I'm curious to see them. They got fairly rave reviews at the FFR show for their price point. (I also likely wouldn't trade my Avid for one, though maybe for 2?)
They're also coming out with a specially designed ladies rod called the Avid Pearl, which surprisingly enough is priced lower, almost more like the Imperial. Thinking of the finish on the recent Avid's, I could see one in pearl looking pretty sharp. (and when fishing in open waters with the sky above, a pearl colored rod makes some sense too)
Alright, well I stand corrected. In the report on MidCurrent, they referred to some other hardware line names and I wondered if they were fully on the right track, and I see now that they weren't. Thanks for pointing that out.
I think that it's a marketing/business decision based on a few things:
1- They can say it was manufactured in North America. St. Croix doesn't seem to hide the fact that some of their stuff is made elsewhere.
2- Being in Mexico, they can maintain closer control (whether it's execution of the design or quality).
3- To combat some of the "entry" level stuff coming in from China and Korea. The labor rates may be smaller, but the import taxation and shipping costs might be a wash. Besides, this would probably come under the NAFTA. I'm not political in any way, but I would think that there may be some tax benefits for them.
This is all speculation from a dummy, but that is how I see it.
Originally Posted by Frank Whiton
Do we see a trend to Mexican made rods from St Croix? I don't know if that is good or bad.
The labor rates may be smaller, but the import taxation and shipping costs might be a wash.
This likely has a good deal to do with it. Last summer when gas hit $4 and oil went nuts too, lots of manufacturers started looking into ways to make their products closer to where they're sold. That movement died off a bit once oil dropped back down, but most smart companies expect it to happen again within 5 years and are planning accordingly. NAFTA makes Canada and Mexico even more appealing from a tax/tariff/customs standpoint.
No doubt it has to do with the bottom line. We have a group of fly fishers, especially new fly fishers, that gravitate toward the lower cost rods. The cheap rods from China and Korea are taking a lot of the profit away from our American made rod companies. If we continue to buy non-American rods some of the American Rod companies won't survive. It will just be a matter of time. To make the situation worse the non-American rod builders are getting better as time goes on. When the non-American rod builders start making rods just as good as the best American rod then there may be a collapse of the American made rod business. It has happen with the Electronic Business and the Auto business.
I think what will eventually happen with the fly rod companies will be more like what has happened with guitars and other musical instruments, because unlike cars and electronics, fly rods/reels and instruments are viewed as works of craftsmanship that last. Most of the product bought and sold is made overseas, but the top companies are based here and still make their best product here. Examples- Martin, Taylor, Fender, and Gibson Guitars, DW Drums, etc. They either are making their cheaper offerings elsewhere or have a cheaper sub-brand that gets made overseas.
Just like Sage (Redington) and Ross (Ross Worldwide).
I don't mind if a company wants to offer a cheap import, just don't use the
same name as the USA made product. Sage uses the Redington brand name,
but Winston had the audacity to market the Vapor rods as Winstons.