Gridiron Capital-Backed GSM Outdoors Acquired Dobyns Rods

GSM Outdoors Continues Expansion in Fishing

NEW CANAAN, CT, May 23, 2024 – Gridiron Capital, LLC (“Gridiron Capital”), an investment firm focused on partnering with founders, entrepreneurs, and management teams, is pleased to announce that its portfolio company, Good Sportsman Marketing Outdoors (“GSM,” “GSM Outdoors,” or the “Company”), an outdoor enthusiast platform, has acquired Dobyns Rods (“Dobyns”).  The acquisition of Dobyns is significant as it marks GSM’s 11th acquisition within fishing, specifically, the third fishing rod business GSM has acquired in addition to Phenix Rods and Mid-America Rod Company.

Dobyns Rods offers a full line of rods for every type of freshwater angler. Founded in 2009 by one of the most successful bass anglers in history, Gary Dobyns, Dobyns has built a reputation for high quality rods and superior customer service.

“This is an exciting milestone at GSM Outdoors,” said CEO of GSM, Eddie Castro. “In 2021, we first embarked on a strategy to diversify and expand into the fishing sector, replicating our successful playbook from the hunting and shooting accessories sectors. Starting with the acquisition of Gary Yamamoto, GSM established a foothold in the attractive and growing fishing segment with an iconic brand known for their signature “Senko” soft bait bass fishing lure. Since then, we have acquired eleven fishing brands and are proud of the fishing platform that we have established as a one-stop-shop for heritage baits and high-quality rods.”

“Beginning with baits and lures and now with rods, GSM has built a comprehensive product suite in fishing and significantly increased our addressable market,” said Kevin Jackson, Managing Partner at Gridiron Capital. “The fishing industry remains highly fragmented and provides a third leg of the stool for GSM to pursue growth in a category with an overlapping customer base supported by tailwinds from increased participation.”

“The team has done an exceptional job bringing the same level of passion and innovation that GSM Outdoors is known for to our fishing enthusiast consumers,” said John Warner, Managing Director at Gridiron Capital. “Leveraging GSM’s unique marketing and new product development expertise, GSM has been a great steward of these brands. A strong runway remains to continue to expand our product suite further into fishing.”

About Gridiron Capital

Gridiron Capital is an investment firm focused on partnering with founders, entrepreneurs, and management teams, and creating value by building middle-market companies into industry-leaders in branded consumer, B2B and B2C services, and niche industrial segments in the United States and Canada. We help transform growing companies by winning together through hard work, partnerships grounded in shared values, and a unique culture that comes from hands-on experience building and running businesses. As a team led by former operators and entrepreneurs, we know what it takes to run successful businesses on a day-to-day basis. Additional information is available on the firm’s website:

About GSM Outdoors

Founded in 1999, the GSM family of brands helps passionate hunters, shooters, knife enthusiasts and anglers succeed through innovation and the manufacture of high-quality, reliable products that continue to prove themselves in the field, on the range and on the water. GSM Outdoors continues to leverage the latest technology and provide customers with the best products on the market. For more information, please visit


Gridiron Capital, LLC

Kevin Jackson

Managing Partner


GSM Outdoors

Eddie Castro

Chief Executive Officer 

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