Jack's Story



"I have a pretty simple approach towards product design; give the consumer their moneys' worth. Make the difference between price and value apparent by building products comprised of the latest technology and produced to the highest standards of quality.”
- Jack Charlton


Jack Charlton began his career in precision aerospace machining in 1965 in the Los Angeles area. With the expertise gathered in the industry, Jack established his own precision aerospace machining company in 1974. Together with his wife, Judy, they acquired CNC equipment, and, with time, they became suppliers to many major aerospace and medical manufacturers.

 After more than 40 years in the aerospace industry, Jack decided to leverage his in-depth knowledge and experience to produce a product for an activity he loved. He decided to apply his engineering, machining, and computer skills to develop a product that had become antiquated over time – the fly fishing reel.

He employed the latest precision machine tools and computer systems to design his first fly fishing reels as Charlton Outdoor Technologies. These first reels were made to standards of precision and engineering that met or exceeded those of the aerospace works Jack had performed for three decades. He brainstormed ways of developing a precision instrument for fly fishing using current technology, advanced materials and innovative design.

In 1991, he decided to relocate his aerospace machining facility from Southern California to Washington state to enable him to focus on his passion. While still engaged in his regular CNC business, Jack would make sketches on napkins while commuting via ferry from his home on San Juan Island to his office on the mainland. There, he would feed the sketched information to advanced computer software.

Jack decided to focus solely on this fishing reels and started physical production of Charlton reels in 1993. Charlton Reel Company became Mako Reels in 2005. Click here to learn about the evolution from Charlton to Mako.

When Jack passed away in 2011, Judy decided to continue the Mako brand. She managed the company until her retirement in 2015.