Cabela's: From Free Fishing Flies to Ersatz Safaris

November 29, 2005 By: Marshall Cutchin

With the controversy surrounding outsourcing fly fishing products and components from overseas, it’s interesting to note how Dick Cabela first managed to find a profit in fly sales. “To think, Dick Cabela started it all in 1961 on his kitchen table in Chappell, Neb., selling cut-rate flies tied in Japan. First, he advertised 12 flies for $1 and got only one customer. He cut the price to five flies for free with a 25-cent charge for shipping and handling, and the orders started rolling in. According to the hardcover history of the company written by his son, David Cabela, the profit margin on each order was 2.2 cents per fly.” John Balzar in the Los Angeles Times.