More SA/Ross/Orvis

I never fail to be surprised at the number of Orvis-haters, on this forum and elsewhere. They act like the company is some Martha Stewart who decided over a glass of merlot one evening to extend her brand into flyfishing instead of a near-legendary company with a 150+ year track record of offering American-made goods for our sport and supporting conservation efforts.

Here's to every continued success for Orvis. Cheers!

I personally don't understand hating on any company unless they have really wronged you or are sending jobs outside the US. If you do not like a company's product then don't use them, but don't hate just because they have not been in business for a 100+ years, after all they give the rest us a choice.

Kent this was in no way directed at you, it's just a general comment.


My name is Mark Oberg
I feel in love with orvis graphite when they came out with those unsanded rods. It was a turning point for me to graphite. I still have them and they make a great dryfly rod. I also have a few of orvis boo rods that I love. Haven't found the right situation for my 5" mitey mite, but I will.


Geez... I hate to mention it now but I meant a beginners set up that included the rod, the reel and a line... not a beginning rod building kit. I didn't they sold such a thing. :eek:

Greg Armstrong

Regarding Orvis;
Any American company that has been around for 150~ years gets my respect.
I like some of their products, and some others are not for me. What I have purchased from them over the years has been of high quality and has worked very well for me. I also like their sense of environmental ethics.
As an aside, some of those impregnated bamboo rods are perfect for fishing the salt for anyone inclined. I have both Orvis and Sharpes impregnated bamboo rods that do just fine for searun cutthroat and salmon.

Dan Nelson

Hiker, Fisher, Writer, Bum
Here's a little more info directly from Tom Rosenbauer (I spoke with him last week about this topic).

Tom said, "Ross and SA will continue to operate independently from Orvis." That is, All three brands will likely share SOME research and design ideas in a sort of R&D cross-pollination process, but all three brands will continue to be strong, independent brands.

"Our expertise is in flyrods," Tom said, noting that the core of Orvis' fly lines have been provided by SA for quite some time -- that won't change. But Orvis and SA will continue to develop and offer their own lines (for Orvis, that means CONTINUING to design the outer coatings and weights/tapers for the SA-cores they use).

Orvis Reels will also be independent from Ross reels and vice versa. There will be a new American-made CFO reel and since Orvis doesn't have their own reel manufacturing plant, the actual production will be contracted out as usual. Illustrating the independence of the brands in the acquistion, Ross will have to bid on the Orvis reel production job just like every other manufacturer!

In short, Orvis isn't going to muck up Ross or SA and they aren't going to let Ross/SA muck up Orvis. They will work in harmony on some projects and frankly, in competition on others. (much like Farbanks' brands -- Sage, Redington, C&F and Rio -- do).

Bottom line, this is GREAT news for fly fishers as it helps strengthen 2 quality brands that were owned by a massive international conglomerate. Those brands are now owned by a true fly fishing company that wants them to succeed not only for their own sake, but for the good of the fly fishing community.

I'll publish a more detailed story on the purchase and other industry news in a few days. Stay tuned.
I am new to flyfishing but not new to the world of business, products, and marketing, and one benefit I can see SA and Ross can stand to gain from Orvis is their much more customer attuned marketing. Every time I look at SA's fly line line up I get confused, whereas if you look at Rio's offering, every product has a clear and distinguished product positioning that's easy to understand. I know (or think I know) the difference between Rio Mainstream vs. Gold vs Grand. But thinking through the offering on on the SA side, despite me trying to read up on it on their web site, it remains clear as mud, even though guys continue to tell me SA has good products. And when consumers have limited knowledge or time and need to make a decision, they will buy Rio lines just because they know that I'll be getting something that fits what I'm looking for.

Fly fisherman is generally a very well educated, in-the-know kind of consumer, but even then marketing plays a major role in the success of companies. I think SA will definitely get more marketing expertise from Orvis than from 3M, and that's a good thing. I like well engeineered products to have good market and financial success, and I think SA deserves more users.

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