In 2015, Northwest Sportfishing icon Richard (Dick) Posey of Lamiglas passed away. Dick was such a quiet, unassuming man that many anglers are unaware of all his accomplishments and the great strides he made in fishing rod design and manufacture.
Fortunately Dick reluctantly agreed to an interview before his passing. What follows are my questions and Dick’s responses. Dick was loath to accept any accolades and was absolutely not one to seek the spotlight. Accordingly many of Dick’s responses to my questions were very succinct.
Dave: Where were you born and raised.
Dick: I was born in Roseburg, Oregon and raised in Eastern Washington.
Dave: What got you into fishing?
Dick: I learned on my own. Fished with friends.
Dick Posey w/ Jack Glass
Dave: Did your dad fish?
Dick: No he was too busy working.
Dave: What did you fish for as a child?
Dick: I fished mostly for trout in streams of Eastern Oregon.
Dave: What type of fishing have you enjoyed the most?
Dick: Probably fly-fishing for rainbow trout in Alaska. I was a part owner of an Alaska fishing lodge up until a few years ago.
Dave: Did you buy into the lodge as an investment or because you loved to fish?
Dick: A bit of both but it turned out to be because I loved to fish.
Dave: You eventually became the owner of Lamiglas Rods, perhaps the most famous rods ever made in the Northwest. Do you want to tell us how that came about?
Dick: I began working in the fishing industry working in a fishing supply warehouse in Spokane, WA. The company was out of Portland, Oregon with a branch in Spokane, I became a jobber/salesman. I became friends with some people in the industry and was given the opportunity to become a manufacturer’s representative for.
Later I was offered a partnership by Judd Bailey. At the time he was a part owner of Lamiglas. And our deal was I would become half owner of all the sporting goods lines, including Lamiglas. Over the years as we invested additional funds in the business and were paid commissions we became majority owners.
By 1977 we decided Lamiglas had grown to where it required one of us to devote full time to it. I drew the short straw and I became the owner of Lamiglas.
Dave: Let’s back up a bit. When you first became involved with Lamiglas how big a company was it?
Dick: When I first became involved with Lamiglas they were in Kent, Washington selling fiberglass fishing rod blanks.
Dave: primarily what type of rods?
Dick: Mostly freshwater, but they did have some salt water blanks as well. Then we did begin to assemble some rods and sell them. Fiberglass only at first. Then in the early ‘70s we became interested in graphite. Primarily because a couple of engineers who worked for Boeing offered to help us get into the graphite rod business.
Dave: Were other rod companies making graphite rods then?
Dick: We were one of the pioneers. Fenwick was also beginning to work with graphite at that time.
Dave: Where did the name Lamiglas come from?
Dick: The original owners were making fiberglass blanks by laminating fiberglass. Hence the name.
Dave: Did Lamiglas try making rods from any materials other than fiberglass and graphite.
Dick: We tried making blanks from boron but it was too difficult to work with, and it wasn’t really all that efficient, so we dropped it.
Dave: I have heard the Lamiglas and Fenwick were somehow linked together. Can you tell me about that?
Dick: I became part of a holding company called Cascades rods International. We bought Fenwick from another corporation. After a few years of running both Lamiglas and Fenwick we decided to sell Fenwick to Pure Fishing.
Dave: In the early days what was your best selling Lamiglas rod?
Dick: Either the G-1314T, the Kenai Special or the G-138T, the Kenai King! In any case it was the G-1000 series, which included the G 1306-T, the ultimate steelhead drift rod at the time…8 ½’ and rated for 8-12 pound test. Sold thousands of all those models.
Dave: Today what rod are you most proud of?
Dick: We are proud of them all. I can’t name one I am most proud of.
Dave: We all know Woodland, Washington is the epicenter of rod manufacturing in the Northwest, if not the nation. I believe the guys that started Sage started out at Lamiglas. Is that correct?
Dick: Yes but they had left before I took over at Lamiglas.
Dave: Alright. I have also heard that Gary Loomis started at Lamiglas.
Dick: Gary did work for our company, and I was at Lamiglas most of the time he was here.
Dave: As I understand it Lamiglas rods started out as fiberglass rods, then later switch almost exclusively to graphite, but now I’m seeing more and more fiberglass Lamiglas rods.
Dick: We continued with fiberglass all the way along.
Dave: Have you experimented with any other materials?
Dick: Not really, but we did work with S glass which is a fiberglass with a high modulus and great elasticity. We also looked into Boron
Dave: Let's back up to perhaps the most important part of Lamiglas, Mrs. Posey. Tell us when and where you met.
Dick: We have been married 56 years. We met and married in Walla Walla, WA, which is where she was born and raised, and I lived there for several years. That’s where I went to grade school and high school. We met through a mutual friend.
Dick passed on May 15th 2015. He had a good 88 years of life and was passionate and extremely proud of his employees.
- written by Dave Vedder
Look for an upcoming article from Salmon Trout Steelheader on the history of Lamiglas as a company.