Home | Fly Fishing Features | News | Thomas & Thomas Rodmakers has a New Owner

Thomas & Thomas Rodmakers has a New Owner

By
Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font
“It’s a spectacular company with an unbelievable brand” “It’s a spectacular company with an unbelievable brand”

Neville Orsmond, who has recently taken ownership, said he has been fly fishing since he was five years old and plans to continue the company’s tradition of making top-quality, American-made fly rods.

 

 

Source: The Recorder

 

 

Neville Orsmond said he decided to buy Thomas & Thomas because he wanted to mix business with his lifelong passion.

 

“I’ve been fly fishing my whole life,” said Orsmond. “I’ve always used Thomas & Thomas fly rods. I plan to continue to make them the same as they’ve always been made.”

 

Orsmond said Tom Dorsey, one of the co-founders of the 45-year-old company, will work full-time for him.

 

“It’s a spectacular company with an unbelievable brand,” said Orsmond.

 

He said the company will stay in Greenfield and he hopes eventually to expand by opening a “full-blown fly shop.”

 

“All of the employees will stay with us,” said Orsmond. “We have 11 full-time employees who work in the shop and four who work from home.”

 

Orsmond said any changes that might be made in the future will be for the better.

 

He said he loves being located at 627 Barton Road, which is just down the road from Kringle Candle Co.

 

“There’s a lot of traffic this way and I’m hoping people will stop in and see us,” he said. “I know our employees and customers are very excited and happy about the change.”

 

Orsmond said he will be a hands-on owner. He said previous owner Mark Richens, from whom he bought the company, ran it most recently from England because of family commitments.

 

“I am honored to take ownership of this storied rod shop and excited about the possibilities for the future,” said Orsmond, originally from South Africa.

 

Orsmond, who has a wife and 2-year-old twin daughters, said he has worked with the Thomas & Thomas team for the past three months, because the previous owner gave him access as they worked through the details of the sale.

 

He said the transition is and will continue to be seamless for customers, dealers and employees.

 

“The opportunity to work within the fly fishing industry and with the devoted staff at Thomas & Thomas is a dream come true, and I’ll be giving it my all to ensure Thomas & Thomas stays at the top in terms of fly rod performance and craftsmanship,” he said.

 

Orsmond previously owned a coffee roasting company — he said he has always been an entrepreneur.

 

“This business is also my love and passion, though,” he said.

 

Orsmond said he will be in Greenfield at least five days a week for a while and will eventually cut back to three or four days so he can spend time with his family. He said it is a two-hour drive from his home.

 

Thomas & Thomas was born out of passion in Pennsylvania in 1969, according to Dorsey.

 

He said he had an “unbridled and irresistible drive to create the most beautiful and perfect fly rods that human hands could create.

 

“Our motivation and energy was driven more by the rewards of artistic pride than by financial profit,” said Dorsey.

 

The company moved to Turners Falls in 1972, Dorsey’s co-founder left in 1977 and Dorsey sold his share in 1991. The company moved to Greenfield several years ago.

 

Dorsey, like Orsmond, said going to work has never been onerous at Thomas & Thomas, because he’s been doing what he loves.

 

Dorsey said Orsmond is one of the most passion-driven people he’s met. He said Orsmond is enthusiastic about owning the company and wants to continue with the same goal Dorsey had when he started.

 

Orsmond bought the brand and the Greenfield facility. He said he will continue to make bamboo, glass and graphite fly rods. He replaces Richens as president and chief executive officer.

 







Articles by the same author






Comments (7 posted):

mcnerney on 15/08/2014 16:01:55
avatar
Interesting story, I hope he can turn the company around and wish him all the best.
clay tonian on 15/08/2014 18:25:52
avatar
There has got to be a niche market for a rodmaker that will back off the gas on the new technologies and make a sub $500.00 rod that is lightweight and responsive and built with fine materials in the USA...8 bills for a rod is insanity ---------- Post added at 12:25 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:13 PM ---------- am I describing St Croix? ^^ (I really don't know, never cast one)
nctribute on 15/08/2014 19:26:46
avatar
There has got to be a niche market for a rodmaker that will back off the gas on the new technologies and make a sub $500.00 rod that is lightweight and responsive and built with fine materials in the USA...8 bills for a rod is insanity ---------- Post added at 12:25 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:13 PM ---------- am I describing St Croix? ^^ (I really don't know, never cast one) Plenty of rods out there that fit that description, what you are really asking for is a lightweight, responsive, built with fine material and with a recognized name sub $500 rod. Get rid of the name part and you are good to go.
Flywgn on 15/08/2014 19:38:27
avatar
Interesting, since I don't think the previous owner was on board for long, was he? Seems to me it was only a few months ago that everyone was optimistic that he was going to "turn the company around" (whatever that implied). Allen R.
hairwing530 on 15/08/2014 20:21:06
avatar
In total agreement with Larry, I wish the new owner the best of luck in the months to come. T&T long has been among the finest rods... I also agree with clay tonian in his assessment of the "new technologies" and a niche market. I've cast/fished/owned a wealth of rods over the years, and I keep coming back to three rod whose "technology" is "antiquated" in the eyes of many-- the old Orvis Graphite, the old Orvis Superfine, and the Winston TMF IM6 rods. Collectively, they're not "line-cannons" by any stretch of the imagination, not by comparison to some of today's rods. But, they will handle a cast out to 40 or 50 feet with a delicate touch and responsiveness that suits my style of fishing. I'm long past the "longest cast" stage of my life, choosing instead to work a trout close up and with more emphasis on a presentation that fits me... OK... I'll get down from my soapbox now... Jerry, aka hairwing530
rockriver on 15/08/2014 20:31:03
avatar
Hopefully it goes well. I'd love to buy one.
eastfly66 on 16/08/2014 01:33:05
avatar
Hopefully it goes well. I'd love to buy one. I was at T&T today to test cast a LPS II I am considering , it is exactly what it says , exceptional presentation and accuracy ,(Soft presentation) not being one of my strong points in casting but this rod makes it easy. The last time I was there I got to meet the new owner and he was nice enough to tell me some of his ideas and I am really looking forward to the possibilities . I was told the new catalog will be out soon and given a chance to try one of the new rods on their casting pond and will be looking forward to seeing the finished product. The NS II was my most recent rod and cannot say enough good things about it. Rockriver & Clay , you should take a look at those Horizon II at backcountry for $380. ! I have a 4 & 6 with a 5 in the NS II. For an all around rod , I would not want anything but a Horizon II , enough so that I am ordering a 5 wt. as a back up to my 4 & 6 ! The accuracy with the 4 wt. is unmatched. Tom Dorsey is truly a Master of the craft. Like they said , if your out that way stop in ! Great people ! :D ---------- Post added at 07:33 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:21 PM ---------- There has got to be a niche market for a rodmaker that will back off the gas on the new technologies and make a sub $500.00 rod that is lightweight and responsive and built with fine materials in the USA...8 bills for a rod is insanity ---------- Post added at 12:25 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:13 PM ---------- am I describing St Croix? ^^ (I really don't know, never cast one) Back in the late 90's (I think) T&T produced the ES series as an option to the high end rods, I still have my ES 908 as a go to steelhead rod (with a 50/60' carry it still feels like a 5/6 wt. No Kidding!). They cut cost with an unsanded/painted blank , real seat , ect. The blank/rod was still all T&T and I think better than some high end today ! I am hoping they will introduce a similar rod in that price range/market. These blanks are rolled right here in Ma. and the quality control is unmatched. Even the reel seats are custom made for T&T by a local shop. It would not surprise me if the cloth bags & tubes were made local also. The ES was like the RPL (same era) except a lot more feel and smoother (and less $ ) IMHO , I had the RPL traded it toward the NS II. However ,,, I have to say , I think un sanded blanks are butt ugly ! BTW , all 3 rods cast a Rio gold WF perfectly. I am going to try a line on the 4 wt. that is not as aggressive (DT maybe) for presentation.
Add/View Comments
  • Email to a friend Email to a friend
  • Print version Print version
  • Plain text Plain text

Tagged as:

fly rod

Rate this article

0

Follow NA Fly Fishing Forums!