This past Friday it was announced that the R.L.Winston Rod Company of Twin Bridges, Montana has acquired Bauer Fly Reels of Ashland, Oregon. This news caused quite a buzz in the fly fishing world, but what does it mean?
Well, it means that we can expect quality fly reels to continue to be produced by Bauer Fly Reels. I talked with Jon Bauer last week about entering this new phase of his business and both he and his wife, Barbara, seem excited about the future of the company. For now, things will continue as normal with both companies running independently. Bauer Fly Reels will still be produced and assembled here in Oregon. Eventually, we may see final assembly of these popular reels moved to Big Sky Country to be closer to Winston’s home base, with production remaining in Oregon.
I think Jon is looking forward to focusing on the design aspect in the years to come and handing off the day to day business operations. To those of us who love and fish his reels that means the innovation and design that has been a trademark of this Oregon based company will continue well into the future. It also means I may be able to get Jon to take me fishing again…
My personal opinion is that there are not two companies in this industry that are better matched. Both have raised the bar on quality fly tackle over the years and I expect them to continue that trend under the guidance of the R.L. Winston team.
Read the official release from the R. L. WInston Rod Company here.