St. Croix Rod CEO and co-owner, Paul Schluter, announced a planned transition of leadership in January, citing his desire to hand over the day-to-day operations of the 70-year-old company in order to focus on family, fishing, and other aspects of the company he most loves.
Schluter’s journey with St. Croix started in 1983 when his father, Gordon, hired him to manage retailer accounts in Minnesota. A year later, he was promoted to sales manager. In 1989, his father stepped aside, and Schluter assumed the role of president. Brothers Paul, Jeff, Dave, and sister Pamela Smiley purchased St. Croix from their parents Gordon and Irene in 1990, and continue to own the company to this day.