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Western Filament, rooted in a storied legacy dating back to 1938, seamlessly blends its historical foundation with a forward-thinking approach to adapt to evolving market landscapes and technological advancements.

1938 The Beginning
Originally located in Los Angeles, CA, Western specialized in corset string and shoelace manufacturing. Soon after, Western Fishing Lines was born and became a leader in the design and manufacture of recreational products.

1944 World War II
The arrival of WWII brought significant change to US manufacturing, including Western Fishing Lines. Following the Japanese invasion of Pearl Harbor the Allied Powers faced a problem with the availability of oriental silk used extensively in the manufacture of the cloth and cord used in parachutes. This ultimately lead to many US airmen flying without any parachute. To solve this problem, a crash program sponsored by various governmental and military agencies was developed in which Western Fishing Lines was instrumental. Out of this was born the world’s first braided synthetic fiber made, produced with Nylon, and supplied to the allied forces primarily by Western.

1950’s The First Monofilament
At the conclusion of the war, Western Fishing Lines looked back to their roots in the recreational market for continued growth. With the rapid development of synthetic materials, Western focused on R&D and was one of the first companies in America to market a new Nylon monofilament line, W-40, which became wildly popular.

1960’s A New Name and Direction
Western Fishing Lines continued to prosper into the early Sixties. Around 1965, Western Fishing Lines became Western Filament, Inc. Armed with a new name and vision for growth, WFI turned its focus to more industrial applications. The company was now producing fishing line, sewing thread, shoelaces, marine rope, lacing tape and sleeving.

1970’s New President, New Products
In 1973, Burk Wright was made President of Western Filament. After 4 years as National Sales Manager, Burk had a vision for taking the company to the next level which focused on technical applications and products. During this time 75% of Western’s existing catalog was discontinued and replaced with products tailored for the aerospace, automotive and motor manufacturing industries.

1990’s Colorado

In 1990, the decision was made to move the Western Filament to Grand Junction, CO where it is located today. A new, custom designed facility was built resulting in the most sophisticated fiber braiding and fabrication facility in the country. In 1991 a recreational product division was re-created to recapture the market share Western Fishing Lines once held. At that time WFI introduced the world’s first Spectra (UHMWPE) fishing line which started a revolution in the industry. The vast majority of fishing line today is produced with a type of UHMWPE because of its superior performance to polyester in almost all aspects.

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