I should start by saying that Thomas & Thomas is a client of mine. In fact they were one of the first companies to use my photography. That said, like many anglers, within a year or two I was cursing the name Thomas and Thomas. There was a point when I wouldn’t take their phone calls. It was a rocky relationship to say the least. So don’t think I’m blowing sunshine up anybody’s skirt when I say I truly believe things might be turning around.
If your not up to speed on the story, there was a time when T&T changed owners and the investor who bought the company, as well as the outgoing management, made a complete cluster fuck of the place. Rods weren’t delivered, repairs weren’t made, a lot of people were pissed off. I have friends who will tell you that T&T rods are the best made and that they will never own another. Things looked pretty dark up there. Not an easy turn around. So what makes me think they can pull it off?
At the IFTD show in New Orleans I had the chance to meet with Mark Richens the new owner of T&T. We had lunch and this is what I came away with. T&T is in great hands. Firstly, you don’t have to talk with Mark for long to know that he’s a serious fisherman. He knows the sport and the people who love it. Secondly, he’s a smart guy with a head for business. He has a plan and a vision for the company and he realizes he has a hell of a job ahead of him. Thirdly, my gut feeling is that this guy is a pit bull. I don’t see him walking away from a fight, ever. Not the kind of guy you want to cross. Frankly, my kind of guy.
We didn’t talk specifically about what has changed at the company but I gather that some heads may have rolled. It does look like the folks still there are all strong, talented folks who believe in the company. Tom Dorcey is still there designing rods and I cast a few of them in New Orleans and I can only say, WOW! If they can get these rods in peoples hands, they will sell.
Time will tell but I am personally excited about what’s happening there and I can’t wait to get my hands on some of those new rods. I love the T&T rods I own. Other than that I don’t have a dog in this fight but I wish them well. After all, what’s the down side of another great fly rod company out there?Louis Cahill Gink & Gasoline www.ginkandgasoline.com firstname.lastname@example.org