News this week included the announcement by Redington
of a new rod. A very good rod, reasonably priced, ($50
or $60) without a guarantee. It does have a
manufacturers warrantee against manufacturing defects,
and according to John Brazelton, of Redington, "if there
is a real defect the rod should fail within a few casts."
That doesn't mean a couple of years later you can claim
the rod was defective. Got that?
This really is BIG news. For a number of years we, my
husband JC and I, have been appalled at the price of rods,
and the fact that the sticker shock of folks who walk from
the spinning rod department into the fly rod department
and compare prices is a real thing. We feel it discourages
many, many people who might be interested in getting into
We've been encouraged to find some manufacturers, (see our
Sponsor Page) who are producing good stuff at reasonable
prices. We're grateful they exist.
But here's one of the 'big boys' who sees it the same way!
I wrote a column some five years ago, it was in fact the
third column for FAOL, called
Missed The Turn. It
was my feeling then, and now that the "bulletproof guarantee
has done more to devalue the previously cherished fly rod
(and fly fishing) than all the anti-fishing folks in PETA
could possibly have hoped. Instead of fly rods being
cleaned, polished, and treasured, it is just chuck it
anywhere. What the heck, it if breaks, no sweat. Get a
new one FREE. Magic word that is, FREE!"
But, there is NO FREE LUNCH! If you get a "FREE" rod,
someone is paying for it. Who? You if you bought the rod,
and me if I bought one, and everyone else who buys one from
that manufacturer. And I'm not willing to pay for your
carelessness or someone else's gross stupidity.
Hurrah for Redington! Here's the choice. You can buy
a fly rod, actually the identical rod to the Red Fly for
less money, without the bulletproof guarantee. Or, if
you want the guarantee, buy that one, for more money,
which does have the guarantee.
I'd like to see it go a step further.
How about this, each manufacturer set a fair price for
every rod they make. (Not including the replacement
costs for the bulletproof guarantee of course.) Then,
offer each buyer an insurance policy, (simple single
piece of paper) good for one replacement of a broken rod.
We have extended warrantees for cars, washing machines,
everything it seems, and some of us are willing to pay
that extra price. Are you?
I'm not, but you might be very willing to pay the additional
money for your rod. Without the paperwork, that is what
Redington has done. Let's see how many more rods show up
Wouldn't you like to see the price of rods drop by 20% or
more? A $600 rod for around $474.00? Or maybe even less.
That is still a lot of money for the new guy coming in to
fly fishing, but it's a start.
Would rod companies sell more rods? Would they be more
likely to try new ideas? New materials? Be more innovative?
Lower prices? What a concept!
Do you really want an unconditional guarantee? And just
how much are you willing to pay for it?
I haven't broken a rod in many years. I take care of my stuff.
So does Castwell. But we are of a generation where that was
what one was supposed to do. We are not part of the
Fly fishing is about being responsible. You are responsible
for your own progress in the sport. You do it, no one can
catch fish for you. We can teach, inform and encourage - but
you are the one responsible for the results.
Fly fishing also stresses conservation. Of the resources?
Of course. But how about the equipment you use?
I'm tired of the 'attitude' of those, a large number, who are
not responsible. I don't owe them
anything! I for sure don't owe them a new fly rod. And
I'm bloody tired of buying one for them.
If you would like to comment on this or any other article please feel free to
post your views on the FAOL Bulletin Board!