Orvis owns a share of Redington as of last year as we all know. I heard the rumor that Battenkill sales were hurt by Redington reel sales and so this may be a consolidation of the lines. I also heard rumor that parts and service will be maintained by Redington despite the deal.
Jim Murphy was not at the Marlboro flyshow to confirm service policies but I'm sure the service / parts will continue if not from one then from the other. If anyone is going to Somerset you should ask at the Redington booth just to make sure.
Maybe the union will produce a hot new reel in that price bracket?
On another note I cast the 9wt quartz rod... very interesting. Looks like someone spilled milk on the blank but it's as thin as a 7wt and throws a whole 9wt line easily. Supposed to be virtually unbreakable by impact resistance.