For many of us, keeping great records of past years hunts or fishing trips has turned into regret. I know I would have loved to have kept better records for how my pheasant hunting trips have turned out…what the weather conditions were like or how many birds we bagged. Fisherman feel the same way as they try to pattern their fishing holes.
It was about a year ago I stumbled upon a “journal” and I’m not even sure how but remembered that it would be a great gift idea for my dad. From that searching, I started following @outdoorsven on Twitter and until recently, I circled back around on the gift idea for my dad as I wondered what I should get him this year. Recently, I saw @outdoorsven recommend following @rodandriflerag on Twitter. They just fired up their official Twitter account mid November. I went to their site curious to learn a little bit more about this innovative idea and get some of the background of how it came about. After seeing this was created just a couple hours away in Brainerd, MN I wanted to support the local businesses and promote them. I asked “outdoorsven” if he would just explain how the Rag came to be.
The Rod and Rifle Rag™ is the brain child of the recession! Like many ideas, it came from a couple of coworkers sitting around talking about what they love to do and with a few entrepreneurs in the room it lead to a great business idea.
There are 3 partners in the organization and all of us were working for an architecture firm. With the housing bubble bursting we were sitting around one day talking about things we loved doing and wondering if there was any way to make money doing them. Steve, our President, is a long time hunter and I am a budding angler who grew up with a love for the outdoors in the mountains of Colorado. As we were talking, Steve mentioned that he loved to hunt with his family, but about 5 years earlier they started having some arguments about what happened when and who shot what so he started taking a simple camp journal on his hunts. Now, this camp journal has become a treasured part of their trips as they sit around the fire and read and remember the hunts from the previous years.
As he told this story, it became clear, that this was it. My dad was a hunter for most of his life but I know nothing about it. He never talks about it and he never wrote anything down. What a huge treasure will be lost when he passes and we don’t have those memories.
We did some internet searches and found that there were some journals out there but none of them were very interesting or we felt promoted the real value of journal keeping. Some were nice looking but not practical and some were just useless. So we brainstormed how we could improve the idea. Thus, the Rod and Rifle Rag™ was born.
The Rod and Rifle Rag™ is not a journal. It is a system. It is designed to be flexible and easy to use. There are several components to the Rod and Rifle Rag™ system.
- The soft covered field journal (this is the Rag itself)
- The paper inserts which are researched and designed to provide the right prompts and information for different hunts or fishing and can be replaced when used up.
- Reference information including knots, first aid, moon phases and other pertinent data useful to the outdoorsman.
- A rag board or hard writing surface that you can insert in the rings behind the pages you are writing on.
- A license holder which is a plastic sleeve sized to accommodate your hunting/fishing licenses.
- A hard cover storage binder meant to sit on your shelf at home and store your used harvest and journal pages from the inserts.
The following is from our mission statement.
“Hunting and Fishing is about the memories. While many still hunt and fish for sustenance, recreational hunting and fishing dominates the industry. It’s about the thrill of the hunt, the strategy of the catch and frankly, the stories you get to tell when you come home. Successful hunting and fishing can often hinge on recording and understanding patterns of success from season to season, year to year, but few commit those records to more than just memory. Keeping track of your successes, and failures, will make you a better hunter and fisherman. Furthermore, what would it be worth to have a record of your exploits and be able to share it with family and friends in 5, 10 or 20 years? What would you give to have a record of your father’s and your grandfather’s hunting experiences? Your memories are priceless.
We believe in the ethics of good outdoorsmanship and our product supports responsible hunting and fishing practices. Our product as well as providing a convenient and user friendly system of record keeping also provides basic information for safety, first-aid and responsible behavior in the wild. We believe that the American wilderness is one of the greatest gifts to humanity. We believe in the proper use and management of this resource and our product supports this philosophy.”
The history of producing the Rag is much longer. Being that we are in the outdoor industry and who our potential customers would be and our own belief in the value of Made in the USA, we spent 18 months and much of our initial investor money trying to find a manufacturer in the United States to make our binders. Unfortunately, we discovered, that the entire binder/day planner mass market industry has moved overseas. There literally were no companies in the United States with the ability to produce our binder. We were heartbroken. So, we have been forced to produce portions of our product in foreign countries. However, we are committed to doing all that we can here in the United States and supporting our local economy and will continue to research ways to bring the production back to the U.S.A. We use a local printer for our inserts and we package our product ourselves and have plans as we expand to use a local Brainerd, Minnesota company who offers employment to disabled persons to take over that roll.
We have trademarked our name and logo and have applied for a patent on the system.
As of this writing, we have the following inserts available for the Rag:
- General (White tail deer hunting and general fishing)
- Fly Fishing
- Upland Bird (in production)
The following inserts will be available in 2012.
- Big Game
Long term projections will include Wildlife Observation inserts and Small Game Inserts. We are also currently in production of a mobile app that will complement our system.
Currently you can purchase our product from Amazon.com our website and our fly fishing binder kit is available to retailers through Angler’s Book Supply. We will also be retailing at the local outdoor consumer shows in Minnesota.
Finally, we publish a weblog in association with this enterprise. We look for active participation from the outdoor community in an effort to increase the popularity of our industry and also to promote the most valuable part of record keeping, sharing great stories with friends and family.
Watch the video that will show you exactly what you will be getting in your Rod and Rifle Rag system.