Mayfly Group LLC, owner of Abel Reels, has acquired the Ross Reels brand from Orvis. It was only in June of this year that Orvis acquired Ross as part of its purchase of the Scientific Anglers brand of fly lines.
To address expected speculation regarding why Orvis would look to sell off a brand it had just acquired six months ago, a press release by the Mayfly Group noted that Orvis had "developed a clear growth strategy for its Scientific Anglers brand, while concurrently struggling to integrate the Ross Reels brand into its own reel business." The sentiment was echoed by Orvis' Jim LePage, who said that "It became clear that Ross [was] not a strong fit for Orvis’ long term strategy."
Mayfly Group intends to continue to operate the Ross brand, taking advantage of the expertise of Abel engineers to update and further develop its product lineup. President of Mayfly, David Dragoo noted that “[the] Mayfly Group is honored to be associated with Ross Reels, an iconic fly fishing brand. We hope to expand upon the creativity and quality of the brand developed by founder Ross Hauck more than 40 years ago.” According to the company, the Ross brand will also re-introduce former popular models into its lineup.
Orvis' Lepage added, "Ross Reels has an interesting history and a loyal following. We respect the company’s strong tradition, outstanding workforce, well-run factory and quality products. We would prefer for the brand to remain in the market, even if it remains a competitor to Orvis. We are happy that we found a strategic buyer that can give Ross Reels the attention it deserves and look forward to seeing it prosper and grow in the years to come. We wish Mayfly and the Ross Reel factory employees much success.”