Our Story

Building the World’s Best Fishing Company, One Brand at a Time

Angling is growing worldwide and Pure Fishing, Inc. has positioned its portfolio of brands to fuel that growth. A global provider of fishing tackle, lures, rods and reels, our brands are organized to meet market needs and encompasses all corners of the fishing marketplace. With operations in 19 countries and a dedicated workforce conversant in 28 languages, Pure Fishing, Inc. is a leader in outdoor and recreational lifestyle products.

History

1874

Hardy Brothers is founded in 1874 in Alnwick, England.

 

1880

Earnest A. Pflueger starts the Enterprise Manufacturing Company in Akron, OH to make fishing tackle.

1897

The William Shakespeare, Jr. Company is founded Kalamazoo, MI, and a patent is awarded for the original Shakespeare fish-line reel.

 

1921

AB Urfabriken is founded in Blekinge, Sweden as a manufacturer of watches and telephone components. The company will later refocus on fishing reels.

1932

Machinest Otto Henze founds the PENN Fishing Tackle Company and completes his first two reel designs in Philadelphia, PA.

 

1936

PENN intorduces the legendary Senator reel.

1937

The Berkley Fly Co. is founded by 16-year old Berkley Bedell in Spirit Lake, IA with $50 in paper route earnings. His first flies are created from hair clippings from the family dog and feathers from backyard chickens.

 

1939

Göte Borgström refocuses his company on the manufacturing of fishing reels.

1948

Upon the death of Otto Henze, Martha Henze takes over for her husband as President of PENN. The company continues to prosper.

 

1949

Johnson is founded when Lloyd Johnson and Henry Warren Denison build their first fishing reel in a basement in Mankato, MN.

1952

Göte Borgström presents the revolutionary Ambassadeur reel.

 

1952

Fenwick is founded by 5 Seattle businessmen and is named after a lake in Kent, Washington.

1958

Stren is created 20 years after the invention of commercially viable nylon and becomes a household name in fishing line.

 

1959

Berkley introduces Trilene fishing line.

1966

Shakespeare acquires the E.A. Pflueger Company.

 

1968

Greys of Alnwick is founded by former Hardy employee Malcolm Grey.

1970

Shakspeare moves its base of operations to Columbia, SC.

 

1973

Fenwick is the first to market an all-graphite fishing rod.

1976

Shakespeare creates the Ugly Stik rod by perfecting a method for manufacturing fishing rods invented by Dr. Arthur M. Howald.

 

1978

ABU acquires it’s US distributor, Garcia, and is renamed ABU Garcia, Inc.

1988

Berkley acquires Fenwick and becomes Outdoor Technologies Group

 

1988

Berkley creates PowerBait Trout Dough, revolutionizing the fishing bait industry.

1992

JRC is founded in Hatfield Peverel, Essex.

 

1995

Abu Garcia joins Outdoor Technologies Group

1999

House of Hardy acquires Greys of Alnwick. 4 years later the company will rename itself Hardy & Greys Ltd.

 

2000

Outdoor Technologies Group becomes Pure Fishing and acquires Mitchell, Johnson and SpiderWire brands from Johnson Worldwide Associates.

2004

Allstar is acquired by Shakespeare.

 

2004

Stren is acquired by Pure Fishing.

2007

JRC is acquired by Shakespeare.

 

2007

PENN Is acquired by Shakespeare.

2007

Pure Fishing and Shakespeare merge. Pure Fishing becomes the world’s foremost purveyor of fishing tackle and related merchandise.

 

2011

Pure Fishing acquires Hodgman & Sebile

2013

Pure Fishing acquires UK brands Hardy, Greys, and Chub.

 

2019

Private Equity firm Sycamore Partners acquires Pure Fishing.

2020

Pure Fishing acquires Van Staal and Fin-Nor.