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Company History

Down-East Sportscraft, Inc.

Since 1946

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Proudly Made in America!

The Peterson Family has been manufacturing our Down-East Fishing Rod Holders since 1946 in Lewiston, Maine. In the fall of 1946, Fritz Peterson designed and produced his first “Down-Easter” trolling rod holder. It was originally designed to offer fishermen a “third hand”, while they rowed their canoe or row-boat.

With the help of Raymond Clough, who marketed the product, the “Down-Easter” quickly caught on as the standard rod holder for serious fishermen. After serving in the Air Force during the Korean War, Fred joined his father manufacturing the rod holders. As the years passed, a number of different mounting systems were developed while the basic mechanism remained unchanged.

In 1976, Raymond Clough retired and the Petersons continued producing and selling their rod holders. In 1993, Fritz “retired” from the business when Steve joined his father in the family business after graduating from the University of Maine with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. In 1996, Down-East celebrated their fiftieth anniversary by offering our anniversary addition powder coated rod holders and by opening our website.

Our manufacturing facility or “the Shop” continues to operate out of it’s original, 2400 square foot building. In 2000, we added a 900 square foot addition that houses our packaging, shipping and receiving, and office. We at Down-East continue to take pride in manufacturing our Down-East Fishing Rod Holders which represent over sixty-five years of Yankee ingenuity and craftsmanship.