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A Time to Wonder and a Time to Fish

In challenging times; when you simply feel the need to step back, take a deep breath and clear your head; when returning to nature is the best way to remind yourself what truly matters . . . it's time to go fishing.

Even now, as a new pandemic threatens to alter our daily routines—to take us out of our comfort zones— what hasn't changed is our desire or our freedom to go fishing. It's an idea and a lifestyle shared by every member of the Z-Man Fishing Products team.

Of course, we all wish it were as simple as just go fishing. It's why as news of the spread of COVID-19 and its effects began to hit home, Z-Man elders were already huddling and enacting a three-tier plan to care for the entire Z-Man family—one that embraces employees and their families, customers, distributors and retail partners, as well as all their friends in the greater angling community.

"We're very fortunate to be part of a family owned company that cares deeply about its employees, while simultaneously keeping an eye on the big picture implications for our business," expresses Daniel Nussbaum, President of Z-Man Fishing Products. "Our top priority remains the health and safety of our employees, the Z-Man family.

"As we enter a time of economic uncertainty, we want to continue to provide a stable income for all our staff. As such, we'll continue to operate our warehouse and production facilities at full capacity, so long as it's safe to do so. At the same time, we've implemented increased cleaning protocols and have temporarily closed our building to outside visitors. Of course, we've also encouraged our employees to practice social distancing, both outside of work and inside our facility. And, in the event that we deem it necessary to close, we have put a plan in place to continue to pay our employees."

Providing more peace-of-mind, Nussbaum notes an additional employee aid. "We are also offering extended paid leave for anyone experiencing adverse symptoms or needing to care for an ill family member."

On the supply and production side of the equation, Z-Man is already acting to assure its products remain widely available to the angling-consumer, across North America as well as overseas. Moreover, while other companies have been left vulnerable to supply chain issues in other countries, Z-Man controls its own destiny by continuing to manufacture the majority of its products on site at its South Carolina based headquarters.

"Throughout this challenging time, we will remain laser focused on addressing our customers' needs, both present and future," adds Nussbaum. "To accomplish this perpetual goal, we are continuing to make and ship products as quickly as possible. We have also secured new raw materials and the components needed to continuously supply our customers with the best-selling lures on the market for the foreseeable future."

While Nussbaum and his team anticipate a potential short-term reduction in business, he says they'll use the opportunity to build ample product inventory to better serve Z-Man customers. "We're pressing forward with over a dozen new product projects due to debut at ICAST. Certainly, we're being cautiously optimistic about the future. Strategically, we want to be in a comfortable position when things break loose once again."

Z-Man Chairman Jonathan Zucker doubles down on his company's commitment to hold course. "We are totally committed to the well-being, health and safety of our team members and their families. Likewise, as critical members of the Z-Man community, our customers deserve our very best efforts. We will do our best to continue to get our products to your doorstep, and while we do not expect any delays in product delivery, we certainly ask for your patience as this global situation develops."

A final and far-from-inconsequential point of focus for Z-Man points back to our passion for the pursuit we all enjoy. "We absolutely encourage social distancing," adds Zucker. "Right now, one of the safest forms of social distancing is getting outside and fishing—certainly to the extent that it can be done safely and within any local restrictions. We strongly encourage our customers to continue fishing, as the enjoyment, relaxation and stress-relief provided by casting a Z-Man lure can certainly help ease the tensions we're all currently experiencing."

Which perhaps, once again, simply goes to prove: There's no such thing as a bad day to go fishing.

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