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Delkim was formed in the late 1970s when carp anglers Del Romang and Kim Donaldson wanted to create new bait flavourings that, at the time, were not available on the market. The pair began experimenting with flavours and discovered many before they were commonly available, including cream, strawberry, and spice. The company is still at the forefront of angling innovation, however they now produce bite alarms rather than bait.
The business really took off when Del and Kim discovered flaws in the bite alarms available at the time. Many anglers still had to rely on the Heron antenna alarm, designed by Dick Walker in the 1950s. Despite it being 20 years after it first hit the market, this alarm was still considered state of the art as it was practically the only one on the market for carp anglers. Del used his experience to modify the alarm. It soon got him noticed by the other anglers at his local fishery – Darenth, Kent – and they quickly came to him to request he make the same modifications on their Heron alarms. The Delkim Heron Conversion became a commercially available product, and anglers from across the country, trusting the excellent reviews, sent Del Romang their Heron alarms to modify with LED’s and GPO speakers.
At the same time, Del began experimenting with making his own bite alarms, which he, Kim, and their friends, used for many years. He considers these to be the first Delkim products, and, although they aren’t used any more, they are still in working order. All of Delkim’s current products have a two year guarantee, but as you can imagine most are able to last much longer.
In the 1980s a new bite alarm emerged, the Optonic. Being the first alarm widely produced since the Heron thirty years earlier, this alarm was considered to be revolutionary. However, many anglers found it had major deficiencies, so came to Delkim to see if the alarm could be modified. Delkim produced an innovative conversion which was to set the standard for bite alarms produced today. However, the company got into legal difficulties and were forced to stop taking orders for Optonic Conversions. Del Romang and Kim Donaldson decided to part ways at this time, and the Delkim brand was left in the hands of Del Romang and his first wife, Bev.
Bev Romang was integral to the company. Delkim were the first producers of commercially available slings and weighing sacks, and it was Bev who would sew batches of these up on the kitchen table. Tragically Bev passed away in 1998, and she is a sorely missed member of both the family and the company. To this day Delkim remains a family business, and Del’s current wife, Carol, and her children are integral parts of the business, as are Del’s children.
In the early 1980s, Del Romang invented Delkim’s first ever own brand bite alarm, when he threaded a string of fishing wire under the needle of his record player. Not wanting to jump the gun and produce a flawed alarm, like the Heron and Optonic, Del spent nine years developing his product. Only once the product had passed his intensive testing regime was it patented as the Delkim Vibration System. This was truly a revolutionary piece on angling equipment, and is the still the base that the current Delkim Vibration Alarms are manufactured on. Recently Delkim have also began manufacturing innovative accessories to support its bite indication products, meaning it has the most comprehensive portfolio of bite indication equipment on the market. Its website features testimonials from some of the biggest names in fishing, all of whom swear by Delkim bite alarms.