Video: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the People Who Make Orvis Fly Rods

Here’s a great new video that offers a peak behind the scenes at the Orvis Rod Shop in Manchester, Vermont. Rod Designer and Product Developer Shawn Combs talks about how he came to Orvis and the ways in which he is inspired by the people whose craftsmanship makes his concepts come to life, building great fly rods one at a time:


“They’re made by hand, made by people who live in the community, and they’re doing it because that’s what they want to do. They love doing it, and you can’t take that away from them.”

I dig hanging out in the rod shop and watching the way everyone there is focused on the same goal—producing killer fly rods. Plus, I’m lucky enough to be in a position to watch the whole process come together, from seeing Shawn fiddling at his desk, to watching the Rod & Tackle folks test-casting prototypes on the lawn, to seeing the first production models come into the office. Even better, when I do get the chance to be on the water with one of these rods in my hand, I can benefit from all the knowledge and passion that went into them.

If you find yourself in Manchester, or if you want to make the trip to check out the Rod Shop, there are free tours on weekdays at 10 a.m. sharp. To sign-up for a tour, contact the Orvis Manchester Flagship Store at 802-362-3750.

Rod Shop

9 thoughts on “Video: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the People Who Make Orvis Fly Rods”

  1. Your claim is Orvis rods are made in USA but i saw a Clearwater Combo in a case and the case said made in China ?? What’s the deal here on that ?

  2. Hi Ron,

    All fly rods except the Clearwater and Encounter series are made in our Manchester, Vermont, rod shop. The Clearwater and Encounter rods are designed here in the USA but are manufactured overseas for cost reasons.

  3. I just bought my first fly rod. It is an Orvis encounter. I am truly disappointed to find out it wasn’t made in the U.S.A.
    I support American workers and I think Orvis should publish where this unit is made.

    1. Hi Bill,

      Sorry that you didn’t feel fully informed when you made your purchase. On the website, at least, we do mark each rod as Made in the USA or imported. Only our lower-priced series, the Clearwater and Encounter, are imported. All others are made in our Manchester, Vermont, rod shop.

  4. Rather then stating that the Clearwater and Encounter Rods are imported, why not specify which country that are made in. I for one would never purchase a rod if I were to find out it was made in China and perhaps that’s the reason for the vague response as being “imported”..? I don’t believe in supporting a communist country even if I had to pay more if it were made in a free society.

  5. Working hard to spread the word far and wide…China-made gear from Orvis like the Clearwater line….not buying it…if you’re smart, Orvis…you will find another country to make your entry-level gear.

  6. I was planning on buying a Clear Water rod this summer but I can’t in good conscience support Communist China. Who cares if a rod costs a little more because it’s made in the US. There are other companies that design and build rods in the US, I’ll support them.

  7. Maybe the commenters here are just tired of all the BS, Orvis promotes this pristine environmental outdoor lifestyle in their catalogs all the while producing and manufacturing products in the most inhospitable heavily polluted countries in the world. How else can you explain the Orvis business model has to be based on pure hypocrisy and lies. Profit over people and the environment, congratulations Orvis your just like every other American business you duped us.

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