Fishing Rods Help Reel Abel Out of Recession

Share via

Abel Automatics Inc., a Camarillo company that began as a producer of aerospace and helicopter parts, has started to work its way out of the recession--and, as they have been for the past two years, the firm’s fishing reels are its biggest moneymakers.

Big-game fishing reels and other recreational products account for 50% of the firm’s sales, according to Steve Abel, president. The reels sell for as much as $600.

Privately held Abel doesn’t disclose figures, but Abel said revenues in December were up 40% over the same month a year earlier. Sales in all of 1992 increased 27%, he added.


“A few months ago, our payroll was down to 29 from a high point of 50 at the start of 1991, when we were making helicopter parts for the Persian Gulf War,” Abel said. “Now, we’re back up to 32 and I hope to do more hiring.”

Abel Automatics, which was founded in 1977, is doing especially well with a new line of fly-fishing products, Abel noted. He said the company is also successfully marketing a new lightweight fishing knife and a line of sports-oriented soft luggage. “We have some other new products forthcoming, but I can’t talk about them yet.”