Press Releases

Take Me Fishing™, Sierra Club Water Sentinels, Military Fish & Wildlife Association, and Zebco

ALEXANDRIA, VA (May 16, 2012) – Military families across the United States are now eligible to receive more than 2,000 free rods and reels thanks to a national program for those interested in engaging in the sport of fishing.  The Rods and Reels Program is made possible by the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation’s (RBFF) Take Me Fishing™ campaign, the Sierra Club Water Sentinels, the National Military Fish & Wildlife Association (NMFWA) and Zebco, America’s largest manufacturer of rods and reels. Program sponsors encourage all interested military installations to submit a request to take part in the latest distribution, which is available now.

Since the program’s launch, more than 120,000 youth on 90 military bases have benefitted from the distribution of nearly 3,000 refurbished rods and reels. The Sentinels and NMFWA first teamed up to distribute fishing gear to select military bases in 2009. The partnership was enhanced in 2010 when RBFF connected the Sentinels with Zebco’s refurbished rods and reels program.

“Fishing, more than any other water-related activity, has the most lasting effect on future outdoor and healthy lifestyle activities,” said Tim Guilfoile, Deputy Director, Sierra Club Water Sentinels. “We are happy to assist in providing recreational opportunities to children who reside with their families on military installations throughout the US.”

 “It’s a pleasure to partner with the Sentinels, NMFWA and Zebco each year to support military families nationwide,” said RBFF President and CEO Frank Peterson.  “Our goal is to get youth outdoors and on the water by giving them the tools they need to experience fishing first-hand.”

Since 2007, RBFF’s Take Me Fishing campaign has played a critical role in introducing 3.6 million youth and newcomers to boating and fishing as well as helping generate nearly $30 million for state conservation efforts. The campaign increases awareness of the need to protect, conserve and restore the nation’s aquatic resources by encouraging participation in recreational boating and fishing.

Military bases interested in receiving rods and reels donations may contact Tim Guilfoile, Deputy Director, Sierra Club Water Sentinels, directly at The request should include the number of rods and reels needed and details regarding how the equipment will be used. Shipping address and contact information are also required.

To see photos from Rods and Reels events throughout the country, visit To learn more about the program or to donate your own rods and reels, visit

About RBFF
RBFF is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase participation in recreational angling and boating, thereby protecting and restoring the nation’s aquatic natural resources. RBFF helps people discover, share and protect the legacy of boating and fishing through national outreach programs including the Take Me Fishing™ campaign and Anglers’ Legacy™. 

For further information: Stephanie Vatalaro, RBFF,, 703-778-5156 Tim Guilfoile, Sierra Club,, 859-426-1978