About Us

Company History

The Peterson Family has been manufacturing our quality fishing tackle since 1946 in Lewiston, Maine.  In the fall of 1946, Fritz Peterson designed and produced his first “Down-Easter” trolling rod holder.  It was originally designed to offer fishermen a “third hand”, while they rowed their canoe or rowboat. With the help of Raymond Clough, who marketed the product, the “Down-Easter” quickly caught on as the standard rod holder for serious fishermen.  After serving in the Air Force during the Korean War, Fred Peterson joined his father manufacturing the rod holders.   As the years passed, a number of different mounting systems were developed while the basic mechanism remained unchanged.  In 1976, Mr. Clough retired and the Petersons continued producing and selling their rod holders.  In 1993, Steve Peterson graduating from the University of Maine with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, took over for his grandfather, Fritz, who officially retired from the family business.  In 1996, Down-East celebrated their fiftieth anniversary by offering their anniversary addition powder coated rod holders and opening their website at www.Down-East.com .  In 2000, they added a 900 square foot addition to the original 2400 square foot manufacturing facility.  The new addition houses packaging, shipping and receiving, and the office.  In the spring of 2003, Down-East Sportscraft expanded the product line into fishing lures and trolling rudders that were originally manufactured in the 1950’s and 1960’s for a local tackle supplier.  These classic tackle items were designed by die-hard fishermen who fished in Maine waters both in-land and offshore.  Fritz continued to work until his death in summer 2003 at the age of 100.  Fred and Steve look forward to continuing to run the family business well into the Twenty-First Century.

Thank you for your interest in our products.  Down-East Sportscraft is committed to providing the highest quality products and services for our customers, representative of the Peterson’s Yankee ingenuity and craftsmanship.