IMPROVING THE FISHING EXPERIENCE
This has been our tag line since we started because it is also our guiding vision – be that on the water, on river bank, at the tying table, or chilling by the campfire.
Our first products shipped in Jan 2005, and it seems crazy now but we were the first to coat our nippas in rubber and the first to enlarge the finger loops on our hemostats, and the first to make pliers for working on nymph rigs and releasing fish safely. Thanks to a number of Fly Fishing Shops across the country, we were able to grow year after year but we were still operating out of Dylan’s house. In 2009 we entered into an exclusive distribution deal with Umpqua Feather Merchants. As the largest manufacturer of flies in the world, they were a natural partner for us: they were large, well funded, well staffed and had room in their large warehouse – we were small, cash strapped, and had run out of room in our basement. The arrangement worked ok for both companies – but in summer of 2012 we made the decision to go our separate ways.
By 2012 it was very apparent that our tools were being copied by every accessory company in Fishing and that they would continue to be as long as other people were doing the manufacturing. We bought the best used metal working machines we could afford and leased space in a warehouse to produce our designs ourselves. We tried to make pliers, and nippas and some other tools that will go unnamed. We succeeded in making some but they would have cost 5 times the price we were charging and they didn’t offer substantial performance benefits. So, we pivoted and put our energy into massive R&D projects. That’s Research & Development, not Rip Off & Duplicate, and it is hard, expensive and often times overly frustrating but it allowed us to create products you have all come to embrace: our tying tools, our packs and our Anodized Aluminum Nets.
In 2015 we pivoted again and moved our operations away from the warehouse in Salt Lake City up to a rural property in the mountains and a barn that we turned into a manufacturing center. The warehouse was great for running a business, but lame from a lifestyle and enjoyment factor and if we can’t enjoy ourselves while we work our asses off then it’s not worth the effort. Now we work in our own shop, with windows looking out onto pastures and livestock, eat lunch outside with food we cooked on the bbq, and enjoy the ambiance and pace of what is still an agrarian area.
Currently it is the start of 2019, we are again hammering with R&D and working towards some exciting new products while also refining our production techniques to increase our volume. Future looks good, and thanks to all of you who have made it possible.
Here’s a shortened version of History using the 4 W’s:
Who: Founder – Dylan R. following a successful few years working for Vortex Backpacks – (Vortex, William Joseph Fishing, and Bad Lands Packs )..
VP Operations – Dalton S. handling everything “upstairs” order fulfillment, customer support, dealer support, sales, marketing, and all around everything..
VP Production Pat B. handling everything “downstairs” which is net production and the 30-40 steps it takes to make our net, tool grinding, and all around positive vibes..
When: Late summer 2004, First products shipped to dealers (Western Rivers & Fish Tech in Utah, The Fly Shop in CA, Feather Craft in MO — THANK YOU ALL)
Where: Utah – Salt Lake City and Francis
Why: Improving the Fishing Experience