California, Texas Companies Merge at Fred Hall

Those looking for big news on opening day of the 2015 Fred Hall Fishing Tackle & Boat Show didn’t have to wait long, as Huntington Beach, California-based Cousins Tackle Corporation and Montgomery, Texas-based CastAway Rods kicked off the show by announcing a merger of their two companies.

This merger has been strategically planned by both parties to have a positive impact on the fishing tackle industry, as well as anglers worldwide. “This is one American company merging with another American company, so together we can build more and better fishing products for consumers,” said Mac DeLaup, Owner of CastAway Rods. “We’re not doing this for any of the reasons people might think when they hear the word ‘merger’. This is about growing both brands together in ways that would never be possible apart. The strength of our two factories working together will allow us to accomplish things that no other company — big or small — will be able to match. Together, Cousins and CastAway will deliver unparalleled production capacity, custom-rod quality and the ability to react quickly to market needs across America or around the world,” added DeLaup.

Cousins Tackle CEO/President Bill Buchanan echoed this level of excitement. “The synergy between our two companies was striking — primarily because we both share a passion for building quality fishing rods here in America. Both brands have superior reputations for quality and performance, and our product lines are complementary, rather than conflicting. As such, our expanding family of dealers will benefit from the combined power of both brands, and fishermen will soon find Cousins and CastAway rods selling side-by-side in all 50 states,” said Buchanan.

In preparation for these future growth plans, CastAway is looking to expand staffing at its 6,500-sq.ft. manufacturing facility in Texas. Cousins opened its 13,000-sq. ft. rod and vinyl lure skirt manufacturing facility in California about 18 months ago, and already has a staff of 50 building a complete line of more than 300 different high-end rod models for all styles of fishing.

With its proven blank designs and state-of-the-art components, CastAway Rods has earned a loyal following among demanding bass anglers coast-to-coast, including top tournament professionals like Todd Faircloth, Russ Lane, Zell Rowland, Marty Robinson and Bill Lowen. In addition, its location in Texas has helped the company develop a leading line of spinning and casting rods ideal for inshore and Gulf Coast fishing. Overall, the CastAway line totals nearly 200 models of rods in six different series, delivering a full line of custom quality rods ranging in price from $79 to $250.

Even though the Cousins brand is relatively new, the two real-life cousins for whom it’s named — Buchanan and Wade Cunningham — have both worked in the fishing tackle industry their entire adult lives. Over parallel careers spanning decades, the two men helped create such iconic and successful fishing tackle brands as Sage, Seeker, Fenwick, Sevenstrand, Berkeley, Spiderwire, Stren, Abu Garcia, Abel and Shikari. Buchanan and Cunningham worked together and honed their rod-building expertise at Fenwick – where the first high-modulus graphite tubular style rods were built – at a time when the factory was putting out 1,000 rods per day.

Plans are underway to introduce the world fishing tackle industry to the combined power of Cousins Tackle and CastAway Rods at this summer’s 2015 International Coalition of Allied Sport Fishing Trades (ICAST) show in Orlando, Florida, where the companies will be exhibiting together.