May 13

Orvis + Ross + SA

Well, I didn’t see this coming.  It was announced that Orvis has bought Ross and Scientific Angler from 3M.

My first reaction was “Didn’t 3M just buy Ross? Why would they then turn around and sell it?”

Hearing that the Ross and SA lines would not be absorbed into the Orivis brand made me think that this might actually be a pretty savvy move by Orvis.

Orvis has a perception problem. For reasons probably related to there being such things as Orvis pleated khaki’s, Orvis has an image in the fly fishing world as being stodgy and elitist. Now, personally I think the reputation is off-base here and I think they have some really fantastic gear at price points equal to, or even less than, some of the other top brands in the business.

Ross, on the other hand, is a working man’s brand. It has none of the brand baggage that Orvis seems to carry. If you combine the brands, you lose the cool factor of the Ross brand… that Made in the USA, solid-at-a-solid-price perception.

While you don’t see many Orvis stickers on the Yeti coolers, you do see Ross stickers, and that’s why the deal, as it stands, makse sense to me.

The Trout Underground has some theories of his own.

The F1 by Ross

The F1 by Ross

Aug 12

From the Show – Ross, SA and Cheeky

It is hard not to feel like a “kid in a candy store” at the show. All the gear is there for you to drool over. It doesn’t suck. I tried to get some of the gear makers to let me help them out when they packed up by taking some of the gear home, but, alas, that didn’t come to pass.

I got around to talk to folks and here is a little of what I saw.


Ross, at the show.

As you probably know, Ross got a bit bigger in the last year as they were acquired by 3M. 3M owns the Scientific Angler brand and most of the news was coming from SA.  Ross has taken a step back and is re-engineering a lot of their reels to bring them more in line with the F1 series, meaning sealed drags. I’m really curious to see what they come up with.

One interesting thing is that the SA System 4 reel has seen some big changes. It looks a LOT like the Ross CLA (I own one) and is now made in the USA (good on ya 3M).

System 4 – Made in the USA

Another product coming out of the SA side of thing is a new tippet holder with a build in cutter. They have really put some thought into tippet, coming up with a color coding system that will make it easy for you to figure out what you have your hand on. Interesting stuff. I got a couple spools, both for my fresh and saltwater fishing and I’m looking forward to trying it out.

There is a little razor blade to cut your line sans nippers. Interesting.


3M is a pretty large company and at the other end of the spectrum are newcomers Cheeky. I’ve covered Cheeky because I like the little guys. This was the first time I’ve actually held one of the reels in my hand. The styling is something you either like or you don’t. I liked it. They now have a full lineup that will handle the 4 wt. to the 14 wt..

They had me at the sign.

I’m sure that fish was taken right from the water and wasn’t exposed to the air for too long.

Kind of crappy cell phone camera, but you get the point. Sealed drag, btw.

There’s even more and I’ll eventually get that up for y’all.



Nov 11

TFM gets a tour of Ross

A cool post over at the Fiberglass Manifesto involves a tour of the Ross factory as an F1 reel gets assembled.

Oct 09

Deneki Shares Bruce Chard's Set-Up

Bruce Chard is a flats guide of some reputation (the good kind from what I gather).  He teaches a bonefishing school in connection with Deneki Outdoors, so he has some bonefishy knowledge to drop.  Deneki recently tweeted a link to Bruce’s gear… all the way down to the knots.

I don’t know Bruce, but I think we’d get along.  His rod is a Ross Worldwide Essence FW 7wt.  That’s a $220 rod.  The Sage Xi3 may be a hell of a rod, but at $695 it is also spendy.  Now, we usually associate Ross with reels, but they entered the rod business a few years ago and their rods have been scoring pretty well by “those that know.”  Ross is also “Made in the USA,” which makes them a rare bird indeed these days.

Bruce also prefers the non-slip loop knot as his tippet-to-fly knot.  I just learned the knot and used it to catch a few fish out of the Truckee River throwing streamers last weekend.  Pretty easy knot and one I know I should have been using for ages.

Some info on Bruce’s school…

Time for School!

Doesn't that look like a nice place for class?

I would probably like this…