Made in America: The Virginia Company does what very few do these days
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WFXR) – Very few fishing reels are made in America these days. However, one Virginia company is bucking this trend. Seigler Fishing Reels produces reels at its Virginia Beach headquarters.
“We’re proud it’s made here and it’s the greatest thing doing something in America,” said Wes Seigler, president and co-founder of Seigler Fishing Reels. “It’s a challenge, it’s not, it’s not easy; it’s a lot of rough and tough nights, but it’s worth it.
According to Seigler’s estimate, his company produced about 25,000 reels. Not only are the reels made in the USA, but so are all of the materials and components that go into them.
“As fishing reel makers and as outdoor men and women, you want your stuff made here in America, and you want it forever,” Seigler said.
Seigler says his dedication to making reels comes from his lifelong passion for fishing, both conventional and fly fishing. His company manufactures both types.
“It became a passion to try to keep it here, one machine driving another and another machine,” Seigler said, pointing to the milling machines at his plant.
Seigler says time on the water contributes to the reel-making process: “Every time you’re on a fishing trip, every time you’re on a boat, you’ll find three out of four novelties. You think, is this something that will only affect a small percentage, or is this something that will change the world? We never know. But that’s how it goes. »
One of Seigler’s innovations is a lever drag system on the reels it manufactures. It has been described as a game changer by anglers who have used it.
“I started fly fishing saltwater, big game,” Seigler explained. “So I came up with a new design, really targeting some really nasty fish, some of the biggest fish in the world. Next thing you know, I have the line of fly reels I have now that are as strong than our line of conventional reels.
Seigler reels are available online directly from the company, as well as at select fishing tackle stores. They are computer machined from high quality materials. They cost more, but they are durable and built to last.
Seigler works with many professional anglers and fishing guides on their reels. A Smith Mountain Lake guide who uses them is Captain John Mathena of Patriot Fishing Charters.
“I use them for my Chesapeake charters and my trips to Smith Mountain Lake,” Mathena said.
At a time when most fishing reels are made overseas, Seigler says making reels and creating jobs here is a company commitment.
“We are proud to manufacture our reels here,” Seigler said. “It was a pretty neat trip.”