If you have been in the shop lately, you have probably seen a Rising Net hanging on the wall. However, there is much more to Rising than those the colorful aluminum nets they are widely known for. From nippers to forceps to fishing hats, Rising has made a point to provide quality products that make life easier for any angler. I began using a Rising long handle net for two reasons, my old net broke and I heard there was a flask built into the bottom of the handle. It has been about three years since I was first turned onto their product and now if you were to look in my bag just about every tool I own will have a Rising logo on it. While I will testify for the durablity and reliability of their products, I got the chance to catch up with Rising owner Dylan Rothwell to find out what the brand is all about. Give Rising Products a look!!!!
Trouts: When you first got the idea to start Rising, what were your main goals?
D.R : “Improving the fishing experience” that is the goal - which means we are constantly striving to design and manufacture better products to enhance angler’s time on the water. You can see this reflected in both our imported tools that we meticulously quality control, as well as in the products we make in our own shop. Before we started, nippers were just pieces off metal with non matching, nicked blades that didn’t work great. We introduced rubber grips to the design and more importantly, quality inspected and hand honed each pair so they would work better and make angler’s rigging and re-tying on the river more enjoyable. I mean, who likes to cut tippet 6 different times until they find a place on the cheap nippers that will cut? Similarly, we designed and built our new Anodized Aluminum nets to handle larger fish easily. While there were a couple big hoop nets around before we started making ours, none had the proper balance in your hand, and none were designed for serious abuse and to be used as walking/wading staffs. Our brand is all about solving problems for anglers on the water. Sometimes that means major changes to existing product categories and sometimes it just means little tweaks and improvements. The end result, however, is always the same - gear that performs better and improves the fishing experience.
Trouts: What products set Rising apart from others in the industry?
D.R.: The best way to answer this is by breaking the products down to two aspects - imported and quality controlled, vs. Made in America. Since we make tools and gadgets, some percentage of our product line has to be imported to compete at the prevailing price points anglers expect. In this arena, our products stand out by our quality control and ability to enhance and fix products in our own shop. Currently about 6 other companies have ripped off our large finger loop hemostat design, and they all look very similar on the wall of a fly shop. What sets ours apart, however, is how they perform on the water - tight tapered tips for more control of hooks in the fish’s mouth, and better ability to de-barb small flies, cutting blades that work on 100% of the blade, and locking steps that hold when needed and disengage with the right amount of pressure. These features are only the result of individual inspection and attention to detail, which is another way of saying our tools are better because we care enough to inspect every pair and only sell the best.
Vigorously quality controlled imported products, however, make up less than 50% of our product line. The majority of our gear is made in America, predominantly in our own shop. This aspect sets us apart from the larger companies in fishing, while also showing the true core of our brand. We are not marketers or flashy salesman hawking the same thing as everyone else but with different color handles. We are designers and builders. We are making the tools and dies we use to create our products - start to finish. What we do is similar to all the “small batch” beer and alcohol brewers popping up all over our great country - creating something better by using better ingredients and more attention to detail. You can see this in our nets - we source the best aluminum available, created our own plastic bolt and gasket enhanced end cap, and then used the best anodizing available - all of which allows us to offer a net that is stronger, lighter, and with better swing weight than anything else available, all while making it in America.. Way harder to do it our way, but if it were easy…
Trouts: Where do you see Rising in 5 years?
D.R.: Still in our awesomely rural shop in Francis, Utah. Still designing and manufacturing the best gear possible and still carrying about how our gear can improve the experience.. In 5 years, we will likely be a 5-6 person shop instead of a 3-4, Dalton with likely have "Vice President" on his business card, Pat will have “head of manufacturing” and our production capacity should be 30-40% higher. So while we will have growth and get larger as a company, we will not change the good things we have going: we will still be working 4 - 10s, we will be eating lunch outside together next to the bbq, we will be talking fishing all the time (except during Fantasy Football season), and we will be working in an environment that is enjoyable.
Trouts: What are some other intersting facts about Rising?
D.R.: Rising as a brand is 10 years old. I originally started it after a successful time with Vortex/William Joseph/Bad Lands focusing on tools that were primarily imported. Following an eye-opening 3 years working with Umpqua as our exclusive distributor, I took the company back to being independent. At that moment, we invested heavily in the machines we needed to become independent manufacturers. Rising machinery went from a small welder and couple grinders to a CNC Knee Mill, Engine Lathe, Laser Marker, 90 ton press, parts tumbler, oversize drill presses, surface grinder, and even more sanders and grinders. What started out of a small garage is now almost 3,000 SqFt of manufacturing muscle. At this same time, Dalton was hired bringing the head count from one to two - double the power, double the trouble.. The two of us did great together for over a year, and then started adding his friends to the employee mix.. We had some great guys help us out, but none who shared our joint passion to build Rising for the long haul until we brought in Pat. Now, Pat handles all the lathe production and net building with me. Our new man Nate handles all the shipping, while Dalton handles dealer relations, laser engraving, most of the tool quality control, and dealing with all the little things that have to be dialed for a “small batch” manufacturer to thrive. It’s a great team, small nimble and everyone is accountable for their actions.