Looking at rods with John Posey, Owner & President of
Owner & President of Lamiglas
Perhaps even more enjoyable than getting to use some of the
latest and greatest gear in the tackle industry, is the opportunity, as part of
TackleTour, to meet and talk to some of the executives that bring us all the
tackle world as to offer. Lamiglas has been in existence for fifty-six years and
is one of the, if not the oldest, large, American rod company still under
private ownership. My first introduction to their product came over twenty years
ago, and though recent priorities have taken my interest elsewhere, Iíve always
had a fondness for the Lamiglas product in general. Shortly after the debut
Zanderís article on their XMG50 bass rod, I had an opportunity to speak with
John Posey, National Sales Manager for Lamiglas. The following are excerpts from
Cal: Hello John, thank you so much for the
opportunity to get better acquainted with you and your product. Lamiglas has
been around for a long time. Can you share with our readers, your history with
J.Posey: Where to start? Lamiglas has been around
since 1951 and my father, Dick Posey, was a sales rep for them back in the 60ís.
In 1971, the founder of Lamiglas passed away and his surviving family lost
interest in keeping the business. In 1977, my father bought the company from the
founderís family, and has served as owner and president ever since. My weekend
job as a teenager growing up was sorting blanks in the factory, but my original
career path had me going a different route. I had a career in Seattle as a radio
host for a rock and roll station, but as the industry changed in the early
nineties with big corporations buying up all the independent radio stations, I
was looking for something different. In 1995, my father called with an offer and
I jumped at the opportunity. Iíve been with the company ever since as National
Sales Manager handling all our sales staff, new product introductions, and
Cal: Lamiglas has a long list of materials used
for rod blanks. From the recently reviewed
John originally was a
radio host in Seattle for a rock and roll station before entering
the tackle industry
and relatively new XMG50 graphite to your
Certified Pro blanks to your exclusive G1000 material. Where are all these
J.Posey: About 95% of our blank product is still
made in Woodland, Washington. Weíve very proud to be one of the few American
companies still manufacturing at least the majority of our product here in the
United States. We do import a small percentage of blanks and fully assembled
rods to stay competitive in the entry level market, but all our mid to high end
product is still made in our factory.
Cal: One of my favorite rods is a gift I received
from all of my friends the day we went out on a salmon fishing charter to
celebrate my pending nuptials to my beautiful wife. That rod was a Lamiglas
G1300T two-piece mooching stick built on the G1000 blank. To this day, everytime
I pick up this rod 7í6Ē stick, I marvel at its balance (about 4.75Ē up from the
center of the reelseat) and incredible diameter to strength ratio. This rod is
super thin yet paired with the just introduced Shimano Calcutta 100, I was able
to land a 25lb salmon that day with relative ease. In fact, I just pulled this
rod out again to look at it and plan to take it out with me on my next bass
fishing trip to use a cranking rod! The G1000 is touted as a Lamiglas original.
Tell us more about this blank and its primary use in your lineup of product
J.Posey: The G1000 is really where our graphite
product all started. In the early years it was known by some other names, but
G1000 really stuck, so itís held that designation for quite some time. It
evolved, really, from our trout and salmon series rods and really exploded into
full blown offerings for salmon and steelhead, then to spinning tackle for
lakes, and over to our line of surf rods. It is still the backbone of our
product offering and the material chosen for the great majority of our product
in the $150 - $200 price range. It is a high performing, durable blank, and has
really been a great line for us.
Costa Rica Dorado
Cal: I recall, several years ago, the Ti2000 rods
and blanks made a big splash in the industry. The use of exotic materials in the
rod blank is alluring and there are many rod manufacturers in Japan that at one
time or another experimented with the use of titanium, kevlar and even boron in
their blanks. Some continue the use of these and other materials while many have
abandoned this practice all together. Lamiglas used to make a line of Ti2000
bass rods but you are now only offering this blank in your salmon and steelhead
float rods. What is the reason behind the scaled back use of this exotic blank?
J.Posey: In a nutshell? Costs. Titanium is a
wonderful material that actually amplifies vibrations. Combined with graphite
and used as a full shaft at the base of the rod, the increase in sensitivity is
amazing. We still use the Ti2000 in our salmon and steelhead drift rods where
sensitivity is paramount, but the material costs have gotten too out of hand for
us to continue offering it in a great number of lines. Our bass rods built with
these blanks were going for well over $300, our salmon rods over $400, and our
fly rods well over $600 with no real end in sight for price escalation. We had
to make a decision and chose to cut back on the line. The series is very popular and in great demand
overseas. In Russia, for example, where these rods can retail for over $1,000 US
a piece, owning a Lamiglas Ti2000 rod has become a bit of a status symbol
similar to owning a BMW in the States or so Iíve been told by some of our
customers over there. They use the rods for salmon, pike, huge catfish and even
Cal: There is a constant debate in our discussion
forum regarding balanced rods versus lightweight rods. The basic position of the
balanced rod group is such a product will feel lighter in your hand allowing you
relax your grip, which will in turn leave you more able to detect those subtle
strikes. The lighter is better crowd argues the less material on the rod from
thread wraps to epoxy to grip material to other decorative items the better
because this translates into fewer items on the final stick to dampen the
vibrations down the length of the rod into your hand. Which side of this
argument do you tend to agree with and why?
J.Posey: Well, as a rod manufacturer, this is
something we really have to juggle and really, our priorities are providing the
necessary action in our rods to suit the intended technique followed by a
responsive, sensitive, and durable product. We can go the light as possible
route providing the ultimate in sensitivity, but these rods might not prove to
be durable enough for the fishery. When an angler hooks a fish, and is all
excited trying to bring the fish to the bank or onto the boat, heís going to put
the rod in some compromising positions. We have to accommodate these situations
and do our best to make sure the rod is not going to break not only while a fish
is being played, but when the rod is laid down, thrown aside, or held and an
awkward angle while a fish is being landed.
Similarly, balance is a difficult characteristic
to fully address because we
donít really know what kind of reel the angler is
going to put on the rod, or what kind of baits heíll be throwing the majority of
the time. Whatís important to us, really, is to balance all the characteristics
of a rod whether it be balance, weight, durability or castability.
A serious fish caught
while field testing new rods
Cal: As the National Sales Manager of Lamiglas,
how much fishing do you actually get to do?
J.Posey: I try to get out as often as I can. In
fact, just recently I was out fishing for some Spring Chinook and Iím always
taking customers out fishing. It seems somewhat trivial but really, in order to
know whatís going on out on the water, and what people are doing and needing out
of their gear, I have to be out there with them. I canít rely on second hand
reports, and even if I could, itís hard to work out the bugs and address design
issues without actually using the product, so itís important for me to get out
on the water and to get out quite often.
is your favorite species to pursue?
J.Posey: Steelhead. Thatís where it all started
for me was pursuing, or really, hunting for steelhead because thatís what itís
like, hunting. But as Iím getting older and affected by the cold more and more,
what Iíve really grown fond of is the blue water. Anything thatís out there,
dorado, tuna, sailfin, you name it, I love it and I travel to Mexico, Costa Rica
and other places to accomplish this. I also go right off the cost of Oregon or
Washington for Albacore tuna when theyíre here.
Oh but you know what else we have here local are
the smallmouth on the Columbia River. Weíll often fish for salmon in the morning
and then switch up in the afternoon to pursue the smallmouth. This is becoming
more and more popular because you donít need a fancy boat to go after them. Just
grab your gear, hit the bank and fish. And the smallmouth up here get pretty big
too. Theyíre great fun.
From left to right, Tom Posey (uncle), John Posey, Dick Posey
(father), on the Sandy River in Oregon Ė Chinook salmon
product in your current lineup are you excites you the most?
J.Posey: Iím real excited about the XMG50 rods
with the woven graphite handles. Cork as a handle material for fishing rods is
in trouble. One factory in Portugal has already closed down and the other main
factory is on strike. With the demand for cork actually going up, this is a bad
trend, and even with all the factories operating efficiently, there are only so
many cork trees in Portugal. Sure, cork is available from other countries, but
the trees in other parts of the world just arenít mature enough to produce cork
in the quality we see from Portugal. So with the graphite handles, we have a way
to address this developing issue.
We actually have plans to put these handles on
more rods, but not because of the shortage of cork, itís because these handles
clean up easier, they look nice, donít chip, there are no worries of fill
falling out and they always look brand new! We feel the sensitivity is increased
because by comparison, cork deadens vibrations and graphite is better at
transmitting this information to your hand.
Cal: What does the future hold for Lamiglas? Any
exciting new product in the works that you care to share with us?
J.Posey: Iím real excited about our new surf
series. Weíre going to have these at ICAST. Also new are some deep jigging rods.
Weíve been selling these rods internationally for some time and doing quite
well, and now with Shimano promoting and popularizing this technique here in the
United States, itís really gaining ground. Weíve been working on these rods for
several years with our International customers and itís just a great way to
catch big fish.
John Posey catches a17lb
Steelhead in the Skagit River, Washington
Cal: Do you do take custom orders?
J.Posey: We do take custom orders. The minimum
order is 25 rods with the same specifications. It takes us about four to six
weeks to fulfill an order and we actually do quite a bit of this for tackle
shops all over. Itís a great way for us to keep up to date on the needs of
anglers across the country. Sometimes these custom specifications will find
their way into our regular product line.
Cal: John, than you so much for taking the time
with us and helping our readers learn more about you and Lamiglas. We look
forward to continuing the education through some planned product reviews. In the
meantime, is there anything in parting, youíd like to say to our readers?
J.Posey: Weíre a small American owned company and
we can react a lot quicker than a lot of other factories in terms of people who
want a specific stick. Weíre able to concentrate on some niche fishing
techniques and we take pride in being able to give our customers this attention.
So the next time youíre in the market for a rod, give us the opportunity to
fulfill your needs.
TackleTour would like to thank
John Posey for taking the time out of his busy schedule to talk with us and give
us some insight into what makes Lamiglas one of the more well regarded
manufacturers in the industry. We look forward to continuing our relationship
with him and his company enroute to bringing you more reviews on their product.