Fly-fishing industry veteran Randi Swisher has been hired by the Cortland Line Company as their new Vice President of Sales and Marketing. He leaves his position with the American Fly Fishing Trade Association (AFFTA), where he was most recently the IFTD show director, to assume his new duties.
Swisher added, “I’m going to miss working for AFFTA, because we achieved meaningful results, and I had the opportunity to work with some great people. But the opportunity to join Cortland
and help rebuild one of fly fishing’s oldest and most respected brands was too exciting to pass up.”
Swisher will be responsible for all North American sales and marketing, including managing the sales staff, developing and executing marketing and advertising strategies, and working closely with Cortland’s research and development department on new products.
Cortland’s history of fly line manufacturing goes back to the earliest days of the 20th century.Founded in 1915 by an avid fly angler and successful clothing merchant, Ray Smith put his
experience braiding thread to work manufacturing fly line, and quickly grew to become the largest manufacture of US-made silk fly lines. The company prospered for the next 25 years —
and retooled to manufacture parachute and bomb cord for the war effort, which funded a major upgrade in its braiding technologies and manufacturing equipment.
During the post war boom, Cortland continued to grow, introducing the first modern PVC-coated fly line in 1953 (the 333), the first truly slick, glossy-coat, ultra-supple cold-water line in 1968 (the 444 “Peach”), the first high-performance shooting line in 1979 (the 444 SL), the first high floating tip line in 2005 (the Precision Dyna-Tip), and the first crystal-clear polyethylene polymer saltwater fly line in 2008 (Cortland Crystal). Along the way, Cortland innovated the Cortland Pro Shop, the first true dealer-direct sales and marketing program designed specifically to support independent fly shops, which has been widely imitated by other fly-fishing tackle manufacturers and importers. All Cortland fishing lines and other braided products are made in Cortland, New York — and have been for almost 100 years.