We sat down with Wade Rods Commander in Chief, Brian Runnals, to talk about the inspiration behind the brand and where it is going next!
Where did the idea to Launch Wade Rods come from?
It basically comes out of pure disgust with the status-quo of the fly fishing market. There seemed to be a handful of folks selling nice and VERY expensive rods, and then on the entry-level side, there was really poorly built equipment. After digging in we discovered we could build rods as good or better than what exists in the market at a $500+ price range and sell them to our customer for half that. The success of Postfly gave us a massive audience who we knew had an appetite subscription purchases so away we went.
How much time goes into starting a brand like Wade?
It took the better part of a year to pull it all together. Between prototyping, developing the brand and dialing in on the business model we were pretty strapped. Plus we were continuing to grow and operate the Postfly business. Pretty crazy year. Not a lot of sleep. Lots of Red Bull.
How does buying a rod via “subscription” work?
Pretty simple. You pick out the rod you want, we send it to you right away and its about $50/mo for 6 months. There are all sorts of warranty coverage and other benefits that come along with a subscription. The most awesome of which is our R.O.D. (Rods On Demand) program where you can demo any other rod in our quiver for a week during your subscription with Wade.
Where are Wade Rods made? How did you decide on the manufacturer?
We design and prototype every rod to spec here in Newbury, MA and have them contract manufactured overseas by the best in the business. We get that question a lot. It took several trips across the globe and many, many, many broken rods to dial in on the best manufacturers we could find. We set out to make ridiculously high-performance rods and get them to consumers at mid-market prices, and the truth is that it really can’t be done in the US for the price points we are trying to get to our customers. In the future, we may do it with some new models, but the cost to the consumer will be at least double ($500+) what they are now.
Which model is your favorite?
That’s like asking me which kid is my favorite. Can’t do it. I love them all equally! All of our rods are purpose-built for specific situations so playing favorites really isn’t a fair game. If you are getting into Euro-Nymphing, I have what I believe is the best rod on the market for that situation. If you are wanting to start streamer fishing for big trout, I’ve got the best weapon for that. If you’re interested in running the beaches here in New England I’ve got … you get the point.
What’s the story behind the “Game of Thrones” homage naming?
Not a ton, other than it consumes our collective lives when it’s airing. Thank you for the 2-year break between seasons so I could launch this brand!
What is next for Wade Rods?
A lot more of the same – awesome, high performance, beautifully designed rods at unbeatable prices. We have several new models in the works for the fall. We’re also working on other gear that is pretty important to the overall fishing process 😉 Stay tuned.
Be sure to follow Wade Rods on Instagram for all the latest rod releases and news!