Originally Posted by sweetandsalt
Of course, the principal of "original" Redington, pre-Farbank (Sage), which introduce the very nice Korean 5-piece series of rods, became a principal (long gone now) at Albright. Basicly the same rod from the same source (different name). One must expunge from ones' conciousness the made-up MSRP which never existed and no such rod was ever sold at or near that absurd price. Compare rods by price-point if you must but the price paid not fabricated. And the screaming deal at Albright is not the albiet nice A5NS but the #5 & 8 EXT or whatever the post EXS is now called. At a buck and a half, compare it to $350 rods like ECHO3 for example.
It could well be. (Although they are $180. The A-5's are $150.) But here's the thing.
The old EXS models were fantastic rods. They retailed through retailers for $400 or so and really were comparable to competitors that listed for $hundreds more. They got generally good reviews from retailers, customers and trade press alike.
Just before said principal parted ways with Albright, they developed a model called "Tradewind" that was based on the EXS tapers, but was meant to be priced lower because it didn't have the same high-end nano technology and hardened quartz finish. However, he left before they were brought to market, and after he left the company liquidated all the Tradewinds at Sierra Trading Post because they didn't want the Tradewinds to compete directly against the A-5's. (I bought two of them for about $100 each. I like my 6 wt Tradewind a lot, but I have trouble getting the distance I want out of the 8 wt.)
Then, a few years later, the company brought out two new "EX" labeled rods, a 5 wt and an 8 wt, which they claim to have "evolved" from the EXS. Curiously, though, they share with the aborted Tradewinds the absence of EXS's high-end nano and quartz design components. Are they truly a more sophisticated update of the older EXS series, or are they only retreaded Tradewinds with spiffier hardware? (And if they are so advanced, why make no other models than 5 and 8 weights?)
I'd like to believe the company hype that these are even better rods than the EXS's were. But here's where the phony MSRP's come in. ($900 for the EX? Please. Said principal ended up at Hardy, whose widely acclaimed rods from Korea list for under $700 and are considered by some reviewers to be the best in the world.) They make it hard to believe that anything else the company claims is reliable. You are probably right that they are probably a better rod for $180 than the A5NS's are for $150, but it would be a lot easier to believe if, instead of listing bogus MSRP's for both series, they compared the A5NS more honestly against actual $200-$300 competitors and the EX models against actual $300-$400 competitors.
From a business point of view, I can't understand the product positioning strategy. To me it seems a lot more sensible for a company to make a believable argument that it offers the best product in a given price range, than an unbelievable argument that it routinely offers extraordinary discounts for a high-quality, luxury-priced product when better competitive products carry lower list prices.