Denver Outfitters rod vault

Thule Lands Denver Outfitters, Launches Fishing Category

Thule adds a whole new gear category to its offerings, just months after Yakima launches its own fishing rod haulers.

This week, Thule announced the acquisition of Denver Outfitters, the “leading player” in roof-mounted fly rod haulers.

The move marks Thule’s entrance into an entirely new category — fishing — and may vastly expand the market for vehicular rod and gear carriers.

Plus, the announcement comes less than a year after Yakima announced its own line of rod vaults. But Yakima designed and created its own, including the DoubleHaul, one of GearJunkie’s Best in Show recipients from this summer’s Outdoor Retailer.

“The recreational fishing category is a large global category in the outdoor industry, with close to 50 million participants in North America alone. Although fly fishing is the smallest fishing category, it is the fastest-growing, and anglers often travel and enjoy their fishing experience together,” Thule CEO and president Magnus Welander said.

Thule Buys Denver Outfitters, Adds Rod Carriers

Denver Outfitters rod vault

Denver Outfitters developed its first product in 2010. Specializing in rack-mounted gear carriers, the Denver-based brand offers two-, three-, and four-fly rod carriers as well as a standard rod vault.

In a press release, Thule noted Denver Outfitters does less than $1 million annually and said the deal was “not expected to have a material impact on results.”

Combined with Yakima’s product launch, Thule’s acquisition appears to add legitimacy to rack-mounted fishing gear haulers. At present, however, Thule has not revealed any plans for new products in the category.

Adam Ruggiero

Adam Ruggiero is an all-sport activity junkie - from biking, running, and (not enough) surfing, to ball sports, camping, and cattle farming. If it's outside, it's worth doing. Adam graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in journalism. Likes: unique beer, dogs, stories. Like nots: neckties, escalators, manicured lawns.