Denali Rods: From Part-Time to Popular

Scott Estes had a love for the outdoors that lead him into the fishing industry, and before he knew it, he ended up with a mix of successful outdoor businesses. What started out as a part-time job from his garage in 2008, turned into an ascending rod company.Scott found himself working day and night in 2008 as he started a rod company in his garage while working for a bass boat company during the day. In 2009, Scott quit his day job to focus fully on Denali Rods and moved into a 1200-square-foot facility.

As the business grew, the facility expanded in 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2018 and again in 2019  by expanding into 26,000-square-feet. Fueling that rod growth was the launch of multiple rod series including the Koverts in 2013 and the Lithiums in 2015.

Being headquartered in Mountain Home, Arkansas gives Denali exposure to a wide range of fishing and centrally located shipping to reach anywhere in the US in a couple days. The rod market is very saturated with hundreds of brands available. To be successful a company needs more than just a pretty rod. Quality and performance must be combined with programs that bring a retailer all the components they need like margins, factory support, warranty support and marketing to drive product.  

In 2015, Scott brought in industry veteran Bryan Head as national sales manager to take the brand to the next level. Leveraging extensive experience and industry relationships added more fuel to the growth of the Denali brand. The Denali brand has continued to expand with more product offerings allowing dealers to flourish with the brand in areas where it had never been seen before. Regional rod series like the Mississippi River and TVA Series inside of the popular Attax Series have also provided regional dealers with local actions that are actively promoted by regional anglers. 

All of the Denali rod series are under constant evaluation and are continuously updated with new components, blanks and actions in an effort to provide the highest quality rod at a wide range of price points. With a start in bass rods, Denali has expanded into other market segments in recent years with good success. Incorporating feedback from top regional anglers, combined with Scott’s design capabilities has seen the brand expand into the walleye and crappie markets. Those offerings have grown the brand into new areas and states where they were previously unknow.  Denali currently has 11 series of rods with several more in development. The current lineup has rods to meet the demands of bass, walleye and panfish anglers.

The success of Denali and Scott’s eye for opportunity has also seen Denali expand beyond rods. While other companies were contracting during the pandemic, 2020 saw the introduction of Kovert Tungsten weights and a hunting clothing brand, Vycah, both operating from the Mountain Home facility. Pandemic or not the focus of Denali has always been based on growth and delivering premium rods and products to their dealer network and customers around the country.