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Old 04-25-2013, 12:21 PM
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Default Re: What Makes a Great Fly-Shop?

The people that work there.
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Old 04-25-2013, 01:51 PM
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Default Re: What Makes a Great Fly-Shop?

After working in the tackle biz for 20 years I can tell you, like some have already, is the folks behind the counter. If you are arrogant, clickish or rude, hang it up.

Be able to teach and know your product! It is key to selling product.

Craig
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Old 04-25-2013, 09:53 PM
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Default Re: What Makes a Great Fly-Shop?

GREAT QUESTION!!!

I have been a study of the industry for 3+ years...as far as shops are concerned....they all seem to have much work to do.

No matter what industry your in....its all about service or lack of.

I have 3 shops very close to me. One, a large retail operation of a major manufacturer.

Sooo, i go into the large operation...like a kid on Christmas morning. Wanting a new rod/reel/line and some goodies. The place is EMPTY...Manager walks by 2x dosent say a word...even though i have a $700+ rod in my hand...15 MORE minutes go by....i finally find an older lady folding womens clothes...i ask her if anyone is there to help...she looks at me with a disgusted look and says "I DONT KNOW". I leave with the well over one grand i was going to spend...take out my pocket knife...and remove there sticker from the back window of my truck.

Shop #2....Great folks. They have been around forever. They are about a 45 minute drive away. I was needing new line for a small 1wt i built. I called to place the order and to make sure i would have the line before i left for my trip..Or i would drive over...Noooo problem....2 days later...i get an email...says they are out of stock....WTH.


Shop #3 Also very nice folks...order a small packable rod/back-up and reel for my overnight trips. They said no problem, you will have it in a week.....cool....A week and a half goes by, so i stop by the shop. The gentlemen i talked to had no idea about the order...and the dude i ordered the rod was was guiding. I leave him a message to call me. No calls. Another week goes by...i stop back in on the way to work.....THEY LOST MY # TWICE....REALLY!!!! Ohhhhh but they have the rod but not the reel.....took 35 days.

The industry has a long way to go as far as service. In my 12+ years of fly fishing i have NEVER been WOWED by service. My bank has done it, car dealership and even my insurance company.

Keep in mind, service isnt about inventory...helping with fly selection....etc...etc...That should be a constant. Its about going above and beyond!!

Although i was happy with my selections....I have never felt appreciated for my business.......

Keep in mind....I am low maintenance...i have even helped them with fly selection....etc. Model customer as i am told.....ya right!!!!!

I have always gone out of my way to support my local shops...i admit...i am a gear junkie...I now do my shopping on the internet!!

Wheeeew....sorry bout the rant guys/gals....I will start a happy thread!!
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Old 04-26-2013, 05:20 AM
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Default Re: What Makes a Great Fly-Shop?

should visit me, I would not let a customer hanging...
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Old 04-26-2013, 06:02 AM
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Default Re: What Makes a Great Fly-Shop?

For me, it's definitely the people in the shop being accessible and friendly to newbies. When I was first learning, I sometimes felt put off by snobby attitudes in fly shops.

Catching your first trout on a fly rod is a big deal, and the day the fly shop owner stops believing that is the day he should close the shop.
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Old 04-26-2013, 06:59 AM
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Default Re: What Makes a Great Fly-Shop?

interseting thread...since I have worked in several shops over the years I had to really think what made some nicer or more appealing than others...being near some good water is key...and having guides and lessons available is also very important.

1. do not allow the snob spirit to enter...anyone that has gone into a high end shop knows what I mean...every customer is important...

2. always make sure there is someone at the cash wrap keeping an eye on new visitors...greet them, and let them know you are available to answer any questions. then let them browse.

3.make their success at whatever level of pocket book they have your #1 priority...you cant go wrong..

4. have three lines...the high end...Simms , Sage, Winston etc...TFO or similar and a blend of the two. also caps and t's are always great for visitors...something to take home and remember the trip....

5. anglers are gadget a holics...make sure you have all the cool little items...dr slick, fish pond etc...you know what I mean.

my personal favorite thing to do was to try and make folks feel at home...asking them to bring in their fly box to see what flies they had was always a good move..no need to but something they dont need...help them figure out what they had that was a good idea...and show them your favorite patterns, and why...and guide them into some flies that could be the trick...

I can tell a lot about an angler by seeing their fly box...

offer to help newcomers set up rigs...show knots or basic set ups...people love to be treated like friends rather than dollar signs.

the people you have working in the shop are the real backbone...one arrogant jerk, no matter how much they know can destroy a shops rep...

good gear sells itself...the best shops I worked in took real pride in the way their goods were displayed...neat...prices visible...

if there is one thing, it has to be a genuine friendly spirit...that shares knowledge joyfully...

I always would tie flies out in the open for inventory, but also to show folks patterns etc...letting them know they could do it too...and always have the materials needed to make whatever you were tying...a clinic one night a week was always a winner...so it did not intefere w/ normal shop business too much.

hope this helps...t
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Old 04-26-2013, 10:45 AM
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Default Re: What Makes a Great Fly-Shop?

Mentioning "snobbishness" reminded me: I have, over the years, generally separated shops into "angler shops" and "boutiques". This has nothing to do with the staff; I have experienced wonderful people in both types. It has more to do with the clientele. I won't go into details but suffice it say I find the boutique shoppers have a different priority, outlook, and attitude than I do. And, yeah, boutiques have higher price points and that seems to have some influence on this effect.
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Old 04-26-2013, 11:00 AM
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Default Re: What Makes a Great Fly-Shop?

A lot has been covered here, so I will add one more thing.

This may not be politically correct (those who know me well, know that I don't follow that BS anyways). It may not be legal since ATF might get involved (gosh darn govt. agencies). But a great fly shop always has beer stashed away in a refrigerator. Usually that is reserved for after hours activities.

Dennis
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Old 04-26-2013, 12:57 PM
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Default Re: What Makes a Great Fly-Shop?

I have had some good and bad experiences with fly shops...

I am not gonna mention names regarding the bad ones, but a few that have been great to me and I do business with regularly are "in random order"

1) Caster's Fly Shop "He always has a great inventory of fly tying materials that don't have to be special ordered."

2) Great Lakes Fly Company "LOVE their Dahlberg Divers"

3) Chicago Fly Fishing Outfitters "There website is clear what they do and don't have in stock, I like that."

4) Bob Clouser's Fly Shop "I buy all my Clouser Minnows there, good price and good quality, can't tie them much cheaper and I use a lot of them so just easier to buy them."

5) Tight Lines Fly Shop in Wisconsin (Smallmouth Fly Shop) "They have all kinds of stuff in stock that you don't see anywhere else and I love smallies so..."

To me, it's all about service and communication, some shops suck at that...

One thing I cannot stand is a few times I bought NEW fly rods or reels from authorized dealers and they didn't have them in stock as advertised, only to be told a couple days later it would be a few weeks before they could get me their product as they are on backorder...

I don't have a "local" fly shop so mail order is all I have, these shops listed above do that well...

I wish I did have a local fly shop to hang out in, shoot the bull, tie flies and whatnot at, I would be broke all the time, but it sure would be nice to have it handy...
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Old 04-26-2013, 01:37 PM
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Default Re: What Makes a Great Fly-Shop?

Good staff who sell what they fish and fish what they sell.
Little River Outfitters has knowledgeable staff, no pretense, and a willingness to chat where I am look at one or two flies or new boots. They are 5 hours and one time zone away but manage to convey the local shop through their website. Big box stores along the interstate from here to LRO but they are my local.
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