Award-winning Cashion steps up plans to bring its US-made rods to Europe
Ask Dr Matthew Cashion what defines his rod company and the answer comes back in double-quick time. “Being American-made and scientifically superior,” says the man who founded the North Carolina business 12 years ago and who can be found in the Sanford factory every day.
And he’s not finished there. “Being truly designed, engineered and manufactured in the US is what makes our rods different,” he continues. “There may be a lot of fishing rod manufacturers, but Cashion does things differently. By controlling the composite manufacturing process, we are able to focus on the details. And details are everything if you want to produce superior quality and performance.
“In addition, we can innovate and develop new products much faster by manufacturing in-house. By controlling manufacturing we can develop our team members in the right way and we are proud to have the best rod blank builders in the industry. Our people are our greatest asset. These are the key components to Cashion’s future, and we are extremely excited about the new products we will be releasing.”
Armed with a Ph.D in chemistry with a specialisation in polymer science from Virginia University, Cashion is laser-focused on carbon blank design at the molecular level, using epoxies that excel at bonding to and protecting high-performance carbon fibre, and creating what he calls a ‘raw finish’ that increases impact resistance and provides a premium look.
The result of exhaustive research and development is the CR6r blank used to build the John Crews ICON and ICON series. The CR6r offers the ultimate in performance and weight reduction, says Cashion, and the ICON series leads all the company’s categories in freshwater and saltwater sales.
Meanwhile, the freshwater and saltwater CORE and CK Series are built on the CR5r blank series with proprietary Energy Dissipation Jacket (EDJ). The next blank series is the CR4r designed as a balance of performance and durability specifically engineered for the ELEMENT Series.
All Cashion rods feature carbon fibre/fibreglass grips. “These grips serve multiple purposes and we are proud to have introduced them,” says Cashion. “They are hard and dense, which allows them to transmit vibrations better. They feel like a shockwave in your hand and they increase sensitivity for faster reaction times. They are also more durable and don’t chip like softer materials.”
Given its location, Cashion’s biggest penetration has been in the bass and inshore markets throughout the Northeast, Southeast and Midwest, although it has national distribution across the US. It is also looking to grow exports, with Eastern Europe and Asia the main targets. Its rods are to be found in major outlets including Bass Pro Shops, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Tackle Warehouse, TackleDirect, FishUSA, MidwayUSA, Sportsman’s Warehouse and Salt Strong. In addition, Cashion has a nationwide network of independent tackle retailers.
Cashion made a splash on the European stage in October with a runners-up spot in the EFTTEX digital awards with its ICON Series Chatterbait rod. Said to be a necessity in any angler’s line-up, it is designed with the perfect length, power and action for fishing any bladed jig. This 7ft1ins moderate-fast, medium heavy rod is built on a Cashion CR6r
carbon fibre blank that is rolled in-house.
It is rolled uni-directionally, ensuring that all fibres are running in the same direction to transmit vibrations from the tip of your rod to the tips of your fingers. Its raw finish provides impact resistance and a sleek look. It also has the perfect parabolic bend, offering just the right amount of forgiveness on the hookset to increase hook-up ratios. The hand-made carbon fibre/fibreglass grips, exposed blank reel seat and size # 4 micro-guides give you unmatched sensitivity, control and casting distance.