Lamiglas to give away fishing rods to veterans on Friday
The name means so much more than fishing equipment.
Lamiglas is rich in history.
“Everybody knows it. The minute you say, ‘Lamiglas,’ there’s a story behind it,” said Jose Ruelas, president and CEO of the Woodland-based company that is known around the world. “There is a dad who passed a rod to their son, and now it’s being passed to a grandson. Ever since I started here, I hear different stories.”
The Lamiglas story is about to start a new chapter.
Or, better yet, restart a chapter.
Lamiglas fishing rods get their start in Woodland, just as they have since the company opened in 1949. They are shipped to big-name sporting shops all over North America. But the company had only one retail store, one place to go just for Lamiglas equipment.
That shop closed during the pandemic.
On Friday, Veterans Day, the Lamiglas shop at 1400 Atlantic Ave., in Woodland will reopen.
The grand reopening will feature hot dogs, hamburger, and soda, as well as T-shirt, sticker, and hat giveaways.
And to honor those who served, Lamiglas will give free rods to veterans with their ID cards, while supplies last.
“We listened to people. They wanted the store open, so we’re going to open it,” Ruelas said. “Walk right in, pick up your rod and go home and start fishing.”
The company made the easy decision to open on Veterans Day.
“We are big about veterans,” Ruelas said. “When would be the best time to open the store? Why not on a day we cherish someone who has fought for our country? And this is an American-made company.”
Lamiglas began in Woodland in 1949. Dick Posey helped make Lamiglas even better and then his son Tom brought Lamiglas to new heights. Tom died earlier this year in a plane crash at Vancouver’s Pearson Field.
Ruelas, who has been with the company for seven years and a friend of the Posey family, took over day-to-day operations of Lamiglas in Woodland as well as the factory in Mexico. Ruelas said it is with the Posey family’s blessing that the retail store reopens.
Wherever you find Lamiglas rods, whether at the store in Woodland or a brick-and-mortar outdoor store in the Midwest, know that every domestic rod built by Lamiglas starts in Woodland. And most likely, that rod has been touched by Garey Docksteader and Bob May, along with a few others, in the Woodland factory. They go over every detail during the manufacturing process.
“I have a Navy buddy, and when he heard I started here, he said, ‘You lucky son of a …, you got your dream job in your dream building,’” Docksteader said. “Yeah, I guess I do.”
May said he often thinks about all the Lamiglas rods being used throughout the world, and the fact that he had a part in ensuring the quality of the product.
“I’m really proud of it. We work really hard to make sure it is up to par, good to go,” May said.
In fact, Docksteader and May have the green light to put a stop on any rod during production. If something is off, if a rod is not going to pass their own tough standards, it does not leave the Woodland warehouse.
The retail shop is a small space attached to the bigger, 50,000 square-foot warehouse. The retail shop will be open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.
“It’s back,” Ruelas said. “We’ve restocked and are ready to go.”
Lamiglas never went away, but it is coming back with something special, just for Southwest Washington. There are no other Lamiglas-only retail stores.
“It’s a brand. It’s been around forever,” Ruelas said of the company. “It’s Woodland.”
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