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Ty Tingley's grandfather, skipper of the fishing trawler Annie L. Wilcox, out of Noank, Connecticut, taught Ty to fish when he was five. When he was eight, they built a small rowboat together, and that began Ty's career as a boat owner and lifetime sport fisherman. Ty has fished for trout in Wyoming, for walleye in Minnesota, for permit and tarpon in Belize, and for every coastal species that visits the coast of Maine, where he and his family have a summer home. If there's water nearby, you can find Ty fishing it.

When Ty moved to Minnesota in 1991, he got interested in the great walleye fishery in that state. Having a rod with the sensitivity to pick up a walleye's delicate bite meant new equipment, and Ty decided to build his own. Pretty soon he became interested in how you could design a rod to enhance the angler's natural skill, and he began to design equipment for all the various types of fishing he's done. Friends, neighbors, and acquaintances began to notice his unique gear and asked him to design rods for them.

When Ty retired, he and his wife decided to split their time between Tucson, Arizona in the winter and Maine in the summer. Ty built a fully equipped rod studio in Arizona and founded Tingley Custom Rods as a way to share his passion for rod design with other fishermen. He builds rods through the winter months (October to April) when he is in Arizona, and he fishes from May to September on his boat, Pandion, out of Boothbay Harbor, Maine.

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