Re: R.L. Winston
This is definitely a tough time for the fly fishing industry.
My local fly shop told me that they were way down year-on-year in the month of November and the verbal synopsis of December, so far, has been: "terrible". This low volume purchase pattern will quickly push its way back upstream into the manufacturers, who will have to trim staff and abandon the high-cost development programs that lead to new, innovative and fun gear for all of us; all this in order to try to maintain margins; given the significantly lower volumes that they'll be able to move through their retail distributors.
It is a good time for buyers, but as we all hunt for "bargains" in this new environment, I think it's worth bearing in mind that an industry where the consumer "pull" factor is rapidly disappearing and where everything is a "push" from the manufacturers, with strong buy incentives, is not a good long-term prognosis for fly fishermen and women. This is true for both the manufacturers and the retailers; the small fly shops that are so much fun for all of us to frequent; learn about fly fishing and swap an occasional "fish story" or two about the big one that got away. I'm continuing to support my local fly shop at the same rate as I used to; hoping that this recession will break for them and that we'll all be able to get back to life as we knew it before the big banks recklessly pledged all of our collective money to the now-defunct home mortgage spiral.
My wife loves her 8'6" Winston BIIx 5 wt. I hope that the RL Winston Rod Company comes through this troubled time in good shape. I want to see what their next generation of rods looks like; the generation beyond Boron II. For both she and I, the casting feel of a Winston rod is a real treat.