Steel City Outdoors was one of the first Pennsylvania Instagram accounts I found after joining Instagram. I was immediately struck by how cool I found their logo. After further exploration, I was equally impressed with their Instagram photos and YouTube channel. So, I appreciate that Rider Dinnen, Chief Financial Advisor of Steel City Outdoors, took some time to discuss the brand. Rider also gives us some perspective on fishing in the Pittsburgh area. So please keep reading to learn all about Steel City Outdoors.
First of all, I have to tell you that the first time I saw your main design, I though that is “damn cool”. Its simple but stands out. Where did that design come from?
The design that we created came from a young Steel City Outdoors-man named, Hank Dowiak. Hank is an awesome artist who works closely with our CEO on designing apparel, decals and all other graphics for our business. He is our chief executive designer and pro-staff member. He came up with the idea of combining a large mouth bass with a buck because he wanted to showcase that we are not just a fishing or hunting company, but both!
What has been the response to the brand?
We started the brand about a year ago, and the response has been riveting. We have delivered our products all over the globe, including Canada and England! I am proud to say that our customers are thoroughly impressed by our timely response to their purchases! Most customers received their products within 3-5 business days! For Christmas last year, this was very important and we made sure to make our customers proud! Our YouTube channel has been the driving force behind our company as we showcase our skills in the outdoors and incorporate fellow outdoors-men and women from around our area!
Currently, you offer shirts, hats, decals and my favorite the drink koozie. What new products are in the works?
We are currently working on CAMO hoodies, Quarter zip performance sweatshirts in various colors, CAMO beanies and Orange Blaze Beanies for hunting with safety!
Where do you see the overall brand going?
Our brand has been invited into retail stores recently, but right now we are good to go via the internet with our Shopify store (www.steelcityoutdoors.org). We would love to sign a deal with Cabelas, Bass Pro, Under Armour, Nike or even, Field and Stream in the near future, but right now we are located in the Robinson Town Centre area of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in MDM Performance- a performance trucking company located on Campbells Run Road (www.mdm-performance.com).
As far as fishing, the Steel City captured the Nation’s attention as a fishing destination in 2005 with the Bassmaster Classic. What do you love about calling Pittsburgh home from an angler’s perspective?
Many people do not understand that our rivers are absolutely loaded with beautiful trophy fish! We have a plethora of species that continue our season all year long! You can catch walleye and trout in the winter and smack large-mouth bass and catfish all summer! We even have caught and released muskie, hybrid-striper, sauger, carp, crappie, bluegill, and smallmouth bass! The BASS master classic came to Pittsburgh to showcase monster bass, but not many were caught. We have four small mouth caught over 5 lbs out of the rivers in just the last year! I’d say we are finding the fish, I just hope other Pittsburgh fisher people are getting as lucky as us! Again, check out our YouTube channel to see some of these amazing catches!
What are the your three favorite fisheries within 50 miles of Pittsburgh?
Three major fisheries within 50 Minutes of me…That is a good question. I would start off with:
1. Neville Island- Ohio River – Bevy of fish to be caught in multiple sizes and quantity. Many areas to catch or obtain bait, and mostly very kind people who want to know how to get the job done!
2. Highland Park Dam- Allegheny River- Monster Fish at any moment with a chance of a lifetime on every cast. This spot is special because you never no what is going to be biting that day!
3. Chartiers Creek- This waterway is so underrated and people have no idea what is going on here! This creek has been chalk full of smallmouth bass and it is a hidden gem. People believe this creek to be dingy and polluted, but many trout have been caught out of this waterway and walleye have also made their home here as well! This whole creek has been on fire for the last ten years and people want to continue to stick their noses up…I got news for you…This is a red hot fishing zone!
I travel the PA turnpike and come out to Pittsburgh relatively often for business. If I pack my rod one of these times, are there some shore spots that you recommend to people visiting Pittsburgh?
All three of the spots located in #6 are shore spots that anyone can fish. Chartiers Creek, however, is so shallow in most parts- you can wade!
What do you think is southwest PA’s most underrated fishing species?
The most underrated species in southwest PA is definitely the smallmouth bass! These pesky, vivacious, frisky fishes are abundant and readily will bite a minnow, night crawler or fancy lure!
Thank you Rider. I want to wish you and the rest of the Steel City Outdoors folks the best of success with your brand.
To follow Steel City Outdoors, check them out at YouTube or Instagram.