Simms Fishing Straddles the Line

Simms Fishing Straddles the Line
Simms Fishing Straddles the Line

Visit this year’s ICAST/IFTD show in Orlando and the astute observer might notice that the Simms Fishing products booth actually straddles the line. That imaginary line that exists on floor plan schematics, the ones that show the ICAST’s conventional tackle side of fishing as well as the IFTD’s fly fishing side of things.

That’s intentional said Rich Hohne, digital marketing and PR director for Simms Fishing.

“For us, so many of the products that we make translate into the notion that all anglers need to be comfortable to experience their best days on the water, not just those who enjoy fly fishing,” said Hohne.

“If our stuff is working really well, you don’t even know you’ve got it on, regardless of which species you are pursuing out there,” he added.


Hohne admitted that Simms is often thought of as a maker of primarily fly fishing gear – Gore-Tex waders, Gore-Tex rain gear, technical clothing, lifestyle clothing, fly fishing vests, and gear bags – thanks in part to its location and corporate history.


“We’re based in the heart of fly fishing world,” said Hohne. “Montana is considered by many as the Mecca for trout enthusiasts. But our company is named Simms Fishing, not Simms Fly Fishing. And there’s a reason for that – for us, we believe that the passion for fishing is a universal one.”

Hohne pointed to the bass fishing and saltwater fishing culture that is prevalent here in Florida as well as the trout culture back home in Montana.

“There are a lot of trout guys here in our booth,” he said. “But there have also been a lot of guys from other angling groups in here too. In fact, (bass angling pro) Shaw Grigsby was just through here and we’ve seen Aaron Martens and Brandon Palaniuk come though too.”

Does such line straddling by Simms create any grumbling and friction between such distinct fishing subcultures? Hohne admitted that occasionally the answer is yes.


“Some people don’t understand that Aaron Martens needs as much protection from the elements in a bass boat in Alabama as a guide on a Montana trout stream or a salmon guide in the back of a jet boat in Alaska both need,” he said.

Martens and Grigsby - who along with Palaniuk are all Major League Fishing pros - both experienced the need for exceptional fishing gear here in Florida a couple of years ago.

That need occurred in October 2012 while they were both competing in the MLF Challenge Cup tournament held on Lake Istokpoga, a sprawling Florida bass water located a couple of hours to the south of Orlando.


When Hurricane Sandy lashed the Florida peninsula on her destructive trip up the Eastern seaboard, the black-and-orange color scheme of the Simms Fishing ProDry Gore-Tex rain suits became a familiar sight to viewers as the Outdoor Channel television cameras looked on.

“The thing is, while these anglers all have different feature set requirements, they all share the same passion for fishing,” said Hohne.

And that leads to the literal location of the Simms Fishing booth on the floor of Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center.

“In our booth space, we actually are sitting on the dividing line,” smiled Hohne. “We’re partly in the fly fishing side of the show and we also expand over that line into the conventional side of the show.

“Our booth space is symbolic in showing our company’s commitment to the passion that exists in all of fishing.”

To that end, Hohne is participating in a seminar discussion on Thursday that addresses this topic.

“We’re actually addressing this whole idea of conventional fishing versus fly fishing in a kind of ‘Why can’t we all get along?’ approach,” said Hohne.

“That discussion will look at how this idea is good for business from the different equipment needs of various types of anglers to the different price points that we can offer to the different materials we can use in our products,” he added.

“We all benefit (as businesses) when we can get people to move into fishing. And that’s why our focus at Simms is on the universal passion of fishing and not whether or not you use a spinning rod or a spey rod when you are out on the water.”

Has such a commitment translated into better business at the combined shows of ICAST and IFTD?

Hohne said yes and points to an increase in buyer traffic and the creation of more distribution channels for Simms as well as connecting with more of the company’s colleagues throughout the industry.

“It’s an important place for us to interface with our retailers, to foster relationships with the media and to get together with our friends in the industry,” he said. “And all of that so that we can continue to reinforce our company’s passion for fishing.”

Even if the Simms Fishing company quite literally straddles the line here in Orlando.

Click here for videos, stories and photos from ICAST 2014.

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Costa and Captains for Clean Water

Costa and Captains for Clean Water

With the company's heavy involvement in initiatives like Kick the Plastic and Captains for Clean Water campaigns, Costa's Amanda Sabin tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead all about the sunglass maker's unwavering commitment to help the freshwater and saltwater environment.

Lure Lock Options Includes LED Light Boxes & More

Lure Lock Options Includes LED Light Boxes & More

Pro angler Jonathan VanDam showcases new offerings at ICAST 2019, including the ultra-thin, big bait boxes, LED-lighted boxes and backpack-able gear lockers. With Game & Fish Editorial Director Adam Heggenstaller at ICAST 2019 in Orlando.

BPT Points Champ Edwin Evers Talks New Berkley Baits

BPT Points Champ Edwin Evers Talks New Berkley Baits

After making the switch to Berkley products heading into the inaugural BPT season, Edwin Evers tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead why Berkley baits played such a key role in his recent angling success.

New Optimum and Optimum TS Downriggers from Canon

New Optimum and Optimum TS Downriggers from Canon

From rugged reliability to smooth integration of cutting edge technology across several different platforms, OSG's Lynn Burkhead learns that there's much to like about the new Optimum and Optimum TS downriggers from Canon.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Unless you live in Antarctica, the only continent they aren't known to inhabit, there is a species Catfish

10 Biggest Catfish World Records of All Time

Jack Vitek - December 08, 2014

Unless you live in Antarctica, the only continent they aren't known to inhabit, there is a...

You can catch bluegill faster with these strategies. Panfish

Find and Fish Bluegill Beds Efficiently

Terry Madewell - May 22, 2019

You can catch bluegill faster with these strategies.

          From Monksville Reservoir to Union Lake, plus five other picks, here's where you'll find Bass

7 Best Bets For New Jersey Largemouth Bass

October 04, 2010

From Monksville Reservoir to Union Lake, plus five other picks, here's where you'll...

While wildly popular amongst anglers around the world, the IGFA World Record book shows the biggest pike come from Europe. Records

Top 10 Biggest Pike World Records of All Time

Jack Vitek - August 19, 2015

While wildly popular amongst anglers around the world, the IGFA World Record book shows the...

See More Trending Articles

More News

Jeff Kolodzinski attempted to break his own 24-hour world record for most fish caught. News

Did 'Marathon Man' Break His Own World Record?

Lynn Burkhead - September 10, 2018

Jeff Kolodzinski attempted to break his own 24-hour world record for most fish caught.

It must be time for summer fishing because records are falling everywhere. Records

State Records Reported in Maryland, Michigan

G&F Online Staff - May 23, 2019

It must be time for summer fishing because records are falling everywhere.

2019 edition, now available, commemorates ethical sport and productive science. News

IGFA ‘World Record Game Fishes' Celebrates 80 Years

Jack Vitek - July 15, 2019

2019 edition, now available, commemorates ethical sport and productive science.

A pair of giant bass caught in shallow water on back-to-back days in early March is a great sign spring fishing has arrived. Bass

Back-to-Back East Texas Lunkers Prove Spring Is Near

Lynn Burkhead - March 18, 2019

A pair of giant bass caught in shallow water on back-to-back days in early March is a great...

See More News

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.