from Deanna Travis

FlyAnglers Online

Publisher & Owner



March 7, 2011

About this time of year there are a bunch of sporting shows around the country, some with quite good fly fishing aspects to them. That of course gives the manufacturers a place to show off their new products. I’m as curious as the next guy (and maybe more) so I’ve always enjoyed not just attending the Spring shows but in casting the newest and latest fly rods, handling and ogling new reels and in general seeing whatever the new goodies are.

Without the manufacturers producing new products I suppose we would have to settle for whatever was in the ‘old’ product line. Not necessarily a bad thing if you think about it. Take a big name brand, your choice, and mentally take a look at your favorite rod they ever produced. If you are an old timer you might consider one of the very popular Orvis rods.

About every six years most of the rod manufacturers will discontinue a line of rods. The sales have begun to drop, (they have a fall-off point already in their sale/marketing program), and a ‘new’ rod is created to take its place. That rod, if it is a big hit, will be at the top of their line for several years. They may introduce the same rod in different weights, lighter or heavier to fill the customer demand.

The advertising for these rods almost always promotes the speed of the rod, how much faster it recovers than any other rod in their line, or how much more line you will be able to cast with it. It will make you not only a better caster, but you are bound to catch more with that new rod as well. I guess the exception to that are the Sage TCR rods which were advertised as “not for everyone.” At the time I think they were the fastest rods being produced and a lot of fun for those who could fish them.

Do we need to see ‘new’ rods from the manufacturers each year? Probably not, they maybe could save some dollars by sticking with a successful rod a bit longer and with the savings drop the price of their products. Just a thought.

What bothers me a bit is the expectation that the fly fishing public somehow automatically is expected to buy a new rod every time the various manufacturers comes out with a new line. Perhaps if the price of rods was considerably less it wouldn’t bother me as much? Eh? Probably not.

It is the idea that some manufacturers are entitled to make very large profits from rods we really don’t need - or perhaps even want. The job of marketing is to sell product. It is their job to give us a reason or multiple reasons to want the product, the need to have to have the product.

If the fly fishing public has any sense at all it needs to learn some discernment. Not every new rod out there is going to solve any of your casting/fishing/catching problems. As JC was prone to say “learn to cast and fish first and then you will know if your casting/fishing problems are the fault of your equipment or your skill.”

The only solution too many of them is time and patience.  ~ LadyFisher

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