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Iconic Fishing Brand Zebco Acquired by Rather Outdoors

The company has been making fishing rods, reels, accessories since 1949.

Iconic Fishing Brand Zebco Acquired by Rather Outdoors

Zebco has a strong reputation for introducing young anglers to fishing. (Shutterstock image)

Citing Zebco's strength in the European fishing market, Rather Outdoors announced it has acquired the well-known fishing-tackle maker this week.

Rather is also the parent company of popular brands Lew’s and Strike King, and now Zebco subsidiary Quantum.

"We are thrilled to welcome Zebco to the Rather family of brands," CEO Ken Eubanks said in a news release. "From a company perspective, this business represents robust growth potential for Rather Outdoors and enables us to continue building a complementary offering for our most important partner, our consumers in the fishing community."

Tulsa, Okla.-based Zebco has been in business since 1949, making a variety of rods, reels and accessories for anglers of all ages. Rather says the fishing equipment space has seen a consistent upward trajectory in consumer participation, particularly among of youth and new anglers, areas where the Zebco excels.

"This bold acquisition positions Rather Outdoors to take full advantage of the sport's growth and momentum," Eubanks said.

Rather Outdoors now has an even deeper portfolio of fishing-gear companies. Along with Lew’s, Strike King, Quantum, and Zebco, it owns European brands Fox, Fox Rage, Matrix, Preston Innovations and Salmo. Learn more about these companies.

Zebco has been making fishing gear for more than 70 years.

It was Zebco's positioning in Europe that attracted Rather, according to the news release. Zebco's strong portfolio in Europe includes Telford, England-based Preston Innovations and Zebco Europe, located in Tostedt, Germany. Preston, a leading UK match-fishing brand, has an established presence in the coarse, carp and bait segments of the European market. Zebco Europe distributes the namesake Zebco brand, but also has a strong share of Europe's predator fishing with Quantum, which originally launched in the U.S. in 1984.

"What the Zebco acquisition means for our retail partners is of utmost importance to Rather," Eubanks said. "A strong partnership between Rather and our retailers is in this company's DNA. We believe this deal will enhance consumer engagement and provide retail customers with a full complement to our heritage brands."

Added Steve Smits, president and COO of Zebco: "The team here at Zebco is proud of our past and the strong traditions of our brands. We believe that the leadership of Rather Outdoors remains committed to delivering the highest quality products to the loyal consumers of Zebco Brands."

About Rather Outdoors

Rather Outdoors is a global Outdoors corporation uniting some of the most recognizable names in the fishing space. With historic and iconic brands such as Lew's, Strike King, Salmo, and Fox, Rather Outdoors provides a wide assortment of fishing products worldwide in an effort to enhance anglers' success and the enjoyment of outdoor pursuits. To learn more about the Rather Outdoors brands, visit

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