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Talking Shimano and G.Loomis Soft Goods with Product Manager Rhoda Shaver


Date: 10/3/12
Interview: Rhoda Shaver
Subject: Shimano/G.Loomis Apparel
Interviewer: Zander

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 targeting redfish


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 activity.    


The Mock Neck Tech shirt provides sun protection for anglers while remaining breathable and very easy to fish in all day


Zander: Is the primary market that Shimano is targeting primarily bass anglers, or is it all anglers in general?


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 I am 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.

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