Fly lines have to be such a small part of the business that 3M does overall I would expect good things to come out of this.
I recall when SA (3M) bought a few of the finest companies in the U.S. that manufacture fly fishing gear and spit them out in a very short time, never to be seen from again (non-compete clause?) except one of those companies who, many years later, started ramping up production of exquisite and inventive fly reels again.
I'm actually a bit geeked about this. For one I might feel good about buying Orvis reels again and a fly fishing company buying a fly fishing company seems to take things a step higher than bean counters buying relatively successful companies to drain the name and assets. Just a thought on why Ross was sold so soon after they were purchased by an investment group. In my mind I can see their new owners telling them to build in China and Ross telling them to go pound sand. Again, this is all in my imagination but it does seem plausible, no?
Having a very nice Orvis corporate store near me I can completely understand why Orvis markets the clothing that they do. This store is in a very high-zoot area where average clientele looks like the type who wouldn't blink about paying what they do for clothes. The markup on that stff must be quite handsome. In fact, I know a very famous wader manufacturer who also markets high priced 'lifestyle' clothing most likely because the rewards are so great yet no one calls them to task for doing so.
Since Orvis has been making fly fishing gear since the 1850's one would think they might know a bit about the business and the market. I know that Orvis is a name I can trust to back up everything they sell. This lessens the pain if you happen to buy a product that is a dog.
I would much rather see this scenario than have SA and Ross simply die or fade away.
Here's to a long and happy marriage between all of the great brands!