Donnmar pliers are precision instruments designed to provide fishermen with years of flawless performance. Our pliers continue to be the choice of serious fishermen and are revered for their ultra-lightweight, superior strength and easy-to-grip design. Donnmar pliers boast outstanding features and unmatched performance in both fresh or salt water.
Donnmar Enterprises, Inc. was founded in Oregon in 1982, by LaMar R. Madsen and Sue Madsen. The company started off as a mechanical engineering consulting firm for various high-tech industries in the Pacific Northwest. In 1987, the company moved it operations to Vancouver, Washington and started developing a product line of new generation fishing tools. The Checkpoint name was born shortly thereafter and Donnmar Enterprises started full scale production of its Checkpoint Titanium and Stainless Steel fishing pliers. The pliers were sold under the Checkpoint brand as well as OEM for many worldwide fishing tackle retailers. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2001 and was acquired by Brian Butts of Sampo, Inc. Brian moved all the operations to his facility in Barneveld, NY after the acquisition. Under the Sampo company, Donnmar pliers continued their tradition of crafting the highest quality, Made in the U.S.A. products. In 2016, Rome Specialty Company, Inc. (ROSCO) acquired the Donnmar and Sampo brands. Production was moved to ROSCO’s facility in Rome, NY. The expert staff that handcrafts each pair of pliers continues to be employed at the new location to ensure quality products are built for our discerning customers. Donnmar’s Checkpoint pliers and accessories have a proud history of being the best on the market and continue to be Made in the U.S.A. with American made components.
- 1926: John Howard Butts and his two partners, Ernest E. Spriggs and Harrold Hayes, acquire the Van Dauber Company, a manufacturer of box fishing swivels, reels, and landing nets, and incorporate the company in New York under the name Rome Specialty Company, Inc.
- 1933: Rome Specialty Company acquires the Knight Archery Company, a Rome, New York manufacturer of bows and arrows.
- 1942: The acquisition of the Rome Sporting Goods Company adds leather goods, wading sandals, surf rod spikes and deep sea fishing equipment to the company’s portfolio.
- 1945: After the passing of the company’s three original owners within months of eachother, leadership is passed to the second generation of owners; Jerald L. Butts (Jerry) and John Spriggs (Jack).
- 1951: Rome Specialty Company acquires the Pix Manufacturing Company, a Newark, New Jersey wire-forming firm that made twisted barrel swivels.
- 1954: Sampo Manufacturing Company, Inc. is founded in Redwood City, California by Oney A. Johnson. The company is known for its original patented (U.S. 2466243) ball bearing swivels made in its California and Puerto Rico factories.
- 1957: Rome Specialty Company, Inc. purchases the Sampo Manufacturing Company, Inc. and moves all operations to its facilities in Barneveld and Forestport New York.
- 1958: ROSCO purchases Nassau Tackle Company, Inc., principle supplier to Sears, Roebuck & Company.
- 1970: The acquisition of the swivel manufacturing equipment of Form Cut Industries includes the machinery used to make barrel swivels, and is still used by the company today.
- 1971: Rome Specialty Company, Inc. acquires the fishing division of Dewitt Plastics.
- 1975: Rome Specialty Company, Inc. acquires the leader division of Fenwick / Sevenstrand.
- 1980: Jack Spriggs retires and sells his interest in the Rome Specialty Company, Inc. to his partner Jerry Butts, making Jerry the sole owner. Jerry’s two sons, Brian and John, both serve as Vice Presidents within the company. John focuses on the operations of the Rome plant and Brian oversees the Sampo Division in Barneveld and Forestport.
- 1984: Jerry Butts passes away and ownership of the company is passed to his sons, Brian and John, solidifying the third generation of leadership.
- 1997: The brothers split Rome Specialty Company, Inc. into two separate companies. John becomes the owner of the ROSCO Division in Rome, New York, keeping the name Rome Specialty Company, Inc. Brian becomes the owner of the Sampo division, renamed Sampo, Inc., and maintains its presence in Barneveld and Forestport.
- 1998: Rome Specialty Company, Inc. purchases the original snap machines and tooling from Berkley Fishing to produce the McMahon Snap, now known as the McRosco Snap.
- 2001: Brian Butts acquires Donnmar Enterprises, Inc., a Vancouver, Washington manufacturer of high quality fishing pliers.
- 2014: John H. Butts III (Jack) takes over as President and CEO of Rome Specialty Company, serving as the company’s fourth generation of family leadership and current owner.
- 2016: Brian sells Sampo, Inc. to his nephew Jack. Today under the leadership of Jack Butts all three brands, ROSCO, Sampo, and Donnmar, operate under the parent company Rome Specialty Company, Inc. in Rome, New York.
- Present: Rome Specialty Company, Inc. continues to manufacture high quality fishing tackle in the United States and is considered the best in class across the industry.