Fishin Technician

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST PAIR OF WADER OR HIP BOOT?

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These Hodgeman's are from the '70s.... the suspender posts rusted away long ago and have been replaced with home depot 5/16ths nuts and bolts. it's ugly but it works.
They're still my go-to pair

IMG_1364_edited_edited.jpg

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Red Ball Master Series Insulated Bootfoot, brown canvas, fairly heavy but very comfortable and pretty durable. Used to get them at the Sportsman Shop in Neptune City, Charlie Spina would fit you right up, about a $75 bill in 75' if I remember correctly. They would last 3-4 years and I still have a pair that have been worn not more than a dozen times. I used to buy stuff as spares, by the time I got to this spare pair, breathables were out and replaced them forever. Still a good wader if your not walking 

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Same pic from the belt thread, some rubberized canvas Red Balls. When they eventually started to leak they were relegated to using when getting down on my knees and digging for steamer clams.

 

Until some degenerate stole them out of the back of the pick up truck.

 

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Always Red Ball Masters, great wader. 

 

I still use the hippers with felts, and there is still a pair of red ball chest waders hanging in the garage for some unknown reason. 

 

FT

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Red ball. :wave: I guess they practically cornered the market in this area at one point. Where are they now? Probably swallowed up by five other companies, four of which were offshore.

 

I believe Red Balls were made in the USA but I could be wrong?

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LACROSSE, Wis.-LaCrosse Footwear Inc. on April 26 acquired the assets of Red Ball Inc., a maker of rubber hip boots, waders and children's protective footwear, for an undisclosed amount. The deal includes Red Ball's customer lists; raw materials, work-in-progress and finished goods inventories; technical know-how and patents; trade names; and various production equipment, said Robert J. Sullivan, LaCrosse vice president of finance.

Headquartered in Louisville, Ky., Red Ball employs about 30 and operates manufacturing plants in Nashua, N.H., and Patterson, N.J. The accord did not include any of Red Ball's outstanding liability-estimated at $12 million to $15 million, Sullivan said.

Officials from Red Ball, a Norcross Footwear Inc. subsidiary, called LaCrosse to arrange the buyout in mid-February, shortly after Red Ball filed for Chapter 11 reorganization, Sullivan said.

Red Ball was suffering from a lack of cash flow last summer, which, in turn, stifled sales, Sullivan said. The Louisville boot maker posted about $22.7 million in sales last year, but revenue dropped sharply this year. Red Ball probably will record less than $12 million in sales in 1996, he said.

Red Ball's work force also has dwindled, down to about 30 from 150 just a few years ago, Sullivan said.

Norcross and Red Ball officials were unavailable for comment.

LaCrosse, which employs 1,300 and posted 1995 sales of about $98 million, plans to transfer Red Ball's machinery when the deal closes in May, Sullivan said. LaCrosse's 250,000-sq.-ft. Claremont, N.H., facility will receive the bulk of the equipment. The firm currently is realigning production there to free up 60,000 to 80,000 square feet of floor space to accommodate the machinery. LaCrosse may have to shift some warehousing in Claremont to a leased facility, he said.

LaCrosse, which purchased Danner Shoe Manufacturing Co. in 1994, plans to operate Red Ball as a separate division. The firm will add 15 to 20 people in Claremont to support the Red Ball business. Sullivan said he doesn't know how many-if any-of Red Ball's employees LaCrosse will hire.

Red Ball and LaCrosse's footwear lines complement each other, he said. ``Their wader and hip boot line was strong in fishing, and we're strong in hunting.''

In addition, LaCrosse may realize some gains becoming a Red Ball supplier rather than a competitor. Red Ball previously purchased boots to attach to its waders from an unnamed third party. Now LaCrosse will make the boots for Red Ball's line of waders as well as LaCrosse's line, he said.

Red Ball is projected to reach sales of between $12 million and $15 million in 1997, Sullivan said.

``They had poor spring delivery and some customers went elsewhere,'' he said. ``It's going to take a while to restore the customers' confidence and win that business back.''

 

FT

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USA rubber companies such as Firestone, Goodyear, US Royal and Trojan Rubber (had to do it) out sourced to overseas , who is overseeing the quality of your rubber products?   One tiny leak in a rubber product has resulted in too many explosions on road and off road.

 

FT

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