Rapala VMS Corporation, the Finnish producer of fishing lures, equipment and tools, has started the international roll-out of an American brand for recreational fishing, 13 Fishing. In July, Rapala acquired 49 percent of the share capital of DQC International Corp., the Florida-based company that owns 13 Fishing. Prior to the acquisition, DQC was controlled James Coble, who started the brand in 2011. In order to promote the growth of 13 Fishing both in the U.S. and international markets, Rapala injected $10 million in cash into the company. Rapala also entered into an unlimited worldwide licensing and exclusive distribution agreement, excluding the U.S.
During the brand’s inception, 13 Fishing recognized that ice anglers were overlooked by the industry and developed an entire program that redefined the sport of ice fishing. From there the brand’s popularity exploded as it expanded the same out-of-the-box thinking to other fisheries, most notably to the North American bass market. Now, through what is, according to the company, the widest distribution and marketing network in the industry, Rapala is taking 13 Fishing global to over 25 countries, accompanied by a new European website.
Rapala said, that despite the extraordinary times, the recreational fishing industry has seen exceptional growth in participation this year in many markets as people rediscover or try new outdoor hobbies in the wake of the global Covid-19 pandemic. Enrico Ravenni, Rapala’s executive vice president, explained that chain retail stores in Europe have been particularly eager to stock wide ranges of 13 Fishing products with good levels of pre-orders in some regions. Off the back of such a successful reception, Rapala intends to further accelerate its international development initiatives for 13 Fishing in 2021, adding a substantial expansion of the already extensive rod range, as well as a doubling in the spinning reel offering to meet soaring demand for the brand.
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