What does it take to make the best baitcasting reel on the market? Below we’ll explore the answer to that question and others like “Where are Bates Fishing reels made,” “Are Bates reels manufactured in the USA,” and “Why are Bates reels so expensive? I’ve never heard of them.” (Hint: these are some of our most frequently asked questions.)First, let’s consider the way most reels are made. You may be surprised to know that nearly every reel available, especially in the low-profile baitcasting family is made overseas. There’s lots of reasons for this, but the most significant one is cost in manufacturing. As it stands, it’s simply cheaper to make reels overseas than to do so domestically, which means more accessible prices for you, the end user. To be clear, our desire is to be 100% American made, and we’ll get there, but for now our manufacturing is a global process, no different than many of the biggest brands you’re already fishing: Shimano, Daiwa, Quantum, Lew’s, etc. Most of the larger brands previously mentioned have extremely talented teams of engineers working in concert with foreign factories to produce really great gear. Some smaller companies may rely on products already designed, and then they’ll change aesthetic traits like color combinations, slap their logo on it, and then sell it for profit. There is NOTHING wrong with either of those business models!The biggest problem we see in the reel industry, the one we’re attempting to move the needle on, is the slow fade away from quality materials and fabrication. And we see this with nearly every company from the fishing giants to smaller brands, all fighting for their share of the nearly $253 billion that commercial and recreational fishing generates annually. Build cheaper, price higher, and sell at a larger volume than the other guy—that’s the game. Well, we certainly would love our piece of the pie, but we’re unyielding in our commitment to bringing quality craftsmanship back to the fishing industry, and that begins with our aluminum frames. In fact we, as Bates Fishing Co., are committed to the highest standards of manufacturing when it comes to all and every piece of our products. Below is a brief explanation of the process behind our industry-leading, CNC machined reels:It’s important to note that “the juice,” or the essence of our reels, the things that set them apart are our premium grade materials as well as the tolerances we’re able to achieve in manufacturing, both variables that we have total control over. Everything related to design and engineering begins in house (Celina, Texas), reel frames are written and programmed to be cut, and those files are transferred to our milling house. We then source the highest grade materials from five different countries around the globe, including some parts from right here, in the US. Machining and final assembly are accomplished overseas before being freighted back to us at Bates, and then we personally package and ship all products directly from our door to yours.The most important detail we want our current and prospective customers to know is that every specification made, every material used, EVERY detail of our reels is determined and sourced by our in-house team. Manufacturing and assembly is then an exercise in the execution of our meticulous demands rather than one subject to creative liberty where we farm out foreign designs and slap our name on products while being totally removed from the parts and process. We haven’t reached the pinnacle of reel manufacturing yet, but as we survey the industry we feel that we’re in a race against ourselves, pursuing perfection through precision.