Things "ain't what they used to be".
Reminds me of what a friend told me who owns a fly shop. He said he was not making much selling high-end rods. Few sold and his "cut" only about 35% - depending upon the quantity he orders - and might have to sit on his inventory with new models coming out each year.
He said the bigger sellers in his shop were the lower tiered rods. In addition, he said he could have his "own brand" manufactured in Korea and make a lot more on each rod sold as well as being able to say they were his design.................
You wonder about patent rights. For example, is the special methodology used to make Hardy Rod's Zenith series patented? Or is it too expensive to copy?
I suspect that rod manufacturers in Korea can make an IM6 or IM7 rod just fine and would not violate a patent?
DFS said this on their Facebook page: "Tenkara Has Arrived! Our model is 13' and extends to 14' 7". Come check them out at the shop or at the sportsman's show. Identical models sell for $235. Ours is $100!"
Certainly seems to be an intent to copy and also use TUSA's prior reputation to sell the DFS rod.
Next appears to be this meeting: Scheduling/Planning Conference for 7/8/2013 at 10:30 AM in Courtroom A 502 before Magistrate Judge Michael J. Watanabe.
What a load of crap.
It's called competition. The TUSA guy apparently thinks he should control the entire "tenkara" concept in the USA and got his feelings hurt that someone else is doing the same thing now... AFTER he goes to china to get it done!! What the hell does he think his chinese compatriots do better than anyone else on earth?
Perhaps DFS could have been more careful of the wording in their advertisements, but TUSA needs to get over it and put on their big-boy pants. By their logic, there should only be one fly rod company, or one spinning rod company, one fly line company, etc.
HMMMMM, Good product which performs well and is priced at $235. Next to it is a good product which performs as well and is priced at $100.
Or perhaps I'm not reading it correctly. Is it based on the name? That would be akin to Ford saying no other motor vehicle manufacturer could call something a "car" or an "automobile".
Either way, it's another illustration of snobbery and ego which just perpetuates the perceived elitism of the fly fishing community.
It can't be a "Chinese knock-off" of a product MADE IN CHINA as the article states the TUSA rods are. It would be just a regular knock-off. LOL
IMO guy just has his panties in a twist that someone is beating him at his own game. That's pretty much what the business world IS.
He shouldn't worry, there will still be some elitist kool-aid drinkers who will be willing to spend $135 for a "Tenkara USA" sticker on their $100 Hecho en China rod blank.
I haven't seen the DFS rod, but if it is indeed "identical" to the TUSA Ito, it probably wasn't the best idea to market it as "our own version of the Ito, made by the same rod manufacturer". The concept of the zoom rod is not proprietary to TUSA and others were in the market long before TUSA. There was already a well known tenkara rod that also zooms from 13' to 14'-7, and coincidently the TUSA rod is marketed for much less money than that competitors zoom rod. Sounds familiar, right? It's called competition. TUSA did have the common sense and innovation to come up with their own design though. There's also another tenkara rod in the market that has some very familiar looking almost iconic "green stripes" on it that resemble the TUSA Ayu. I'm guessing that rod, if not already, will become an issue as well. When I first saw it I thought to myself "what the heck were they thinking?" If you're trying to make a name for yourself, why put out the same or very similar product and paint it to look the same or make a claim that it's "identical". It's just screams CHEAP KNOCKOFF to me. Maybe it won't be long before we can all go down to our local flea market and get a new Shimano Tenkara 34-38 ZL for an unbelievably low price of $60.00 :eek:
Cheers I'm gonna go have a beer. That's another wagon I'm not planning to get on any time soon.
Wasn't long ago that I bought an Okuma Airframe reel that was "identical" to the crosswater reel that redington sold...down to interchangable parts...for 1/2 the price....
Rebranding, or patent infringement?
I do not intend to call names or insult anyone here or anywhere else with this post. Once the lawyers become involved, it has been my experience with the legal system that usually nearly everybody involved looses except for the lawyers.
For what this worth and this is just my personal opinion, at present I own 2 Tenkara rods (a12' Iwana and the 13.5' Amago rods), 2 Keiryu rods (the 9' Daiwa Soykaze and the 12.5 and 14' 1" long 43 MF Daiwa zoom rod, one of which was considerably cheaper than any of the TUSA rods on sale while the other one was more or less cost competitive with the medium level TUSA rods). These are rods that are Japanese designed but are not made in Japan, but are superior to the TUSA rods in my view for what I use them for, and the Japanese rods are better balanced and much lighter in weight than the TUSA rods are as well. I also own 1 Seiryu rod (the Suntech 33 HM rod at 11 feet) which is a Japanese designed and made in Japan rod that I believe is vastly superior to the other rods that I own for its intended purpose, fit, finish, and in its casting qualities and abilities. But to be fair, it also is in a price class far above that of any of the other rods I own. To a large extent you get higher quality at a higher price point if you are willing to pay the higher price.
The TUSA rods have a warranty that none of the other rods I own can match, even at a much higher price point and for which replacement parts are not nearly as readily available, and it is my belief that part of the reason why the TUSA rods feel so clunky and heavy is to insure that they are strong enough that it is unlikely that their warranties will ever (or seldom) be needed. Also I believe the TUSA rods are designed to better meet our American fishing conditions and non-Japanese fishing styles and the larger average size of the fish that we catch here in the US, as compared to the average size of the trout that are caught in Japan, which are usually pretty small. So to say Daniel's rods are just a not so cheap knockoff of prior made Japanese rods, whether made in Japan or elsewhere, is not really fair or entirely correct. While he did strongly base his rod products on the Japanese Tenkara ethic model as embraced by the Japanese rod companies and their rod designers, TUSA's rods are not direct copies of any Japanese rods that I know of.
It has been said that imitation is the sincerest form of complement, but to advertise a rod as being the same thing as the top of the line TUSA rod at a much cheaper price point is either misleading or dishonest, unless the rod really is as good as they are claimimg it is. In my view the ITO rod is far from being the best rod that TUSA makes. And if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true. Let the buyer beware. And if you get what you paid for, you have no one to blame but yourself for the price you were gullible enough to pay in the hope of getting a superior product for a lot less than what a good product should cost. They say it is hard to cheat an honest man. But it is easy to cheat a greedy person. When you expect something for nothing, that's exactly what it is usually worth. I would like to see some disinterested third party (like Tom Davis) do a comparative rod review between the Ito and the DFS rod so the chips can fall where they may and we will all know where we stand with these rods for sure. That will tell us a lot more about the similarities and the differences between these two rods (and be a lot cheaper than a law suit will be) than who prevails in this frivolous law suit will tell us....Golden.