Back in 1946 Rollin Bohning was a chemist working in the auto industry. “Archery icons such as Fred Bear, Doug Easton and a number of others were traveling around in their fancy clothes shooting longbows,” recounted Dale Voice, marketing director at Bohning. Eventually, Rollin and Fred Bear developed a friendship of some sort. Bear knew Bohning was a chemist and enlisted him to develop a product to glue metal points to cedar shafts. Soon after, Ferr-L-Tite was developed and was a liquid product at the time. Later it was reformulated to a hot melt.
“Ferr-L-Tite was the start of everything. As soon as it came out, Fred Bear came back to Rollin and asked for a new glue to better adhere feathers to cedar shafts,” Voice related. This, of course, was the genesis of what is now known as Fletch-Tite. Shortly after that, Rollin came out with a wax known as Tex-Tite. “All three products are still in the line today. We beefed up Fletch-Tite to make it a bit stronger, but essentially, the first three products Rollin Bohning developed are still being used 65 years later,” boasted Voice.
“As for product, we started out very strong in the traditional market, which was the only market back then, of course,” Voice chuckled. Paints and coatings for wood shafts accounted for the majority of changes to the line until the mid-’80s. “We saw a need to innovate and move into new markets. We’d done a few bow quivers and expanded there—as well as developed a stronger focus on our vanes business, which we’d started in the late ’70s,” Voice recalled.
“At about the turn of the century, we introduced the Blazer vane, which really changed the industry,” Voice said. “Instead of long and low, we went short and high, and I believe it is safe to say the Blazer is the most popular vane on the market.” Lacquer dips have largely been replaced by vinyl wraps and, along with Bohning’s new fletching jigs—several designed specifically for the Blazer vane—have also become a large part of Bohning’s business.
Voice believes Bohning’s most innovative new product for 2011 is the Chameleon quiver. Although just recently into production, this quiver offers the unique ability to change its camouflage finish—instantly. Changing camo is as easy as snapping a different faceplate on the quiver. “I can tell you that the Chameleon quiver is already doing very well even though it isn’t in production yet,” Voice told us in April. The quivers began shipping in May to retail customers far and wide.
“We’ve moved strongly into the international market in recent years,” Voice said. “I think there’s hardly a place left in the world where we don’t have a dealer.”
(231) 229-4247; www.bohning.com