Rene Vaz - Managing Director

The Big Boss Rene, since the age of 19 has been highly involved (obsessed!?) in the NZ fly fishing and tackle industry. Rene is a past New Zealand Fly Fishing Champion and NZ team member, he is an FFF and STANIC Fly Casting Instructor, holds an Masters Degree with Honours in Fisheries Biology and Management and has worked for and advised a number of tackle companies throughout the globe. Basically Rene lives and breathes fly fishing.

Along with his wife Susan, Rene started Manic Tackle Project in 2008 from their garage at home and after a few years of hard work, late nights, large glasses of wine and some great customers they have successfully grown the company into Australasia's largest and most respected fly fishing distributor.  

On working in this industry " Who would have thought a misspent youth of playing with fishing gear in your room as a kid could turn into a career....."

BEVVY OF CHOICE: The way to this man's heart is via a nice Barossa Shiraz. Honourable mentions also go to a nice Pinot Noir or a classy scotch. Basically anything above 10% ABV and it's mission accomplished.


Ben Munro - Operations Manager

Ben is our Operations Manager which basically means he’s the guy that gets all of the good gear into the country and out to the stores, and without him Manic wouldn’t exist. He’s also famous for pioneering a new fish fighting technique for dealing with big kingfish in small vessels, ask him to show you if you ever catch up with him. Ben laments not spending time behind the vise but when he's got the Manic Fly Collection in his warehouse...why bother?

BEVVY OF CHOICE: His calm demeanour belies the fact that this man loves himself a Woody or two, but without the associated brawling and grievous bodily harm charges.


Bryce Helms - Sales Manager

Bryce currently handles all our South Island accounts. He speaks their language and also tends to catch their biggest fish. Fish in the South Island canals run and hide when Bryce is on a sales trip in the area. A terrible cricket tragic, Bryce regularly fronts up for his club's premier cricket team and enjoys rolling his arm over in the car park at Manic whenever the boss is away.

BEVVY OF CHOICE: Speights...but only to blend in down south, otherwise it's a nice buttery chards.


Drew Thompson - Marketing Manager

Drew's our marketing manager, overseeing how our great stuff gets to your eyeballs and on to your bank statement. Don't blame him, blame our awesome product range. Drew is one of two people in Auckland that regularly fishes a secret Auckland river and hopes that anyone reading this doesn't become the third. 

BEVVY OF CHOICE: Don't tell anyone but Drew drinks Mojitos. It's a marketing thing, you wouldn't get it.


Ben Goldfinch - Australian Account Manager

Ben is the more commonly known as Warehouse Ben and now he's also 'the Aussie guy', which is quite handy as that's his job.

He tells us that he is also into boxing, we know that, that's why we have him in the warehouse. Or how about "Ben likes boxing so much he even does it in the weekends"? Either way, he's a good chap to have on your side in the warehouse or ring.

BEVVY OF CHOICE: The former private school boy in him cant go past a dash of Penfold's Grange, but in reality he wouldn't turn down a slab of VB given half a chance.


Kyle Adams - Account Manager

Without a doubt, Kyle, is now officially the best looking person in the fly fishing industry, worldwide. Based in the hub of the Naki Hardcore, he's our roaming account manager that spends a heap of time in the stores both getting the Manic product out there but also upskilling the staff into better fisho's.

Kyle is a singlehand spey whiz having recently taken over the mantle of “The Tongariro Roll Cast Guy” for NZ, so if you bump into him on the river make sure to get a quick demonstration, it’ll blow your mind. Or just simply just stand there and stare at him. Gorgeous.

BEVVY OF CHOICE: A cheeky crafty tickles this mans fancy.


James Gibbons - Operations Specialist

Struth mate, James has a solid background in operations, previously working for another well-known tackle distributor. While he is well versed in fly fishing, Gibbo's abilities with conventional tackle are a sight to behold. He is also the only man in the world that can fix everything in the warehouse/office and any reel too.

BEVVY OF CHOICE: No salty sea dog would be worth his, well, salt without developing a taste for the real fisherman's friend, rum. But there's no Do-Da Coruba or Black Heart bogan antics here, James' taste in rum is more 50ft yacht than 12ft tinny.


Wayne Barnes - Operations Specialist

In an attempt to escape the furore of the RWC in 2007, Wayne hid away in the repairs department here at Manic. Wayne has been along time Manic Mate, having fly fished up and down the country for number of years. He's known around the river as the Trout Boss, so don't be surprised if he catches more fish than you. 

BEVVY OF CHOICE: Wayne is far too concerned with healthy eating even to consider offering his opinion here.


Andrea Mattioli - Operations Specialist

When it comes to euro-nymphing, we all ask Andrea. Not just because he is Italian, but also because he's the natural choice for how to do it properly. Fishing has been in his blood forever, his wife fishes and his new born bambino will probably start fishing before he is out of nappies. Oh, make sure you pronounce his name with an Italian accent, not your accent.

BEVVY OF CHOICE: We didn't ask, but feel a nice Chianti, sans the fava beans, probably with some form of pasta wouldn't be too wrong.


Chris Dore - South Island Legend & Technical King

Chris Dore is our man in the South Island and a human fly fishing encyclopaedia, or to put it in modern terms, he's basically google. You'll see Chris' fingerprints on a huge amount of Manic content, especially the instructional stuff and has been with us since day dot. In his other life he's pretty much NZ's best fly fishing guide and if you want to catch some fish and learn a thing or ten then a day or two with Chris is money very well spent,

BEVVY OF CHOICE: Central Otago Pinot all the way, anything from Marlborough or the Wairarapa would just offend him.


Chris Hon - Graphic Design

Chris is the other Chris here at Manic. He's easy to spot as he is not the elite fisherman that Chris Dore is. What he is though is the man behind all those pretty pictures on our website, our catalogues and everywhere else we let his creative genius reign.

Considered to be one of the best graphic designers in the country... by his mother, his tools of choice are coloured pencils and crayons. But he is most famous for a smile that captures the heart of women both old and middle aged alike

BEVVY OF CHOICE: Once in a while Chris may have a beer, but his hands usually are grabbing dice or the mouse.


Sophia Deng – Financial Accounts Executive

Sophia is all things finance here at Manic and is our Financial Accounts Executive. Sophia is all things finance and loves numbers, reconciliations and basically everything that we all cant get our heads around. Hence she is perfect for the job.

BEVVY OF CHOICE: We assume it's water but most likely it's straight vodka. It's allows her to get through a full days fishing banter everyday without batting an eyelid.

You? Yeah, we have openings occasionally.

If working for NZ and Australia's largest fly fishing distributor interests you then keep an eye our job page here.