Our Story


Far Bank

Many Passions, One Goal: A Fly Fishing Movement

The story of Far Bank has many authors. It was written over decades by a few creative and driven individuals whose unique passions in the pursuit of fly fishing eventually converged to create something greater than the sum of its parts. Today, Far Bank is a family of fly fishing brands that includes Sage, Redington, RIO Products, and Fly Water Travel.

 

 

While officially forming in 2005, the first chapter of the Far Bank story was laid down in 1980 on Bainbridge Island, WA when Don Green founded Sage with one idea in mind: to build the world’s finest performance fishing equipment and offer an alternative to mass-produced poorly engineered products. Using innovative, world-class materials and years of experience gained while working with Fenwick and Grizzly rod companies, Don revolutionized the fly fishing world as an early champion of the application of graphite materials into the rod manufacturing process. Alongside his early Sage partner, Bruce Kirschner, who had joined Don from nearby K2 skis where similar graphite innovations were changing that industry as well, the early Sage team set forth in earnest.

In 1990, about a decade after Don started Sage and just bit further east in the mountains of Idaho, Jim and Kitty Vincent turned their angling passion into RIO Products with the goal of creating the highest performance fly lines. In many ways, and similar to Don at Sage, Jim and Kitty were breaking new ground as many of the machines and processes they used to create their premium products were custom built and developed in-house by their internal R&D team. Again, like Sage, they were charting new territory and establishing the brand as an innovator.

Shortly after RIO’s founding in Idaho Falls, across the country in Stuart, FL, David Redington’s life-long passion for custom rod building was progressing to the next level. In 1993, after years in the custom rod-building business and as a blank dealer for a number of fly rod brands including Sage, he started Redington Production with the goal of building quality rods at more approachable prices. David leaned on his years of experience with fiberglass and graphite spin, bait cast, and fly rods and soon began making waves of his own down in Florida.

In 1999, down in Ashland, OR, a group of like-minded individuals driven by fishing, discovery, and their connection to the fly fishing community, decided to turn their shared passions into Fly Water Travel. Kenny Morrish and Brian Gies created Fly Water Travel to be the world’s foremost resource for exploring the world and its cultures through fly angling. Essentially travel advisors with a fly fishing and adventure addiction, Fly Water Travel helps guests sort through the vast array of global fishing opportunities to find the perfect fit for their needs and desires by providing start-to-finish support, guidance and insight.

While Sage, RIO, and Redington were hitting their stride in their respective fly fishing niches, local businessman, philanthropist, and third-generation Seattleite, Jay Green (no relation to Don) purchased Sage from Don and Sage’s original investors in 1994. Jay had just exited the banking industry and had a desire to involve himself with a local operating company in a strong position and ready for growth. As an avid angler, Sage was a perfect fit. At the time, Sage sat among the top manufacturers in the graphite fly rod industry and with Don still at the helm, the infusion of capital and global business acumen from Jay set the stage for Sage to take its motto of “Perfecting Performance” to entirely new heights. For the next decade, from Don Green and Bruce Kirschner to chief rod designer Jerry Siem, Sage redefined the fly rod industry and brought to market several new graphite technologies and applications along with some of its most recognizable rod models including the RPL+, SP+, and XP.

In 2003, Jay Green purchased Redington to widen distribution opportunities with a value-based product line-up that complemented Sage’s premium-level products. The acquisition of Redington also exposed Sage to offshore manufacturing opportunities for its burgeoning reel business, while allowing Sage to remain laser-focused on domestic fly rod innovation and production at its Bainbridge Island manufacturing headquarters. With Redington manufacturing taking place overseas, business and marketing staff joined their Sage counterparts in Washington state and quickly formed bonds and shared industry know-how that positively influenced each brand.

Two years later, RIO Products was added to the Sage and Redington family, and as a result, Far Bank Enterprises was established as the holding company for the three brands. At that time, RIO was rapidly gaining traction as an up and coming fly line manufacturer and a strong player in the leader and tippet space. The addition of RIO was a natural one that provided a bridge across all Sage and Redington customers, after all, every fly rod and reel needs a quality line. Just like Sage, RIO remained in its original headquarters in Idaho and retained its original brand identity and traditions, while benefiting from a shared business infrastructure.

For the next dozen years, the three Far Bank brands enjoyed growth and success and continued to establish loyal customer bases in their respected niches. Sage continued to define innovation standards bringing forth Generation 5, Konnetic and KonneticHD Technologies that resulted in acclaimed rod models including the Z-Axis, ONE, and X families. At the same time, RIO was firmly entrenched at the top of the market with numerous specialized, application-specific lines built from ground-breaking materials and new technologies including Super Floatation, Extreme Slickness, DualTone Technologies. Meanwhile, Redington was continuing to establish itself as attractive on-ramp into the sport with a lighthearted and fun brand personality that promoted attainable all-in-one kits and reliable, refreshing value rods, reels, and wader offerings.  

In 2018, Fly Water Travel joined the family to add a travel element that provided Far Bank customers a unique avenue to explore the world while enjoying their favorite hobby with their favorite products. Just a few hours south of Bainbridge Island, Fly Water Travel enjoys proximity to Far Bank headquarters while remaining loyal to their Ashland, OR roots and broader community of customers spread across the globe.

Today, Far Bank employs 250 people split between Bainbridge Island and SoDo Seattle, WA, Idaho Falls, ID, and Ashland, OR. Sage, RIO Products, Redington, and Fly Water Travel operate together, but individually. Our mission is for each brand to remain true to its original identity and philosophy, and at the end of the day, its customer base. At the same time, these brands are a family, and it’s our belief that families should support each other. Like a good family, we come together and pool resources when needed, but we will always honor the individual brand and allow it to grow organically and independently.

While our individual brands approach the sport in their own unique ways, Far Bank’s vision is to create a community of fly anglers whose passion for our products is surpassed only by a desire to share our collective pursuit and steward our communal waters.