Talking Shimano and G.Loomis
Soft Goods with Product Manager Rhoda Shaver
Introduction: Gone are the days when reel manufacturers are simply
just "reel" manufacturers and Tier 1 manufacturer Shimano has expanded its offerings well beyond just
core offering of reels and rods to include lures, PowerPro lines and a rapidly
growing line of soft goods. We
sit down with Rhoda Shaver, Soft Goods Product Manager for Shimano American
Corporation to find out more about the growing lineup of apparel designed
specifically for anglers.
Zander: Thanks very much for taking the time to
sit down with us today, let’s start at the beginning, can you tell us what your role and
responsibilities are at Shimano?
Rhoda Shaver: My role at Shimano
is to develop and grow the Soft Goods (Apparel, Footwear and Headwear) part of
the fishing business. My responsibilities include creating the product and
overseeing the entire product life cycle.
Rhoda Shaver, Soft Goods Product
Manager at Shimano Introduces the new lineup at ICAST 2012 to Tackle Warehouse
Zander: Over the last season we
have seen Shimano introduce a lot of new apparel targeting anglers that fish
both in the sun and the rain, is it fair to say that the company is now focusing
on the apparel market?
Rhoda Shaver: It is
true that Shimano is a
well-recognized brand in the market for reels and rods and apparel is relatively
new for Shimano but there is now focus on developing the fishing apparel part of the
business, which will take time.
Rhoda out field testing while
Zander: What are the key
attributes that you consider when designing a new garment
Rhoda Shaver: The key attributes
are 1) function, 2) features and 3) aesthetics.
A look at the Shimano technical
long sleeve sublimated shirt which retails for $89.99
Zander: How important is
“style” when it comes to fishing garments?
Rhoda Shaver: Blending “style” into fishing garments is
absolutely important. We want to offer our
anglers functional garments that also possess the life style appeal to wear out on
non-fishing days. These are garments that anglers can depend on day in and day
out whether they are on the deck of a boat or simply heading out for any outdoor
The Mock Neck Tech shirt provides sun
protection for anglers while remaining breathable and very easy to fish in all
Zander: Is the primary market
that Shimano is targeting primarily bass anglers, or is it all anglers in
Rhoda Shaver: Just like
our reel and rod line we target a wide spectrum of techniques, and we are now making
garments for all types of anglers as our product offering can easily cross over
from one application to the next.
Rhoda talks about the Dryfender
rain gear at ICAST 2012
Zander: I notice that there are
new technical tees and hooded jackets in the lineup. Can you describe the
definition of a “technical” fishing garment?
Rhoda Shaver: “Technical” can incorporate one or more of the following functions: UPF sun
protection; wicking properties to help keep the angler dry and comfortable;
antimicrobial to prevent the growth of bacteria.
A look at the G.Loomis raglan
vented shirt which is great for both bass and fly fishermen
Zander: Let’s move on to foul
weather gear, we have tested offerings from both Gill and Simms, what makes the
Dryfender 3T unique?
Rhoda Shaver: Dryfender 3T provides waterproofness, breathability and abrasion resistance.
This product will protect anglers from the elements and product wear and tear
from the rigors of fishing. Our Jacket features a stowable hood with side vents for better
acoustics and adjustable cuff with inner watertight sleeve gaitor to keep water
out. Our Bib also has a removable suspender/bib, which can be worn as a pant and
features a side leg plier pocket. Together the Dryfender 3T jacket and bib form
a complete solution that enables anglers to keep fishing comfortably even on the
wettest rainy days.
The Shimano Dryfender 3T shields
anglers from harsh weather conditions
Zander: Can you tell us more
about the testing that goes into the design of each garment?
Rhoda Shaver: Garment testing is based on the purpose of the product. Taking Dryfender 3T
as an example, our field testers had worn the product in various weather
conditions (torrential downpour, 35 knots, 6ft seas) to really test the waterproof &
breathability functions as well as the overall styling for comfort & mobility.
The product was worn for days to capture measurable readings. The valuable
collaboration with our field testers, anglers that are out there day in and day
out, helps ensure a quality product offering.
Love G.Loomis? Sport the fish with
the company's new technical sublimated tee
Zander: Moving over to the
G.Loomis side, will anglers see the same or a completely different set of
garments introduced under the G.Loomis brand?
Rhoda Shaver: We have introduced a range of
new G.Loomis branded offerings that offer differentiated styling. Anglers can
now see the changes in our G.Loomis product line up as these garments are
available now from retailers and e-tailers and you can expect the lineup to
continue to expand to address the needs of G.Loomis fans. You can be sure that
moving forward I
will continue to evolve these product offerings.
The stylish new G.Loomis Softshell
jacket is a technical garment that provides wicking and antimicrobial properties
Zander: Is there anything that
anglers can expect to see moving forward this season when it comes to new gear?
Rhoda Shaver: Anglers will see more product offerings in multiple colorways and an
increase in our size run range. These are products that anglers have been requesting and
happy to provide what has been asked for.
Rhoda enjoys saltwater fishing and
taking on big game
Zander: Thanks very much for
taking the time to answer a few questions, in closing is there anything you would like
to say to our readers?
Rhoda Shaver: Absolutely! We want
to thank you all for your continued support of Shimano over the years and
certainly for more years to come. TackleTour anglers/readers are the ones that
make us better as a company.