Latrobe woman launches ladies’ fishing gear line |

Latrobe woman launches ladies’ fishing gear line

Megan Tomasic
Kim Ranalla founded Miss Mayfly to make fishing gear more accessible to women.
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Forbes Road Trout Unlimited member Kim Ranalla, left, ties on a fly for sixth grader Trista Fisher, 12, from Ligonier Valley Middle school Outdoors Club, before fishing along the Loyalhanna Creek in Ligonier, on Wednesday, April 3, 2019. A group of 22 students from sixth to eighth grade participated in an eight week Learn to Fly Fish program that included instruction on tying flies, stream conservation, etymology, and fly casting, through a partnership with the Forbes Road Trout Unlimited Club.

Kim Ranalla is bringing a feminine piece to the fishing gear market — and is hopeful it will help women feel comfortable in their own bodies.

Ranalla, 48, of Latrobe runs Miss Mayfly, a local fishing gear company that mainly sells waders specifically designed to fit women’s bodies.

“When (women) tell their stories to me, that’s my passion behind it, because I can’t imagine in today’s day and age to have such a huge amount of women entering a sport … and the gear companies aren’t even considering them,” she said.

According to Ranalla, women make up about a third of anglers, totaling 9.8 million women, adding “they are still an underserved market, often forcing them to wear ill-fitting men’s gear. There are many women who simply cannot enjoy the sport fully because the competitors’ gear does not meet the majority of women’s sizing and performance needs.”

The idea

Knowing her daughter, Kaylee Saunders, 24, loved to fish, Ranalla started the search for a pair of waders she could give her for her birthday in 2016. But she quickly became frustrated by the limited options and gear that mainly focused on height, meaning the boot size did not match the waist width.

“It was all men’s gear,” she said. “I finally settled on a pair of waders and boots that were OK, but those waders were huge on her. I said, ‘This is awful. I can’t believe there are no better options.’”

Deciding she wanted to make gear more inclusive to women, Ranalla set out to find a specialist to help create a sizing chart. But the numbers she was given, “might fit European models, but they won’t fit average American women,” she said.

Instead, she spent weeks studying sizing charts and created nine sizes.

But that wasn’t the end. Ranalla spent weeks creating production sizes, wearing extra clothes to figure out what specific measurements would look like on different body types.

After developing both charts, Ranalla worked with a factory to produce a small number of waders. Once the waders hit the market, Ranalla said, they immediately started selling.

“It was a small run, but with that small run I managed to develop a brand name that people talk about,” she said.

Today, her company offers 12 sizes of light gray waders with blue straps for a feminine twist, including plus sizes. Through the community she built, she has heard talk about women’s experiences in sporting stores and trying to find sizes that fit them.

“(Companies are) just now started to realize that women aren’t happy,” Ranalla said. “They were making the sales (with men’s waders), they didn’t need to invest the time and money. I think it took a woman to understand what women need.”

Self funding the first batch of waders, Ranalla is now working to raise money to manufacture more waders, which have been in demand, she said. Some waders are still for sale on, along with T-shirts reading “Miss Mayfly” and “Tight Line,” and hat pins.

She is also searching for an equity investor who can help cover manufacturing costs for further production.

As a way to raise funds, she hosted a 45% sale on all items on her website and introduced new items included a sling pack, also known as fishing tackle packs. And to raise awareness about her products, Ranalla often hosts giveaways and contests on her Facebook page.

A full crowdfunding campaign is live at where merchandise can be purchased, customers can view the science behind the waders and funds can be donated.

Megan Tomasic is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 724-850-1203, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Local | Westmoreland | Outdoors
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.