USA Strong – American Made Fly Fishing Products – Part I:
“I grew up in a very patriotic family and vividly remember the 4th of July being my father’s favorite holiday. However, his affinity for the 4th of July grew out of different reasons that are commonly experienced or marketed to the masses during our nation’s independence day. It wasn’t about the fireworks, the sparklers or the barbecues. It was about a celebration of a group of individuals who unified, committed to a cause greater than themselves and stood up for what they believed in. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a cookout with friends, live music or small town parade just as much as anyone; however, those events quickly fall off my priority ladder when you dig into the true “reason for the season!”
Now that the 4th of July smoke has cleared and dust has settled, it’s time to get down to business! Summer is upon us and that means loads of new fly fishing products to choose from. While the WorldCast Anglers fly shop is stocked to the brim with the latest and greatest, we feel it is important to highlight those that have made the commitment to nurture, support and maintain their USA made products, manufacturing and jobs. I’ve always had an affinity for the technical side and features of fly fishing gear. The “flash” and the “sparkle” now fall by the wayside to “Made in the USA”. Below is 6 of our favorite USA Made Fly Fishing Products in the WCA Fly Shop this season. We will highlight 6 more in August. Be sure to look for them the next time you come into the WCA Fly Shop to help us keep fly fishing products USA STRONG!” – WorldCast Anglers Vice President Mike Dawkins
Flyvines – Recycled Fly Line Lanyard
MADE IN MONTANA
Flyvines is based out of Missoula, Montana, founded by Lance Gleason and operated by Erin Kane. Fly Vines takes pride in knowing that their products are all made here in the United States and they plan on keeping it that way. Lance and Erin have hired stay at home moms to mass produce the braided fly line accessories. They are stylish, fun and eco-friendly.
“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure! Flyvines recycles fly fishing waste and creates jobs! Their lanyard holds all your needed tools at your finger tips and are equally as useful for the float and wade angler. I feel naked without mine! We always have a box of old fly lines in the WCA Fly Shop ready to be sent to Flyvines. You never stop wondering what those lines will be made into or where they will go! Check out their bracelets, sunglass retainers and dog leashes as well!”
Flyvines has four office employees who handle the packaging and shipping, the office managerial work, the web work, and the social media accounts. They currently employ 10 stay at home moms who make all the product; however, that number continues to rise! Flyvines has been able to be successful based on companies, and shops wanting to recycle their old fly line. Flyvines tries to do as much as they can to work with organizations within the fishing industry to also give back. They have able to work with Casting For Recovery to make pink bracelets to sell and give a percentage of each pink bracelet sold on their website to CFR. They work with a number of organizations such as Trout Unlimited, wounded warrior groups and a number of youth/foster care organizations! They try to do as much as they can to give back!
“At Flyvines we are proud that our products are all made by hand, in Missoula, MT, and we have no plans to change that! By employing stay at home moms, we are able to continue to hire additional employees as our demand grows, it has worked great for us, and helped us utilize an amazing workforce right here in our local community. Flyvines will always be an American made product!” – Flyvines Owner Erin Kane
Loon Outdoors Aquel
MADE IN IDAHO
Loon Outdoors emphasizes three values when it comes to their products. They want to make the best products, while protecting the environment, and supporting the community. Loon Outdoors was founded in 1991. Their Headquarters are based in Ashland, Oregon. President, Alan Petersen, believes in creating the highest quality products for anglers all over the world.
“Nontoxic, environmentally friendly and made right here in the great state of Idaho; the “yellow topped bottle” is the best floatant on the market! We’ve all had it happen to us! Our gink or floatant’s cap falls off, it melts and it spills all over our waders, pack, shirt, boat or anything else in it’s path. We are left with a stain that rivals a five year old that just left an all you can eat buffet and look like we rolled around in a floatant bath! I have never had it melt or loose it’s viscosity! I’ve never had it slim a fly to the point that it will not float. Our friends at Loon call it “fishing with a conscience” or ascribing value to the health of the water we fish. Now how can you not get behind that!”
Loon Outdoors functions out of two primary locations: their facility in Boise, Idaho where all of their products are made, and where all their products are packaged, stored and shipped; and their offices in Ashland, Oregon. Loon was started in 1991 with a focus on environmentally friendly fly fishing accessories. Although the logo has changed and the brand has grown and evolved, many of the original products are still members of our current line; the company is still owned and operated by a family, and the foundational goals of Loon are still the same: to make excellent products that are safe for fish, fisheries and fishermen. Their contributions to the fly fishing community come most often in the form of product donations. They do their best to support educational efforts/kids camps, environmental groups (TU, Native Fish Society, etc), and those that focus on service (Wounded Warriors, cancer patients/survivors, etc).
“Making our own products here in America is such a significant part of our identity that we’ve never considered an alternative. For us to move the manufacturing of the products that we can make domestically overseas would be counterproductive at best. The things that we’re most committed to would all be compromised: the quality of our products, our environmental impact, and the livelihood of our employees. Removing our American roots would result in weaker products, a weaker brand and a weaker company.” – Loon Director of Sales Brett Zundel
Scientific Anglers – Amplitude MPX Fly Line
MADE IN MICHIGAN
Scientific Anglers was founded in 1945 by Leon Martuch, Paul Rottiers and Clare Harris in Midland, Michigan. The founders’ objective was to create the most advanced fly fishing line for anglers. They believe in hardwork, determination, effort, and calculations to make their objective a reality. SA specializes in a variety of different angling products.
“Wow! I first got my hands on some samples of the Amplitude MPX fly line at IFTD/ICAST in 2016 and was foaming at the mouth for this line to hit the fly shop shelves. It is slick; technically and literally. The AST Plus coating creates superior shootability and increased durability. The MPX taper is an improved version of the GPX (which all modern tapered fly lines for modern fast action fly rods are based off of) and a western U.S. trout angler’s workhorse! This line can do everything! It will be your new best friend!”
Scientific Anglers has 39 employees. This constitutes their front office team as well as production workers, which includes loopers, coilers, coaters, shippers—everyone whose hands touch the lines multiple times before they leave the facility. SA tries to give back to their local Michigan communities, as well as the fly-fishing industry as a whole, in a number of different ways. Locally, they provide funding and support for a wide range of conservation and educational projects, often donating gear or volunteer their time to local clubs and fly-fishing related events. They also partner with a Midland, Michigan, based organization called the Arnold Center, which provide jobs and income for individuals with special needs. They perform various jobs for Scientific Anglers, including labeling products with stickers and other hands-on labor. On the industry level, Scientific Anglers works with Casting for Recovery, Trout Unlimited, AFFTA, and Fly Fishers International on various programs throughout the country, typically focusing on building communities and conserving resources.
“Scientific Anglers is proud of the fact that 100% of the fly lines that leave our facility are made in the USA, and touched by no less than two sets of human hands before they go out the door. Having our products built in-house by people we consider friends and co-workers is immensely satisfying, because we’re confident that we’re providing our customers with the highest-quality fly lines in the world, while creating jobs and opportunities for the entire Midland community.” – Scientific Anglers Marketing Manager John Van Vleet
Simms – G3 Guide Stockingfoot Waders
MADE IN MONTANA
Simms Fishing Products was founded in 1980 by John Simms, who started the company to provide a better pair of waders that were not currently available in the market. Simms was one of the first companies to provide neoprene waders to anglers across the nation. In 1993, Simms was relocated to Bozeman, Montana based on the same values and ideals that John Simms began with. Simms is still at the top of the fishing product market today.
“I’ve spent (and will continue to spend) plenty of time in waders. From the depths of Argentina to summer evening sessions on the upper Teton River, my time on the water is important. These waders are comfortable, keep you warm and dry, which keeps me in the water longer. While no wader is perfect, these are pretty darn close! Boosting 25 different sizes with the ability to be customized, any angler of any shape can enjoy the performance and comfort of the G3 Guide Stockingfoot Waders. Poor fitting waders commonly end up as leaky waders. Do yourself a favor and get it right the first time!”
Simms employs 174 individuals at their facility in Bozeman, Montana where they develop their waders with anglers in mind. With their tight-knit relationship with W.L Gore and Associates (Gore-Tex), Simms was able to set up one of the most innovative product introductions ever to happen to the fly fishing world. American made breathable waders. Not only does Simms produce American made products, they also support the Save Our Streams Campaign, Casting For Recovery, and Warriors and Quiet Waters. They have an enormous presence in the fly fishing community, which is the foundation of their company today.
“The goal at Simms is to have anglers have their best days on the water. In 1993, there were 19 wader manufacturers based in the U.S and now there is 1. I think it is a shame that we exported our manufacturing basin to so many different segments of our economy. I think manufacturing in America is very viable and I love seeing this move to bring more products back to the United States.” – Simms Owner K.C. Walsh
Scott Fly Rods – Radian Fly Rod
MADE IN COLORADO
Scott Fly Rods is a historic name, with top of the art, hand-crafted, rods to back it up. Scott was founded in 1973 by Harry Wilson from his basement in San Francisco known for fine fiberglass fly rods. They never stopped innovating and pushing the bar of graphite fly rods. Now, they call Montrose, Colorado home where they continue the traditions and innovations of their roots.
“Fly rods continue to get faster, stiffer and lighter. While many fly rods on the market can make anyone a “parking-lot hero caster”; can they get the job done when it count? Can they protect light tippets while being able to create high line speeds to gain distance? Are they accurate at 80 feet as well as 25 feet? Most importantly, are they fun to fish? While the Scott Radian is not new to the fly fishing market, it still reigns supreme in my mind as the trout fly rod that can do everything. It is deadly accurate with small dries while being an incredibly efficient power tool with large dry-dropper combos or nymph rigs. Oh yeah, they are a blast to fish! Fishing is supposed to be fun, right!? Well, the Radian is good medicine!”
Scott Fly Rods currently employs 52 people in Montrose, Colorado. They are focused on handcrafting every rod we sell. They are driven by the love of the sport, the places it takes anglers, and the people we meet along the way. They strive to make the ultimate fishing tool and have hand built every rod they have ever sold for over 40 years! From No Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay to the Now or Neverglades movement in South Florida, Scott is on the forefront of conservation causes important to the fly fishing industry, and is always among the first companies in the industry to support these causes. Whether they are flying into D.C. to meet with members of Congress and their staff, or supporting local tournaments that benefit fly fishing communities like the March Merkin or Swamp Guides; Scott tries to stay very active on both a national and regional level with our community and the issues that are important to us all.
“Since 1974, every Scott rod has been handcrafted in our shop and hand inscribed with an individual serial number. We like to get our hands dirty, and we like to know exactly what went into each Scott rod, and who had a hand in building it. It gives us complete control over our process and materials, and most of all, a great sense of pride and purpose in what we do. We think our customers appreciate knowing who built their rod too.” – Scott Fly Rods Jennifer Mann
Waterworks – Lamson Guru II Fly Reel
MADE IN IDAHO!
Since 1998, Waterworks-Lamson believes that manufacturing their products in the United States is the most important aspect for their end users. Waterworks-Lamson is not a typical fly fishing company. Their core expertise is in product design. They innovate, invent, design and engineer. Waterworks Lamson, which has operations and facilities in Boise and Ketchum has prevailed through the test of time, and they are still on top of the fly fishing industry.
“Light, simple and strong, that’s what I like about the Waterworks-Lamson Guru II! Did I mention that it is made right here in our great state of Idaho? Even better! These reels pick up line in a flash with a drag soft enough to protect the lightest tippets. They won’t weigh you down, and to be honest, sometimes you forget that the reel is there! The Guru is a high performing reel that is not going to break your arm with weight or your bank account with price! A top recommendation for any trout angler!”
Waterworks-Lamson employs 20 Idahoans in their Boise and Ketchum facilities. Their latest efforts have yielded high performance/low cost reels that honor their customer’s strong preference for U.S. based manufacturing, as well as hyper-light, high-retrieve presentation reels. They support their dealers and their local efforts via a multitude of different fisheries conservation programs and through direct financial support and product donations. A proud supporter of AFFTA (American Fly Fishing Trade Association) from the inception, they have served as members, and have also supplied volunteer board members for a total of a dozen years.
“At Waterworks-Lamson, we believe that the United States needs to have a strong and competitive manufacturing sector to remain competitive in the world economy. We can produce better products whenever we can use US manufacturing through closer oversight and better communication. USA Made products are important to our end users and anglers, so it is important to us to take care of our customers.“ – Waterworks Lamson Marketing Manager Jen Lavigne