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.”
ginkthefly replied on Permalink
Nice to see the Ross brand back in the hands of a company that focuses primarily on reel development, despite how much I like Orvis.
Hopefully Abel's first order of business will be to get rid of that ugly newfangled Ross logo and go back to the classic one.
doug replied on Permalink
I hear the mayfly guys are dumping the new RR logo and plan to bring back the old classic ross logo, I agree the old one is better
ginkthefly replied on Permalink
You heard that already? Well, if whoever you heard it from is in the know, that's great news. That new logo stinks. Classic brands need to embrace the fact that they're classic brands.
FastFriday replied on Permalink
It's a shame so few really know the story behind Steve & Gina's loss of the Abel Reel Company to what would be better described as the Belt Buckle company that acquired them. Frankly, it would be nice if Steve could have worked out the Financial issues with the Gov. that caused the ultimate hostile sale. I'm not sure what innovation Mayfly will have that might equal or shadow the genius of Steve Abel and Ross Hauck. I suspect if they keep to both Steve's and Ross's receipt we'll get a good reel but don't expect any new revelations...
mkjames replied on Permalink
"We would prefer for the brand to remain in the market, even if it remains a competitor to Orvis" = CLASS
Anonymous replied on Permalink
Agreed. I've no idea about the business of fly fishing, but Orvis is doing a lot of things correctly in the world of what we would call public relations. Except you get the feeling they truly mean it, which means it's way more than public relations. I, for one, respect Orvis greatly for that. As far as the logo thing goes, that ugly "RR" always kept me away from some Ross products, whose intrinsic beauty, like that of other fly fishing gear, is derived from a marriage of form and function, and is only marred by intrusive logos. Too many intrusive logos in fly fishing today. But the NASCAR-ization of the sport is well underway, and resistance is probably futile.