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Petitjean wins Dealer’s Choice Award

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Our family of sporting magazines – Fly Tyer, American Angler, and Gray’s Sporting Journal – sponsors a large new-products showcase at the annual Fly Fishing Retailer show. Every year, dozens of dealers use this area to display everything from small midge hooks to full-size drift boats. With more than 100 items from which to choose – rods, reels, vests, waders, wading boots, float tubes, hats, fly-tying supplies, and more – it’s sort of like one-stop shopping for retailers in search of new products for their stores and catalogs.

In addition to providing a venue to showcase new products, we ask dealers to vote for their favourite new products. We ask them to consider which products show real innovation, and which will become hits with their customers. (Our magazines’ staffs do not vote in this selection process. The winners of the Dealers’ Choice awards are selected by the retailers attending the show.)

This year, Petitjean Fishing Equipment won the Dealers’ Choice award in the fly-tying category for its new MP Bobbin. Marc Petitjean, a native of Switzerland, was on hand to accept the award.

What, you must be wondering, could possibly be so new and revolutionary about a fly-tying bobbin? Like all Petitjean’s products, the MP Bobbin is well thought out and has some very unusual and useful features not found on other bobbins. First, you can adjust the thread tension on the bobbin with just a flick of your thumb. This makes the tool very easy to use when switching from gossamer size 14/0 thread to super-strong gel spun.

Second – and this is a little tough to explain – you don’t thread the MP Bobbin by pulling the thread through the tube. Instead, you lay the thread against the side of the tube, and simultaneously flick your wrist and pull the end of the thread. With one easy motion, the thread is inserted inside the bobbin tube. Sound like a magic trick? Go to to watch his new bobbin.

Marc Petitjean has emerged as one of our sport’s leading innovators. He is the inventor of the Magic Tool, which is used to insert feathers and fur into split thread for tying flies. The Magic Tool has been featured in this magazine and won awards at European fly-fishing shows.

Petitjean also created Magic Heads for flies (There’s that word “magic” again.) Magic Heads are small plastic cones that are tied to the front of streamers to give them a lifelike darting action. In 2006, Magic Heads won a Gray’s Best award from Gray’s Sporting Journal.

And finally, we should mention Petitjean’s award-winning Swiss Vise. This well designed and beautifully crafted fly-tying vise looks and works like something created by NASA.

I had a few moments to talk with Petitjean after he accepted his award for the MP Bobbin, and he reminded me that this wasn’t the first time he has been honoured at Fly Fishing Retailer.

“This is great,” he beamed, “but this isn’t the first time I’ve won here. Last year I won in the soft goods category for my FV100 vest. I try very hard to come up with things that are new and innovative, and I’m really happy that dealers like my products.”