Like every good story, the history of Innovative Reel Technologies® started with an American dream and a deep passion for success.
Since he was a young boy, Greg Header has always been drawn to the outdoors. From memories of fishing with sticks and string near Blue Marsh Lake in Berks County, PA, to vacationing in Maryland for catfish, the call of the open air has always reeled him in. So while his business, Solar Innovations®, began to expand and take off, fishing always remained in his mind.
In 2005, a local fishing reel company closed their doors for the last time in Hegins, PA, and like many other American companies, began outsourcing more parts and production overseas. Employees were disheartened about losing their jobs in an industry they were so passionate about, so when Greg heard this, the reels began to spin—what if there could be a completely American-made fishing reel in the market? After countless hours of brainstorming, collaborating with the past experiences of our new team members, and leveraging knowledge and experience gained from building Solar Innovations®, the idea of IRT® was born.
By 2006, IRT® received its first patent for the Spin Power Grip™ and by 2007, IRT® was officially launched. While other companies moved or outsourced their parts and products, IRT® proudly kept engineering, development, and manufacturing right here in the USA. In addition, we developed our unique patented extrusion method of creating our reels, creating a better and more reliable product for our customers. The fishing industry is a rapidly changing environment and IRT® wants to lead the way. For over ten years, IRT® has worked on development and patents to make some of the best fishing reels in the industry, and our team continuously tests and retests the products to make sure they are the best.
At the heart of IRT®, the goal was always to create a unique and efficient fishing reel that could be customized with the fishermen in mind. We realized that each reel, rod, and piece of tackle had the potential to hold memories of monumental catches and great days spent with family and friends, so we aimed to make a reel that was built to last a lifetime. During the initial creation process, IRT® hooked onto this idea, truly wanting to bring customers a durable reel for sport and hobby fishermen alike. Every day, the IRT® team continues to show a devoted commitment to making a product that will bring forth a lifetime of memories.
Our team members, Pro Staff, and customers are all a part of the IRT® family, so we are constantly listening to their wants and needs to further improve our products. The IRT® process is all about the journey and continuing to build a partnership with our customers. As a result, IRT® has been built on listening to the anglers that work directly in the field. Our staff are some of the most dedicated individuals to ever work in the industry and it shows by the quality of the products that we produce.
Our all-American made reels are sure to give you a one-of-a-kind fishing machine to help you catch that “fish of a lifetime.” Created from our patented precision manufacturing, our aluminum spinning reels are one of the best on the market today.
Since the first reel was sold in 2011, IRT® has been pushing forward to consistently provide the best products to our customers. Our mission has always been to listen to our customers and infuse the fishing reel industry with fresh new ideas, help consumers think outside of the box, and to produce top quality fishing products using all-American ingenuity. Our story is part of who we are as a company and we take pride in our humble beginnings and will continue to work every day to be the best that we can be.
To lead the industry in producing the longest lasting, most advanced, highest performing fishing reels possible.
Our mission is to revolutionize and reinvent the custom-machined fishing reel industry.
American Quality: We commit to producing our reels in the United States. Our reels are built to last; we would put them up against any other reel in the industry because we know that “American” is synonymous with “quality.”
Made by Fishermen, for Fishermen: We are fishermen—just like you. We take pride in crafting the most effective reels we possibly can, and we won’t stand for mediocrity. You can always be sure that your voice will be heard when you become a member of the IRT® Family.
Continuous Innovation: Every day we strive to be better than we were on the last. By constantly analyzing our performance and our industry’s actions, we can create the most advanced reels possible.
Turning Dreams into Reality: We strive to create reels that give fishermen the confidence that they can land the fish of a lifetime, every time, with a reel designed to fit their own wants and needs.
Green Durability: Our commitment to longevity and performance works hand-in-hand with our actions to protect the environment and preserve its resources.
Strength in Numbers: Our team is strengthened by a wide network of Pro Staffers, field testers, dealers, and customers. We rely on constant feedback from our IRT® Family to create the best products and experience possible.
IRT’s dedicated production and development teams will work with you to provide the highest quality customer and product service in the industry. Service provided by our expert personnel can include maintenance from normal wear and tear, to severe damage from a rough fishing trip. We can also make adjustments to the drag, gear operation, reel balance, and more. Depending on the amount of yearly use, we recommend that the reel be sent to our home office in Pine Grove, PA for an annual service.
IRT makes active strides to ensure that not only the team and products reflect environmental sustainability, but that the facility itself does as well. The building is wrapped in a transom window pattern and includes a vast roof skylight that illuminates the first and second floor in order to utilize as much natural light as possible.
Low VOC paint is used on the office walls, and high-performing insulation is incorporated to maintain the building’s temperature. The floor is comprised of carpet and linoleum tiles that can be individually replaced, and the ceiling is designed with exposed beams, allowing any lighting or wiring issues to be fixed with minimal maintenance. IRT recycles as many items as possible, including food compost and manufacturing materials, along with standard recyclable items like plastic, paper, and cardboard. The recycled compost is used to fertilize the lawn and onsite greenhouses, which are fed by cisterns that collect rainwater.
Our office space has even been furnished with used, recycled, and reconditioned desks, chairs, and cubicles. Even the bathrooms are designed with green in mind: low flow toilets, recycled content paper products, and foam soap, which requires far fewer chemicals than standard soap. Since standard trash bags are not recyclable, IRT eliminated them in all trash cans, with the exception of the cafeteria. For cleaning, vinegar and water are the products of choice. Living and working green both at home and in the office are embedded in IRT’s way of life.