Where do fly fishing companies go to expand their sales horizons? Well, some go bass fishing. And some are hanging out at the Outdoor Retailer trade show, with the hope that they’ll tap a demographic that includes hikers, bikers, climbers, and kayakers.
For example, Simms Fishing Products just announced a series of sponsorships in the world of competitive fishing. And they’re not messing around. You’re going to see Simms products on six big-name professional bass anglers: Gary Klein, Shaw Grigsby, Aaron Martens, Kelly Jordon, Ish Monroe and Brett Ehrler. These guys helped Simms develop its new Pro Dry GORE-TEX Parka, Bibs and Pants.
“Simms is the perfect company for me to partner with when you consider I spend 300-plus days a year outside in the elements,” Martens said. “Simms has everything I need to protect my skin from the sun, wind and more.”
I wonder what kind of sponsorship deal it will take to get one or two of these guys to actually compete with a fly rod.
Meanwhile, Redington has made a concerted effort to reach out to the “other outdoorsy crowd” (meaning people who play in the woods who aren’t hunters or fishers) by exhibiting at the Summer Outdoor Retailer Show. A number of fly fishing-involved companies like Smith Optics and Patagonia have been plowing and planting these fields for years, but it’s a big step for Redington, now a part of Far Bank Enterprises (with Sage and Rio), because Redington was born and bred a fly fishing company.
“Debuting at OR this summer will bring the Redington brand and its products to a whole new market which couldn’t be more exciting for us,” said Jennifer Gish, Redington marketing manager. “Because we are the first fly fishing company to bridge the fly fishing and outdoor worlds together, I think there will be a lot of excitement around our brand from both retailers and industry professionals alike. We love the outdoors and we believe that every outdoor experience can be made better by adding fly fishing.”
The company added: “Fly fishing is an ideal gateway activity to get more users involved in the outdoors, and it has significant growth potential across a number of demographics which is another reason for Redington’s appearance at OR. Redington provides a low barrier of entry into fly-fishing thanks to its complete selection of hard and soft goods.”
That’s music to the ears of many in the fly world, who have been searching for ways to expand the base for years. We’ll see how it goes…