EAGLE RIVER - Mat's reel repair in Eagle River works on thousands of reels each year.
With opening weekend only a few weeks away Mat Hegy has a lot of reel repair requests coming in, but he says he's pretty busy all year round.
"We've covered all 50 states, most of the Provinces of Canada. We get a few things from Mexico and South America, but we get a lot of handle orders from Europe, Singapore, Australia," said Hegy.
He started his repair shop in 1998.
Sometimes the repairs are easy to fix, but they can also take hours.
"Things would vary from either broken bail springs to actually broken reels, broken handles," said Hegy.
Hegy had an interesting start to his career.
"It really started out with collecting antique reels and antique fishing equipment, and I'd buy an antique reel that wouldn't work, so I'd take it apart and tinker with it," said Hegy.
The shop has inventory going back to the late 1940s.
"Mostly we see a lot of everyone's favorite reel. You know, I've been fishing with this reel for 40 some years, and I want to keep it going and fish for hopefully the rest of my life with it," said Hegy.
Fishing is more than a passion for a lot people, and a fishing reel can be a representation of that.
"There's a lot of sentimental value in fishing equipment whether it's fishing with dad or fishing with your son, or just memories made, and sometimes that stuff translates into one specific thing like the reel or the rod," said Hegy. "We try to help and maintain that for people."