BASS Members in Business: Tom Reynolds

A longstanding family business has become a longtime supporter of the Connecticut B.A.S.S. Federation Nation

Tom Reynolds

TOM REYNOLDS

Team Skeeter Club

Lyme, Conn.

Reynolds' Garage & Marine Inc.

www.reynolds1859.com

A longstanding family business has become a longtime supporter of the Connecticut B.A.S.S. Federation Nation.

Reynolds' Garage & Marine Inc. was established in 1859 as a builder of horse-drawn carriages. In the 1930s, the Reynolds family built a marina, opened a storage yard and started working on wooden boats, officially entering the marine business when they The business' current vice president, Tom Reynolds, is a B.A.S.S. Federation Nation angler who co-owns the business with his father, brother and sister.

"I started out in the business in my teens when I worked summers and have been with it ever since," said Reynolds, a sixth generation member of the family business. "I got involved in fishing when I joined a club, which got me into selling boats."

Reynolds joined a Federation club, the Subase Bassmasters, in 1990 and is now member of the Team Skeeter Club, which holds its meetings at Reynolds' business.

The dealership sells Subaru cars and four lines of boats (Skeeter, Ranger, G3 and Cobia), but Reynolds himself mostly concentrates on boat sales. "I always thought boats were more fun than cars," he said. The business also sells Yamaha Outboards, repairs boats and motors, and performs some minor fiberglass work. Other features of the family enterprise include a boat storage facility and a marine store.

The Connecticut angler has competed in two Federation Nation Championships, qualified for three state teams and won three state level tournaments. The family business limits his fishing time, but Reynolds still competes in some Federation Nation events and stays involved in his club. "This year was tough because of conflicts with my travel schedule," he said.

Reynolds' involvement with the Federation Nation has been good for the family business. He estimates 70 percent of his customer base is made up of Federation Nation members.

"It has been better than I ever imagined it would be," said Reynolds of his business' sponsorship of the Federation Nation. "There is something to be said about being involved. One thing about bass fishermen: They are a tighter-knit bunch than most. It is a big difference when you are involved at a personal level with the fishing tournaments. That helps a lot."

The boat dealership has sponsored a variety of Connecticut Federation Nation events and programs for several years. "We have done angler reward type of stuff throughout the years," said Reynolds. Last year, his business donated a Yamaha generator for the state Federation Nation's new weigh-in trailer. Reynolds' business also sponsors Federation Nation anglers Chris Simons and Terry Baksay.

Continuing his support of the Federation Nation is in Reynolds' future plans, but he is unsure yet about what the business will sponsor. "We try to do different things with them throughout the years to keep it fresh. I don't have any ideas right now, but we definitely intend to be a major sponsor going forward."

The family business is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, and in honor of the special celebration, Reynolds plans to host a bass tournament on the Connecticut River and give away a Skeeter bass boat as a draw prize.

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