The Borgstom Family contribution
to World Sportfishing Excellence
The most recent accolade bestowed upon ABU is the series
of postage stamps released by the Swedish Post Office
to commemorate their ever- lasting contribution
to the worldwide Sport-fishing movement.
there after in Sweden was....
Halda watch factory,
banks of the Morrum River at Svangsta,
Carl Borgstom in 1921 in order to create taximeters and
Meter for Telecommunication like the Teleur. After his
untimely death in 1934, his son Gote, took over the reins.
WW II in
1939, saw Gote's dream fail, and to our benefit the choice
between creating Anniversary clocks or Fishing Reels was
sound and the rest is History!
( Text in Swedish!)------>>>
a word, all the information here is based upon facts
and ideas provided by my friend
Lennart (Len) Borgstrom.
He has at present
his own published book
in only the Swedish language, now in in
but out of print.
A much travelled and extremely
and family man, he in his own right, he could teach us lots
about fishing equipment and techniques.
Interesting image at left
Click to read article
Grandson of the the original owner
Carl Borgsrtrom (and son of the late
continued to build the ABU dynasty for many years
after his father's death in 1974. I have been privy to a new
English translation and it will immensely reward anyone who
cares to open its soon (2006) to be printed pages. Why ? All
information from original sources has to be most accurate.
Perceptive comments in the
Forward by Bertil
are an excellent overview to his easy to read historical
study in management..
, Len's wife,
tackling up for the 1957 N&N cover
after having caught 2 fine brown trout,
shows prowess in angling.
Although A.B.Urfabriken eventually made
9 styles of reels, it was originally and ultimately in my mind the
baitcaster which is the cause of ABU's success.
Having never seen either the technically
advanced Modern ABU Factory or
indeed the historic 40's era
Old ABU Factory, the present ABU Museum or The House of Salmon
a fea few kilometres away, I am indeed in a
great debt to my friend Uffe Edefuhr who has lived in the vicinity
and is a great source of knowledge and photographs to me. It has
recently been supplemented by the ABU General Manager Jan Sjoblom
and I hope in the not too distant future, I will be able to make
this pilgrimage with both gentlemen to Svangsta and experience the
associated delights of all things ABU that I have heard of for 35
years or more.
Of course no trip to Svangsta, would be
Fishing the fabled Morrum River
My friend Duncan Francy from Scotland has had me very envious of his recent opportunity to fish the Morrum River in southern Sweden, on the banks of which sits the ABU factory and Museum.
Duncan shares these personal pictures from his trip to Morrum River fishing at Svangsta, showing the (bronze) Maid of the Morrum, accomodation for fishers, a tranquil fishing pool beneath the Borgstrom home as well as the old fish trap.
A place of dreams or Mecca for so many ABU deciples, I'm sure.
He has kindly presented me with a book from Morrums Kronolaxfiske where they claim fishing history has occurred from the year 1231
I do hope all ABU fans and fishers in general enjoy my sharing this info on the Morrum here. If you are fortunate enough to be able to plan a trip here to fish, then please contact here morrum at sveaskog.se Their website is www.morrum.com Current prices can be determined for Day Cards etc as these are from 2011.
Sample pages are below from their fine 24 page brochure with informative educational images and finely detailed maps of pools along the Morrum River.
Map not linked at high resolution as one should buy this for the pocket!
and after fishing , an ABU fisher must never leave without seeing ...
The ABU Factory
(click each image for
old and modernong>)
The ABU Cottage
The ABU Museum
and and the nearby
The House of Salmonrong>
Len here is shown in
the 1962 Garcia Annual,
catching Atlantic salmon on the Morrum river, which would be
my dream place to fish. He has been fortunate enough to
travel far and wide to indulge his love of fishing with ABU.
Here an Australian article from
Modern Fishing August 1980
which brings newcomers
to appreciating the quality of the ABU marque in our part of the
were without doubt ABU's way of educating Anglers (both new and old)
into the most successful way to utilize their superb products.
doubt, the almost complete, sequenced and fascinating source of
information for ALL things ABU has to be from 1948 with the Napp och
Nytt catalogs! These come in many languages issued at different
starting times. I collect the English Tight Lines version (missing
earlier than and 56, 57, 58. 60, and 63 issues) as well as N&N.
Look here for a page of interesting links.
Aways looking for a Russian, French , Polish
himself is such a trusting, considerate and sharing man, with such
technical expertise, vision and persistence and that one could not
help believe their (Gote and Len)
words as gospel.
Unfortunately the old ABU is no more. Why ? Read on (soon) in his
delightful text and understand the failings of government and if you
are in management, learn from his visionary techniques.
Significant years for A.B.Ufabriken are here.
Carl's Borgstom's Prototype
(passionate fisherman, dev't late thirties)
my mind, four of the the major milestones for ABU were 1.
Carl Borgstrom's decision to build fishing reels
evolving from his first attempt at a casting reel shown
here; 2. the fore-thought to fill gaps in
product lines by
the hiring by Gote Borgstrom of Ake
Murvall who designed the Ambassadeur itself and 4.
the taking on the Japanese on Television with
respect to patent violation by Len Borgstrom!
See his Ambassadeur
to the above reference to patent violation of the Ambassadeur my
good friend Len Borgstrom actually shared an interesting story about
catching unscrupulous persons/companies out. This was done by
a devious but effective means whereby a small hole was drilled in
the Abumatic which had no purpose whatsoever other than to see
whether it would be replicated by copists. Sure enough it was done,
and in court it was a very good means to demonstrate the copying of
intellectual property rights on the Abumatic. There is a reference
in Len's book ABU and Garcia What happened?
See pages 78/79 for more in depth recollection in Len's words.
A chance encounter with Swedish (now e-mail friend)
works at an Ad Agency
was discussing copyright with a friend,
drew my attention to the story which I had long since forgotten and
consequently failed to place here. Thanks for the compliment and
reminder here Anders and also the kind offer of some assistance with
a website issue!
primary reason IMHO, that ABU reached this position of
dominating the world angling scene is because they had multiple
facets to the brand name. Not only did they produce the world's best
tackle over a very long time period, revered by both the ordinary
common fisherpersons such as ourselves as well as
Len even taught the prospective Queen of
Sweden to fish)
They were the first
company to take a holistic approach to the marketing of fishing
beyond the commercial sense of the word. The
are testiment to the position, ABU's reels should be held up to. My
personal connection, whilst beginning in the 60's as a child saving
his pocket money to buy ABU Killer, Hi-Lo and Toby lures, became
more more two way when I began writing tot he company in Sweden, UK
, USA and Australia.
My early ABU
Len and Sten Wilhelmsson and Sten Stenberg. The ABU export managers.
Len, flaired Safari suit no less!
"The pictures were taken in the 70's when we had a sales
meeting in Sweden for our most important customers in Japan. "
Japanese guests of ABU at Svangsta
with Anita Borgstrom assisting
fishermen need a sense of humor.
Here a great story from the
past, recently submitted by Len Borgstom
in British CLASSIC ANGLING Magazine.
, editor (approval granted)
memories with mates in Northern Iceland 1978
Ralph Lafferty, CO
Ericson, Johnny Morris and Len. JM individual
Len is being inducted into the Freshwater Fishing
Hall of Fame in USA, for his contribution and outstanding
achievement in Freshwater fishing.
journalist friend Patrik Tjornmark wrote a
great story (in Swedish) about Len Borgstrom
and ABU and it is linked here...
As Len told me in his words...
Patrik was my guest at the ABU Cottage to make the
story. I did not fish because I wanted my guests to have the
first chance. I had invited Jan Sjöblom and
Olle Lidesjö from ABU to join
us for lunch. One of the Ambassadeurs which we used did not
function as well as I thought it should, so after lunch I
suggested to Jan that we go down to the river to test it. I
showed Jan that I could hardly cast across the river. I made
two casts and caught the fish pictured. That is why I was
not dressed for fishing!!
Len Borgstrom, ex owner and CEO of A. B.Urfabriken
presenting the beautiful twin reel 50th Anniversary set of
reels (Morrum and Record 5000 replica) to
Highness King Carl Gustaf, King of Sweden.
Patrik's Photo Essay
ABU, produced such diversified catalogs
that considered conservation, youth education, rewards for record
captures, personal health, biology and environment of the target
species, fishing techniques and so on, in Napp och Nytt and Tight
Lines? No company that I know of!
Many of the
wonderful articles from the ABU catalogs, Tight Lines and Napp och
Nytt will be brought back to life to you here, as time permits. Just
a sample from 1959 eg Can fish really see colour? Angling , Fine
Medicine, and lots more with kind thanks to
ABU's policy of permitting reprinting given
due acknowledgement of the source of the material.
(Please keep producing these wonderfully educational catalogs
! ) To keep the fishing public informed and aware of not only new
and evolving product but also business data, newsletter
updates were released regularly, such as these from the 70's.
This child looks excited at a Swedish fishing competition! ABU saw
the fishing education of youth as being important to their core
business of selling tackle as well as the loftier goal of giving a
lifelong healthy interest to kids.
with special thick cardboard inserts and spirally bound,
to help the dealers get to know new and emerging products
were also produced. A typical example was this 1970 Tight
Lines drawing attention to selling points of all ABU
products such as reels, rods, lures, lines and all sorts of
accessories including gaffs, nets, smokers, ice fishing
More pages shown here
||The ABU Song was
noticed by me in the English Language "Tight Lines" ABU
Catalog of 1959.
Click here for the actual readable notes
Click here for the readable size lyrics
An interesting time
trip back to a very simple and enjoyable and non
-politically correct world !
Download of tune
musical ABU fisher person might be willing to play or sing
it and record it for posterity as an .mp3 for me to upload
here as I am quite certain it is not currently published
This has to be a
have indeed left an indelible mark on the fishing landscape and the
Sports Fishing world, even before the word was coined. We are all
the richer for their persistence in pursuing the concepts of quality
and innovation in face of the face of insurmountable difficulties.
My world changed because of them and I am an unashamed Abuphile of
long standing. Len represents our last living link with the
management from the glory days of the Classic ABU fishing
reel. Long may he live to pursue his new new activities!
Borgstom's 80th birthday
In 2011, Management at the Svangsta ABU factory saw fit to celebrate
both Len's birthday and the 90th Anniversary of ABU factory on the
banks of the Morrum River, with the production of a magnificient
boxed set , comprising chrome Ambassadeur 5000 C accompanied by
watch, cuff links and tie bar. Fittingly Len was presented with
#1 of only 60 created for the special occasion. It is my fervent
desire to acquire one of these sets.
Len kindly shared photos of his treasured presentation.