April 22, 2011
Thomas & Thomas Looks to the Future
Greenfield, MA – April 11, 2011.
Islamorada, FL based fly fisherman Mark Richens today
provided further details relating to his recent acquisition of the Thomas & Thomas brand
and manufacturing facilities.
Richens has formed a new company and will commence selling bamboo, glass and
graphite rods under the Thomas & Thomas brand with immediate effect. Key members
of the former Thomas & Thomas Rodmakers Inc. team have accepted positions with the
new company having previously been laid off by Thomas & Thomas Rodmakers Inc. in
March 2011. Mark Richens will lead the company and will be relocating to Massachusetts
after this year’s tarpon season. By way of this press release Richens confirmed that his
team is working with dealers to ensure a smooth transition for past, present and future
Richens also confirmed that existing Thomas & Thomas rod warranty obligations will be
honored by his company. Anglers returning damaged rods should address packages to
Thomas & Thomas at the usual address.
Describing his motives for the acquisition Richens said, “To my mind Thomas & Thomas
is one of the last true American rod builders. Fly fishing devotees around the world
gravitate toward the brand. I am no different and am privileged to be working with a
vastly experienced crew in New England. There are many unsung heroes here who
have forgotten more than I’ll ever know about the quest for fly rod perfection.
I am, however, under no illusions and this is not a vanity purchase. There is work to be
done to ensure all operational aspects of our business exude the same quality as the
finished rods themselves. This means rebuilding relations so that we can work closer
with great fly shops; engaging more with the guides and anglers that vigorously put our
products to the test on the water; improving our warranty repair turnaround times and
getting more involved with initiatives that improve the future outlook for the most
important players in our industry – young people and the fish themselves.
These are exciting timer for Thomas & Thomas. We have the benefit of forty years of
rod making expertise combined with an abundance of enthusiasm. We now own our
premises and are well capitalized. We are going to work hard and fish harder with the
aim of building rods that appreciably enrich the fly fishing experience for our customers
in the USA and around the world. I am confident that quality fly shops and fanatical
fishermen will get behind us.
Finally, I would like to thank Lon Deckard and Gerry Metcalfe for their gentlemanly
conduct throughout this process. The fly fishing community should know that both have
demonstrated a deep affinity for the Thomas & Thomas brand and the people
associated with it. I know of nobody that wanted to see T&T disappear and this
includes a number of competitors who have called me to say as much. Their calls were
gratefully received and spoke volumes to the fellowship of fishermen.”