981, Gregg and brother Paul started OT Custom Rod Works with local rod builder Harley Ogata. In 1983, the brothers moved on under the name of Thorne Brothers Custom Rod Tackle.
Paul and Gregg grew the custom rod business into a full-fledged Midwest fishing specialty store. Eventually this led to opening another specialty store called “The Fly Angler”. A dedicated fly-fishing store with a workshop teaching in-store rod building, lure building and fly-tying classes. Over those 13 years of ownership, Gregg built thousands of custom rods of all types and instructed countless individuals in building their own customized fishing rods.
All this created an innate sense for fishing rods and applications that became a blend of both art and science. Gregg worked with many national brands in assisting with rod design and applications.
In 1993, Paul and Gregg sold Thorne Brothers and the Fly Angler and went on to pursue individual careers within the outdoor industry. Gregg became a Regional Manager for the Cortland Line Co. and Diamondback Rods. His job required him to travel overseas to work on rod design and development. In 2008, he joined PRADCO Fishing and in 2013 became the Lindy Brand Manager. His primary responsibilities involved designing lures, packaging, sales management and marketing.
In 2016, Gregg started Elliott Fishing Rods. Gregg eventually recruited brother Paul to join him in the rod business giving birth to Two Brothers Innovations. Along the way, Gregg developed Syncork, a synthetic material that is 30% lighter and 40% denser than organic cork. This new material improves sensitivity and durability and is one the key features of the Elliott rod brand.
In sixth grade, Gregg’s teacher asked the class to write a one-page essay on what they wanted to be when they grew up. Gregg wrote that he wanted to own a sporting goods store and employ people. I guess dreams can come true…