Made in the USA – Fishing Rods
Capt. Collins D. Illich
Making a US made product isn’t easy.
Sourcing, labor, government regulations, all make the process difficult.
The companies that chose to be here, manufacture here, invest here, and manage their business here are doing so for all the right reasons.
As a fishing rod manufacturer, any financial analyst would suggest moving offshore. The inventory cost is significantly less. Capital exposure is reduced. Procurement is straight forward.
But that isn’t who we are as manufacturers. We demand to…
There are massive overseas factories that are very good. China, Korea, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Japan all have excellent facilities. I have worked for companies in our industry that utilized those facilities.
I have been to the facilities.
I made a pivot from the process.
The process is simple.
Reach out to a facility or an agent.
Chat about design and evaluate a couple samples.
Place an order. Usually in the hundreds of units per model. The facility will source everything.
Send your 50% deposit and wait for one of those big container ships to deliver your rods.
Pay the balance.
Receive your inventory.
Also, you would need to name your brand, promote it, etc....but your investment in the brand is minimal, so you can rinse-wash-repeat anytime if you get a poorly made batch or whatever.
Just start a new brand.
That is not what we are about. And I want to be clear when I say “we” I mean every US rod manufacturer.
It is more expensive, more complicated, and less efficient to manage a facility and build rods here.
We chose to do so because it’s the right thing to do.
We proudly take our rods to market with US sweat, design, and innovation.
US made rods will always cost more. They also will always perform to anglers’ expectations. Likely the same craftsman who made your “favorite” rod three years ago is the man or woman carefully assembling your next rod.
We can’t compete when it comes to pricing. We will always win when it comes to customer interface and most importantly, quality control.
Seriously test this.
Call your favorite overseas rod company and ask them about a shaky-head rod. After that, call one of us. Ask what rod to use for deep-cranks. Our customer service agent will not only know what you are talking about but also say things like “what is the longest rod your rod locker will handle” or “what water are you fishing” and they will reply with something like “hell I fished there last year. Great fishery. The marina had an incredible burger.”
WE all know fishing and WE all love fishing.
What we ask of the US angling market is to be thoughtful. Think about your purchase. There are many of us. Find one you like and support it.
Maybe have five rods in the boat instead of seven. But those five represent US jobs, the highest level of quality control and all the money stays right here in the USA.
We have already exported bass. Hell, there is a MLF series in Zimbabwe. Rather than export our fish and import our rods, let’s bring fishing rod manufacturing back here to the U.S. and support those who are.