Denver Outfitters is a Colorado-based company, that is known across the fly fishing industry for their flagship product the Rod Vault. The Rod Vault is a game-changing accessory for anglers across the globe, allowing easy access and storage for fly rods. This past year, Denver Outfitters was purchased and the with new ownership the company has not only improved the product line but has also emphasized first class customer service. In this feature we sat down with the Denver Outfitters team to learn more about the company, and what they have planned for 2019. We will be publishing part II of this feature later this week when the Flylords team has a chance to use the rod vault in the field.Flylords: Tell us a little about Denver Outfitters
Denver Outfitters: We’re a small company working to build Denver Outfitters into a premium outdoors brand. We’re dedicated to making high-quality products that let people spend more time doing what they love. Our core product is the Rod Vault, which lets anglers spend more time fishing because they arrive rigged and ready and can move from spot to spot more easily. We’re working hard on more offerings across the outdoors category.
Flylords: Can you tell us a little about the history of the Rod Vault. What makes this product so unique?
Denver Outfitters: The Rod Vault was one of the first fly rod carriers that were commercially available. It was developed and in 2010 by a Colorado fisherman with the input of local guides and others. It really was a game changer and got patent protection as a result. The great thing about it is it makes a huge difference for all kinds of anglers—guides, hardcore recreational people, and the casual fly fisherman. We’re definitely proud of the quality and construction of the product. We’ve got a bunch of pictures of people that have rolled vehicles and even had trees fall on top of their vehicles. Thankfully they were safe and their rods also lived to fish another day because of the quality of the Rod Vault.Flylords: In the past, I know you struggled with fulfilling back ordered product, what happened, and how has your company learned from these challenges.
Denver Outfitters: The last owners of Denver Outfitters did a really good job spreading the word about the Rod Vault. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to keep up with the demand that was generated and ended up keeping people waiting for way too long on a pre-sale list. Compounding the issue, there was really poor communication about when the product would be shipped or dealing with people’s frustrations. The biggest lesson we learned from going through that was an absolute dedication to doing what’s right for our customers. It starts with communication and honesty and ends with making sure they have a great experience. Our whole team answers calls, chats, and emails from the office in Denver every day to make sure we’re regaining trust and building a reputation as a great brand going forward.Flylords: Can you tell us a little about the new ownership within Denver Outfitters? How has this change in management influenced your product line and customer service?
Denver Outfitters: We purchased the business in February of this year because we believed in the product and the opportunity to make Denver Outfitters a great brand. The first thing we did was fulfill all the pre-orders. We had all of those shipped by the end of April. From there, we put processes in place to make sure that we would never put our customers in that position again. We’ve made sure we have ample inventory. We’ve shipped next day since May of this year and will continue to do so. We also got to work on giving customers what they’ve been asking for in the product. We launched the 2- and 4- rod versions in October which people had been looking for and improved the materials and overall quality along the way. We’ve made sure the team we have is passionate about the customer first, and also the products and becoming a great outdoors company. We give people time off to explore in the outdoors and enjoy doing what they love. We want them to stay connected to the core purpose of the business and hopefully find inspiration for new product ideas. We’ve worked hard to engage with the angling community which hadn’t been done in the past. We certainly haven’t done everything right in the past 10 months but we work every day to make this a better company for our customers and I believe we’re on the right path.Flylords: With the new ownership I know you have made some changes to the actual product. Can you tell us a little about these changes?
Denver Outfitters: We’ve looked for places where we can improve quality. The first was upgrading the quality of the plastics used in the reel housing and making more rugged mounting hardware. We’ve made a significant improvement there. The two and the four accommodate larger reels and some of the smaller fighting butts. We also included a “lean strap” with the 2-rod version and are going to be including it soon with the 4-rod version. It’s a magnetic strap that you can use to secure your rods when you lean them against the vehicle while you’re getting geared up before or after loading them in the Rod Vault. We’re continuing to work on other improvements based on our own ideas but primarily customer feedback. There are a lot of people out there that have Rod Vaults that are 6 or 7 years old and going strong. With that foundation as a product, a lot of what we do isn’t necessarily apparent to the customer but we’re constantly working to improve quality.Flylords: Why do you think anglers should invest in a Denver Rod Vault.
Denver Outfitters: It really comes down to time. The most valuable thing we all have is time to spend doing what we love. That’s the core of the Rod Vault. It gives you more time on the river fishing and less by your vehicle or on the side rigging. Having those extra hours over the course of a year doing what you love with the people you enjoy is the biggest value of all. People have told us all kinds of great stories– of the product making the difference in getting their kids into angling, of helping their marriage by giving them the chance to make a quick stop at the river on the way home to decompress and be more present once they arrived home, and of course a ton of stories and pics of what they’ve landed with the extra time. The Rod Vault is not an inexpensive product but in that context I think it’s a huge value. Flylords: In addition to the Rod Vault, I know Denver Outfitters offers other products, can you tell us a little about these products, and what you have in the works for 2019?
Denver Outfitters: One of the coolest things I don’t think enough people are aware of are the vinyl wraps we have for the Rod Vaults. We have a bunch of really cool designs ranging from topo maps, to fish patterns, to artist-designed fly patterns. We even have an American flag wrap we use for our work with Project Healing Waters . We can install or send for people to install. We’re also launching some really cool topo design rain jackets this week. For 2019 we have some more core products that can work along with the Rod Vault that fulfills that mission of giving people more time they love both. We’re really excited to show people a bigger breadth of outdoors products starting this spring.
This article was made possible by Denver Outfitters with photos from the talented Landon Ecker, check out their website at https://denveroutfitters.com/shop/ or follow them on Instagram at @denveroutfitters.
Use code “THEFLYLORDS” for 10% off any Rod Vault through the Holiday.